5 reasons how/why to pray for the persecuted church
By Kyle Patterson
Today, The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians begins providing a platform and a voice to hear the stories, share the pain, and believe in prayer for God’s intervention in our world today.
With an estimated 90,000 people martyred for their faith every single year, I thought it would be more than appropriate to list a few reasons why and/or how we can be praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.
We're brothers and sisters.
In a very real way, linked by the blood and body of our Lord Jesus, persecuted believers are our brothers and sisters. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3.
Christ died for us.
Because of Jesus and his image in their lives, they have incredible value to God and therefore matter significantly to the greater body of Christ. They were literally worth in God’s sight the blood of his Son. As such, let us be diligent to pray for their deliverance and protection.
Paul didn’t focus on praying for better circumstances, he prayed for deeper knowledge and revelation from Christ to overcome and endure them, knowing they had a much better and lasting reward in eternity. Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear from the Spirit of the Lord for our brothers and sisters. “Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” Ephesians 1:18-19.
Whatever you do to the least, we do to Christ.
When we serve and pray for the persecuted church, we are serving and loving Jesus himself. When Jesus confronted Saul on the road to Damascus, Jesus asked Paul why he was persecuting him. Jesus identifies fully with his bride, the church.
God hears the prayers of his people.
The church was praying diligently for Peter when he was on death row and an angel of God showed up and set him free. (Acts 12:3–19). God in a very real way works through the prayers of his people. As God’s vice-regents we are his hands and feet in the earth. "God does nothing except in response to believing prayer." - John Wesley