“There are many parts, yet one body. …If one member suffers, all suffer together.” — 1 Corinthians 12:19, 26
If you live in a country with religious freedom, the persecuted Church may not be very high on your prayer list. But for more than 260 million Christians worldwide, abuse, discrimination and isolation are daily realities.
“Let us affirm our solidarity with all those suffering persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ,” Franklin Graham once said. “We all should resolve to be ambassadors for Christ, wherever He’s placed us and whatever the price.”
Here are five ways you can pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
1. Pray for those in the midst of persecution (Hebrews 13:3)
Pray the millions of persecuted believers will not only stay committed to the call of Christ but also will respond in love to the evil shown by their aggressors. God’s love will open doors for these believers to share the Gospel even more.
2. Pray for those who are doing the persecuting (Matthew 5:44)
Pray that God would open the eyes and soften the hearts of these individuals who bring unfathomable abuse upon Christians. Remember as you pray that God sent His Son for the whole world. He does not want anybody — even these individuals — to perish.
3. Pray for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted (Hebrews 4:16)
Ask God to comfort families who many times do not receive updates about their loved one and are not allowed to visit, or it’s simply not safe enough to do so. Pray they, too, will remain faithful to the calling God has placed on their lives.
4. Pray that churches would rise up (Acts 4:23-35)
Support from the body of Christ is so critical. Whether we are giving up our time in prayer or our resources in physical support, the church must rally around those suffering for Christ.
5. Pray that world leaders would do all they can to fight this persecution (Psalm 2:10-11)
God makes it clear in His Word that leaders have a responsibility. Pray God would stir their hearts, and they would not only draft but enact the necessary policies and procedures to make a lasting, global difference.