Sunday, November 3rd, is set aside as a global effort to unite Christians in prayer for persecuted believers around the world. Eastwood Baptist Church is joining in this prayer emphasis on November 3rd. At 6pm that evening, we will have a special prayer service to unite our voices for the persecuted believers around the world.
This articles contains quotes and links from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) http://persecution.com and http://idop.org/web/ (encouraging Christians to pray on November 10th also) as well as other organizations.
Key Bible Verses
Some key Bible verses exhort us to pray for those who are suffering for their faith. Here are a few to meditate on:
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV)
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26 (NKJV)
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9–14 (NKJV)
Sang-Chul: North Korea
Since we in the West have not suffered much for our faith, it is hard to identify with what is happening around the world. Becoming informed, reading the stories, and praying can increase our burden. Watch this video from Voice of the Martyrs about North Korea.
Restricted Nations and Hostile Areas
What does persecution look like in our world? How is it described? Here are two categories from VOM https://www.persecution.com/about/
This includes countries where government-sanctioned circumstances or anti-Christian laws lead to Christians being harassed, imprisoned, killed or deprived of possessions or liberties because of their witness. Also included are countries where government policy or practice prevents Christians from obtaining Bibles or other Christian literature.
This includes nations or large areas of nations where governments consistently attempt to provide protection for the Christian population but where Christians are routinely persecuted by family, friends, neighbors or political groups because of their witness.
When followers of Jesus are persecuted, their needs become urgent, critical, dire. Families lose loved ones, a family member may be imprisoned, they can lose their home or been forced to relocate. The Bible says, “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” Titus 3:14 (NKJV)
Imagine losing your house, all your property, and being forced to relocate to another area. Add to that, zero resources, or money to start all over. Perhaps the wage earner was killed too. You, your children, are frightened, hungry, and losing hope. The next time you see the images from Syria, Iraq, or the Middle East on TV, remember that these are real people. Many are our family in Christ.
How You Can Help
Some of the ways we can help is by giving to front line organizations that provide assistance and immediate help. Here are a few links if you believe God is leading you to give:
Voice of the Martyrs
VOM provides physical, tangible help and Bibles to persecuted believers throughout the world. https://www.persecution.com/donate/
Open Doors gives Bibles, Training, and Practical Support. https://www.opendoorsusa.org/
Faith Alliance Mission
Faith Alliance Mission is currently helping in the humanitarian crisis in Syria and other parts of the world. https://www.faimission.org/donate
Wycliffe is translating the Bible in areas where people don’t have even one verse of Scripture. Many translators are at risk of persecution and death for their work. https://www.wycliffe.org/donate
Prayer is the greatest way we can stand with our brothers and sisters around the world. In the first century, the Christians did not have a Bible, no instant method of communication, no audio Bibles, or tools that we have today. But they turned the world upside down; they prayed, shared Jesus, and the gospel spread during times of extreme persecution.
Here are some ways you can pray from VOM each day for followers of Jesus around the world from https://www.icommittopray.com/.
Ten Ways to Pray for Persecuted Our Family (VOM)
- Sense God’s presence (Heb. 13:5)
- Know we are praying for them (2 Tim. 1:3)
- Experience God’s comfort (2 Thess. 2:16–17)
- See God open doors to evangelism (Col. 4:3)
- Boldly share the gospel (Acts 4:29)
- Mature in their faith (Col. 1:28–29)
- Be granted wisdom in covert ministry work (Acts 9:23–25)
- Remain joyful amid suffering (Acts 5:41)
- Forgive and love their persecutors (Matt. 5:44)
- Be rooted in God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17)
Check out The 50 most dangerous places to follow Jesus at https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/
If you can join us at Eastwood Baptist Church to pray on November 3rd, we would love to see you at 6:00pm!
Pastor Gordon Small