“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” (Heb. 13:2)
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it….But now indeed there are many members yet one body.” (1 Cor. 12:20a, 12:26a)
In modern times, we are witnessing one of the most catastrophic slaughters of believers in human history. As horrible as are the news reports, the actual situation is even worse than we can imagine. For Christians and others, the blood bath and refugee crisis has potential to grow even more severe. It is especially heart-wrenching to see the torture and deaths of women and children.
Virtually nothing is as vital as fervent intercession for persecuted believers and gospel witness to their persecutors. Our brothers and sisters in lands of persecution are truly on the front line of spiritual battle and Christian witness. We should also be mindful of the continuing imprisonment of believers in places like Iran and North Korea.
Little could be more urgent than intense intercession for lands of persecution. Conversely, little could be a greater failure than to give only casual thought to our brothers and sisters on the front line. Let us fast, pray and raise our voices for Christ’s Church in this critical day! Let us also ask God for wisdom in how we can help with our resources. May it not be said of us, “I was in prison and you visited Me not.” (Matt. 25:43)
Prayers for Persecuted Believers and Missionaries
1 Pray for overwhelming grace and God’s manifest presence to surround all persecuted around the earth. Pray for special grace and protection for the children and their parents. (Psalm 91; 2 Cor. 12:9)
2 Pray that believers are delivered from the evil one. Pray that they be guarded and protected from the world and darkness. (Matt. 6:13; John 17:12-15)
3 Pray that their faith would not fail and their gospel witness shines bright. Pray that they come through the trials as shining gold with great eternal reward. Pray that the Gospel runs swiftly throughout the Earth. (Job 23:10; Matt. 5:16; Luke 22:32)
4 Pray that believers will not succumb to hate and vengeance. Pray that our own hearts would not yield to blind hatred of those who attack and mock Christian beliefs. (Matt. 5:43-48; Rom. 12:17-19; 1 Peter 3:9)
5 Pray for God’s wisdom and direction in the actions and decisions of missionaries and persecuted saints. (Psalm 23; Psalm 32:8; James 1:5)
6 Pray for supernatural provision for believers’ emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Pray especially for the children. Pray that Christians and national governments will rise up to defend, supply needs and take in our persecuted brothers and sisters. (Phil. 4:19)
7 Pray for great strength and wisdom for authorities in surrounding governments to stand strong for fairness and order. Pray that reasonable people would be empowered to protect the oppressed and bring peace. (Prov. 16:7; 1 Tim. 2:2)
8 Pray for American believers to fast and intercede for persecuted believers and missionaries worldwide. Pray that we will support our brethren and the spread of Christ’s Gospel with our very lives and resources. May God grant us the same resolve to stand boldly for Christ in our own land of growing darkness. Pray that we will be bold in our faith, strong in joy, fervent in mission and yearning for Christ’s coming! (2 Cor. 8:1-8; Matt. 5:11-12; Acts 1:8; Rev. 22:20-21)
The urgency of praying for persecuted believers has become so great that the BGCO Office of Prayer has a prayer guide available at www.bgco.org.