Did you know that just by living as a follower of Christ in the United States, where you suffer little to no persecution for your faith, makes you the MINORITY in the world today? Over 70% of the world’s population today lives in an area of religious oppression (Open Doors USA). Last Sunday, November 3, was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Impact Church took some time to intentionally educate ourselves and pray for our brothers and sisters around the world.
During the service, we shared 3 things to know about the persecuted church and two ways to pray…
What you need to know:
- As the American Church, we are not the norm. Most of the churches around the world suffer hardship and persecution. This should cause us to be more thankful and passionate in our worship of The Lord together.
- Persecution is not just violent or martyrdom. It happens often through extreme discrimination including a loss of jobs and family members. Also, the government often tries to deceive believers with false teachings in response to The Gospel advancing in their society. (Currently, China is working on their own “version of Christianity” including their own translation of the bible, which will spread communist propaganda.)
- We can look to our brothers and sisters being persecuted around the world for encouragement and inspiration. When we look at their dedication, we must ask ourselves – “Where am I at in my relationship with The Lord?” Many of the persecuted Christians around the world, when asked how to pray for them, often request that we pray their faith and The Gospel will increase, not that they necessarily escape the persecution. This is from John 17:15.
Two Ways to pray for our persecuted brothers & sisters around the world:
- Pray for their faith to increase and for strength to face the trials each day. Ask God to give them more faith in Him and perseverance to never give up.
- Pray for the American church. Ask God to wake up the sleeping church and prepare His bride for days of persecution sure to come. Pray personally for yourself – That you would have an unshakeable confidence in Jesus, no matter what.