In many countries, Christians are harassed, discriminated against, slandered, unjustly accused, summarily arrested and sometimes imprisoned, beaten, exiled or killed. Violence comes both from governments and religious extremists. Your prayers can focus on four groups.
Individuals – Pray that they:
- remain strong in faith and trust despite physical and psychological abuse
- will be able to forgive those who persecute them or who fail to support them
- will experience and know love, joy and peace from God (Romans 8:28-39)
- will walk humbly in their identification with Christ’s sufferings
- will be fruitful witnesses to others
- will be able to balance standing up for their rights, yet responding in grace and love
Spouses – Pray that they:
- cope with the sense of loss and isolation
- cope with caring and providing for children alone
- remain full of faith and hope
- overcome any intimidation from police or other aggressors
Children – Pray that they:
- are protected from long term psychological/emotional harm and bitterness
- are protected from abduction or the “corrective teaching” some States try to impose
- might know and experience the love of God
Converts – Pray that they:
- receive help to grow spiritually
- are protected and provided for should their family or community turn against them
- will have the courage to lead others to know Christ
Sovereign God, we worship you and acknowledge that you know all of those who suffer in your name. We remember those who are imprisoned for their faith and ask that they would join with the Apostle Paul to see that even though they remain captive, their chains have furthered the gospel, not frustrated it. May they inspire and embolden their fellow believers to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
God of all comfort, for those who are tortured both in body and mind, give them the grace to endure and to see their suffering as part of following in Christ’s footsteps.
Merciful God, for those asked to pay the ultimate price; who are martyred because of their love for you, may they truly know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
Father God, for those who are widowed and orphaned may they know the comfort that comes from your promised presence7 even when they walk through the valley. May they be strengthened by your Spirit, enabling them to rejoice with the psalmist as they proclaim that the LORD will not abandon them in death.
Heavenly Father, we ask that you would make us ever mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world who need us to stand with them as they suffer in your name. Teach us what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony; we pray that we would not love our lives so much as to shrink from death.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
1. Romans 5:3, Romans 8:17-18, 1 Corinthians 12:26, 2 Corinthians 1:5-11
2. Hebrews 13:3, Colossians 4:18
3. Philippians 1:12-13
4. Philippians 1:14
5. Romans 15:5-6, 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5, 11-12
6. Philippians 3:10
7. Deuteronomy 31:8, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5
8. Psalm 23:4
9. Psalm 16:10
10. Hebrews 13:3
11. Revelation 12:11
Almighty God, who has taught us through your Son Jesus Christ that those who follow Him may be persecuted; strengthen, comfort and encourage all those who suffer harassment, violence, imprisonment and even death for being followers of Jesus. We pray for those who persecute your people; may their hearts be turned towards you through the faithful witness of those they persecute. Protect members of the families and church communities of those who are persecuted and bless the work and ministry of Release International and its partners as we support those who are suffering and seek to be a voice of persecuted Christians.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.