This week, our church has been focusing on praying for the persecuted church. Each day we’ve been encouraged to pray with specificity for God’s hand over our oppressed brothers and sisters.
Monday was prayer for Christians around the world imprisoned for their faith. Praying that God would strengthen, protect and encourage them. Tuesday was prayer of God’s protection over pastors and evanglists spreading the gospel message in restricted and hostile nations. Today, we concentrate our prayers for God’s provision and encouragement for families of Christians who have been killed for living out their faith in Jesus.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH
Acts 8 gives us a great model of the strengthening of faith that believers experience when persecution affects them personally. Even when scattered and fleeing, they preached the Good News about Jesus. The Holy Spirit not only ministers in the moment (Acts 7:55-56), He gives power to those that are spared. Pray for the Holy Spirit to use for His glory what Satan meant for evil.
Here are scriptures to pray over the families of the persecuted:
Psalm 115:1 – Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
Job 1:21 – He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
Isaiah 24:16, 23 – 16 We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth, songs that give glory to the Righteous One! But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere. 23 Then the glory of the moon will wane, and the brightness of the sun will fade, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion. He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people.
Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Psalm 23:4 – Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalm 142:5 – Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
Psalm 57:1-3 – Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
Revelation 3:8 – I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.
Matthew 6:11-12 – God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Pray that those that have lost much will be comforted by the promise of God’s blessing. Pray for those that have never faced persecution or loss for the Gospel’s sake, that we will be salt that does not lose its flavor. May we not be trampled underfoot as worthless (Matthew 5:13).