If one member suffers, we all suffer together, if one member is honored, all rejoice together. –I Corinthians 12:26
Over 100 million Christians worldwide face persecution for their faith in Christ, and the numbers are on the rise. In countries such as Eritrea, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sudan and Sri Lanka, Christians face daily threats of imprisonment, violence, destruction of church buildings and even death. No matter what the physical outcome, when Christians are stripped of their ability to follow Christ in safety and freedom, we all suffer together.
Freedom of religion in the U.S. allows us the opportunity to stand in the gap on behalf of our brothers and sisters who face persecution because of Christ. Join us in prayer! During this coming weekend’s services (October 29th & 30th), we will have a table set up in the mall to bring awareness for this international event.
During the weekend of November 5th and 6th, please pray for protection and that the persecuted church will see God in deeper ways. Also, pray for God to soften the hearts of those who persecute Christians.
For more information, visit the table in the mall this weekend or go to: http://www.persecution.com/ or https://www.opendoorsusa.org/
If you were around this past weekend, you likely noticed the large photos and the accompanying statistics about how different countries in our world are currently treating Christians. And in case you didn’t already notice the similarities with the current sermon series about the early Church in the book of Acts, Pastor Jeff Lucas led the congregation in a time of concentrated prayer for our fellow believers around the world.
This coming Sunday, November 1, 2015, is designated as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. During the weekend, there will be a table in the mall with more information and resources about current situations as well as prayer guides to assist you in continuing to pray throughout the year. In addition to praying at home or corporately in a service, the prayer room is always available if you want to stop in before or after services or during the week. (The prayer room is located along the north-east perimeter of the main sanctuary across the hall from the newly remodeled Youth Center.)
Here are a few prayer points for the Persecuted Church from Ephesians:
- Pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Eph. 1:8).
- Pray the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Eph. 3:16).
- Pray persecuted believers would know how much God loves them (Eph. 3:17).
- Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Eph. 6:19).
- Pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Eph. 6:20).
Also pray for their practical needs:
- Please pray persecuted believers would have access to a Bible.
- Pray they have the courage to remain in their homeland.
- Please pray for believers who have been rejected by family and friends. Pray that God would surround them with a new Christian “family” who loves them and supports them emotionally and physically.
- Pray for God to be an advocate for women who are socially vulnerable or have lost the custody of their children because of their faith.
- Please pray that God would provide persecuted believers with jobs and safe places to live.