“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of
prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
Did you hear? A young man is about to be beheaded in the Middle East! A few years ago, he was preparing to attend college but was taken prisoner, charged with participating in political protests. Just recently he was sentenced and transferred to the prison where executions are routine for violations against the strict government of his country!
Am I shocked? At first, yes. I am really saddened. As my tears fall, this young man’s plight reminds me of those in similar situations for a different reason—their faith in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
This is the arena where Scripture is being translated into the local languages and the gospel is being shared. Believers, Bible translators, young and old, are being imprisoned and killed.
God’s Word is living and even thriving in the Middle East. The gospel is not imprisoned. It is the truth. The truth sets people free! The gospel is not defeated!
God’s Word tells us exactly what you and I must do when we are reminded of the needs of the persecuted church.
Pray. Let’s pray for the persecuted church, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and Bible translators who desperately want God’s Word in their own heart languages for their loved ones.
Following are some Scripture verses to help guide our prayers for all those facing persecution for Jesus’ sake:
Pray for national Bible translators, that God will give them wisdom, strength, and safety in their critically important work.
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
Pray for those wrongly imprisoned for their faith, that they will be exonerated and set free and that God will use them mightily as witnesses for Christ even in prison.
“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 (NIV)
Pray for those under house arrest, that they will be released from the agony of legal limbo and that God will provide for their needs.
“As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.” Zechariah 9:11 (NIV)
Pray for the persecutors, that God will speak to their hearts and lead them to the truth of His love through Christ Jesus.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-44 (NIV)
Pray that God will speak through His newly-translated Word to the lost all across the world.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (NIV)
Pray that God will speak to the hearts of friends like you, to give generously toward the work of Bible translation.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)
As we go through the days and weeks ahead, let’s allow the news we see and hear to remind us of the thousands, even millions, around the world facing awful persecution for their precious faith in Jesus Christ.
Praying with you,