Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Nearly 70 percent of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions. Many of these people are Christians whose lives are marked by oppression and darkness on a daily basis as they stand for Jesus. However, the enemy is losing ground as God’s people around the world effectively intercede for their brothers and sisters in Christ!
Sunday, November 3, 2013, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Many organizations focus on the persecution of Christians, but the following websites use prayer as a primary strategy to assist those who struggle to stand firm in the midst of threats and acts of violence.
Check out these sites for information on how to do spiritual battle through informed intercession and for some additional ways to get involved in praying for those who are suffering persecution for their Christian beliefs.
Voice of the MartyrsVoice of the Martyrs
(VOM) gives a global perspective on the persecution of Christ-followers, and offers perhaps the most comprehensive and compelling reasons why prayer is so important. Go to persecution.com
and click on the “Pray” dropdown. There you will find resources, articles, and prayer updates for informed intercession. You can also sign up for weekly updates via email. VOM is active on Facebook and Twitter, and there is a prayer app that you can download on iTunes Store or Android Marketplace.
Open DoorsOpen Doors
works in the world’s most oppressive countries. They focus on strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution by equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these dark places. Their website opendoorsusa.com
gives you several options for praying for persecuted believers all over the world. By choosing the “Pray” dropdown, you can sign up for weekly or monthly prayer alerts, and/or a daily devotional focusing on people in the most oppressed nations. You’ll also find regular prayer alerts that you can filter by country.
One With ThemOne With Them
™ is an Open Doors initiative designed to bring awareness to the reality of Christian persecution. It inspires believers in the United States to stand with those who share our faith in Christ Jesus without our religious freedoms (onewiththem.com). You can purchase a barbed wire wristband on the site for $1 as a tangible reminder to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. You might want to order quantities of the wristband to promote the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (Nov. 3) in your church.
World Watch List (Open Doors)
, you can take the 5-5-5 Challenge: five minutes of prayer for one nation per week. Besides prayer, you may commit to sharing the challenge with five other people and giving $5 toward fighting persecution. You will see a world map on this site. You can click on a nation and learn how to intercede for the persecuted people there. The 2013 World Watch List highlights the 50 nations where believers experience the highest levels of persecution. You can also download a free prayer guide.
International Christian Concern
International Christian Concern (ICC) acts as a bridge between believers in free countries and believers in persecuted countries. This bridge carries encouragement, prayers, and aid into the country while news, requests, and love flow back over the bridge. The bridge also allows for the Church to hear the voices and concerns of the persecuted so that we might move the rest of the world to action on their behalf.
The website is persecution.org. Go to the “how you can help” dropdown and click on “pray” to find more specific information.
ICC invites you to check the site weekly for new prayer points that focus on persecuted believers. You can sign up to receive the prayer points by email that can easily be printed or forwarded to others.
Stand in Solidarity
As you search these sites for important prayer points, please consider how the Holy Spirit may be urging you to get involved in tangible ways to help those who are suffering for standing upon their belief in Jesus Christ. Ask the Father to strengthen your heart to stand in solidarity with them.
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