This morning, I had a breakfast meeting with a friend. We talked about our lives at work, as husbands and as fathers. We also talked about what God was doing in our lives. There is stress that we are dealing with and we want to be present with our families while doing our best work. It was a great meeting as we committed to pray for each other and got into our cars before the sun came up.
And then I got to the office and read three stories from this past week of worldwide persecution from Voice of the Martyrs.
In Uganda: After “Abdul” and his family came to Christ in a predominantly Muslim area of Uganda, they faced persecution from villagers and Muslim leaders. Local leaders came to his defense, and for the most part, the harassment ended. However, still fearful that they are being watched, Abdul and his family decided to be baptized in another village.
In India: Four Indian Christians are suffering from acute injuries after they were attacked by a Hindu mob. Christians were worshipping together with a local house church on Oct. 20 as celebrations for a Hindu festival commemorating the victories of Hindu gods over their adversaries were going on outside. A mob formed outside the home and began beating the Christians.
In Indonesia: A mob of angry Muslims attacked a church in Aceh province on Oct. 13, and authorities responded by demolishing more churches. The violence, which left one person dead and displaced thousands of Christians, began after local authorities rejected the demands by Muslim hardliners to close all 22 churches in Aceh Singkil. At a meeting on Oct. 12, community leaders agreed to close 10 unregistered churches, but the church attacked the next day by an estimated mob of 700 was not one of those slated to be shuttered.
And that was a reality check…
Everything that had happened this morning was good stuff. God’s people should be meeting together to share life, talk about what Jesus is doing in our lives and commit to pray. But, the cost is very different in other parts of the world. This morning, the only cost was my time and $9.91. For a believer in Uganda, India or Indonesia, that same meeting might cost them their life.
So what do we do? Wallow in guilt? Nothing? I think the best thing we can do is hold up our brothers and sisters in prayer to the one who has all power.
So here are 5 Ways to Pray from Ephesians by CRU:
- Please pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:18).
- Pray the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Ephesians 3:16).
- Please pray persecuted believers would know how much God loves them (Ephesians 3:17)
- Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
- Please pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).