Praying for the Persecuted

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

The Apostle Paul was very familiar with persecution. Everywhere he went in what is today Turkey, Greece, and Israel, he ran into people who were trying to stop the spread of the Gospel message of Jesus. The interesting thing about Paul is that before Jesus transformed his life he was the one who was trying to persecute and kill the followers of Jesus.

In this passage of scripture Paul realizes that following Jesus will usually bring about some form of persecution. For many of us in the U.S. it is hard to imagine what Paul or some others in the world today suffer for their simple proclamation of faith.

I have recently read of Christians in Syria being persecuted during the ongoing civil war there. In fact, one town that is heavily Christian and still speaks the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke has recently been attacked time and time again by both sides in the conflict.

I have heard about numerous Christians in Nigeria that continue to have their churches burned and houses raided. Many Christians in Iraq have fled since the U.S. invasion because of being persecuted for their faith. Some in Iran continue to be imprisoned for their faith in Christ.

At times it seems like there is little we can do when radical governments and other radical groups choose to persecute people because they disagree with their beliefs. It is probably hard for us to truly understand what some of these Christians deal with on a daily basis.

But we can pray! We can pray for their release, their stamina, their courage, and their deliverance from what we often take for granted in parts of the world that have freedom from these kind of things. Let’s pray together that the Lord will protect them, but most of all that they will remain strong in their faith. Someday we will all be free from the evil and persecution of this world.

Make it personal: Go online or to youtube this week to read and watch stories about how some people around the world are being persecuted for their faith. Stories about this are easy to find and will encourage you to be a prayer warrior for many people around the world.

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church