If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:26
The International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is November 4th and 11th. According to Open Doors, Christians remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. Every month,
- 255 Christians are killed
- 104 are abducted
- 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage
- 66 churches are attacked
- 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned
Due to various reasons our brothers and sisters all over the world are experiencing oppression and living in fear. There are no easy answers to why God allows his followers to suffer, but we do know that God is in control. God hears our prayers and God is good. There is something about hardship that allows us to know God deeply. When we walk through times of heartache and persecution, we discover more about who God is and how he works.
Today we pray that God would give courage, peace, and even joy to persecuted Christians to stand strong amidst suffering. We pray Hebrews 13:3, to remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since we also are in the body. Break our hearts for those in oppression. Help us discover ways to empower and support the weak. Lord, deliver our brothers and sisters from the hand of the enemy and let your sovereign power be known. You have unique and powerful purposes for both the free and persecuted church – we pray for perseverance in seeing those purposes through.