How to Pray for the Persecuted Church Hebrews 13:3 Says to “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” If you were in prison for your faith in Jesus, how often would you remember to pray? Most likely, you would pray every day. That is how we ought to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. But how does one go about praying for persecuted Christians? What should you pray about and how can you stay motivated and focused to do it every day? It is much easier to pray for people when you have an emotional or personal connection with them. When Richard Wurmbrand first came to the United States after having suffered 14 years of torture and imprisonment for his faith in Communist Romania, he had difficulty in getting anyone to listen to or care about his message about the persecuted Church. Many people were skeptics because they had no personal, emotional, or even philosophical acquaintance with modern Christian persecution. Finally, just before Richard gave up and began to search for an audience in another country, some Mennonite Christian communities adopted Richard and his wife Sabina, and the Voice of the Martyrs ministry was born. Why did the Mennonite Church connect with Richard Wurmbrand’s message? Because they too had recently been through persecution and they knew how important it was to encourage others who face the same thing.
When we stand for Christ and experience persecution, it is much easier to pray for the persecuted Church. It is easier to pray for the persecuted Church when you begin to realize that it is not “us” praying for “them”, but rather “us” praying for “us”. There is ever only one Church and she is persecuted. As the apostle Paul said, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12. Still, the kind of persecution that we face in this country is not quite like the persecution that some of our brothers and sisters face. We are not usually threatened with imprisonment in filthy, overcrowded prisons with horrid tortures and death. How do we pray for Christians facing those intense situations? I think one of the main keys to this is hearing their stories. When we listen to their stories, we become emotionally and personally connected with our brothers and sisters and it becomes much, much easier to pray. But it can also make us fearful and angry. But this is okay too, if we know how to use it. If we are made angry and fearful simply by hearing their stories, we can know for sure that our brothers and sisters facing these trials feel the same emotions. Let us pray as though we were in prison with them! Let’s pray for courage, peace and faithfulness. Let’s pray that God will use us to bring many people to Christ. Let’s pray for our enemies, that God would bless them by turning them away from their wicked deeds. Let’s pray for God’s perfect love to drive out all fear. We are in this battle together, so let us pray together!
You can listen to stories from our persecuted brothers and sisters that will keep you in focused prayer by visiting VOM Radio.net