They are abused, discriminated against, isolated, imprisoned, executed ... And as an observer, unfortunately, it is often the feeling of helplessness that predominates.
THEIt would be a mistake to fall into fatalism or hardening. What is the use of learning and glimpsing the reality of the persecution of Christians, even when one comes up against one's own limits and the impossibility of action? The interest that the Christians of the world can show in their persecuted brothers and sisters seems ridiculous.
Yet it is a blessing for them. They know they are not alone in their struggle. And more than material or financial support, what Christians who suffer persecution ask for is to be carried in prayer. But how to pray?
Pray that they are finally free of course, that governments and armed groups release the pressure and give everyone the freedom to live their faith.
But do you know that when they pray for their situation, persecuted Christians upset our conceptions. Because they do not pray only to be released, but especially so that God gives them to remain faithful in the heart of this persecution.
The words of Chinese Christians have also recently been relayed by the The Washington Post.
“The prayer of Chinese believers is not to end the persecution, but to give them the strength to remain faithful. "
North Korean Christians as for them, do not pray for the overthrow of the regime, but for Kim to meet Christ ...
Depending on church organizations and families the date may change, but from November 4 to 11, Christians around the world are united in prayer for the persecuted Church.
Emily Towns from World Help, offers 4 ways to pray for persecuted Christians.
1. Pray that God will give them strength
The violence and hatred suffered by North Korean, Pakistani, Chinese, Nigerian, Eritrean, Egyptian, Iraqi Christians… are unspeakable. The apostle Paul and the Christians of the first century knew this persecution well. “Don't be surprised” if that happens, said Pierre.
“But rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you too can rejoice and be happy when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. "
1 Stone 4: 12-14
Paul claimed that nothing could separate him from the love of Christ.
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: It is for your sake that we are being put to death all day long, that we are regarded as sheep destined for slaughter. But in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. "
Pray that they will remember in their "trials" that they are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. They are never alone.
2. Pray that the persecutors will turn to Christ.
Jesus asked in Matthew 5:14 “to love his enemies and to pray for those who persecute”.
Many stories tell of how executioners sometimes come to wonder where this strength and determination can come from in the face of violence and injustice.
"What is this thing that so many people are ready to die for?" "
Pray that the living testimony of these Christians in the midst of suffering will bring the light of salvation to executioners and witnesses.
3. Pray for the Church to grow in the midst of persecution
The purpose of the persecution is to annihilate the Church. Yet history has shown that it most often has the opposite effect. Christians are becoming more daring and are more faced with urgent needs.
Pray that despite the hostility more and more will be added to the community of believers.
4. Pray for Christians to have access to the Word of God.
The Bible is an incomparable support, so many references to persecution are there. They are an inexhaustible source of encouragement. Yet countries in the throes of persecution are also often “deserts” in terms of resources, Bibles and teachings.
Pray for access to the Word of God so that these Christians will draw resources, words and promises from God.
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