Daily Devotional 2-4-17

A Prayer for the Persecuted Church

” If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Dear Father, who sent Your Son into a world held hostage in sin by the devil; and who, through Jesus our Lord, his virgin birth, miraculous life, sacrificial death on the cross, glorious resurrection, eye-witnessed ascension, heavenly enthronement, and present reign, brought light and life to the ends of the earth, giving eternal life and abundant life, grant that those who are held in the bondage of persecution, this day, may be anointed for this holy ministry, and therefore, may be strengthened in their suffering, may be freed from their imprisonment, may find relief from their wounds, and may be sanctified in their suffering; and that we, their brothers and sisters, who know peace, will be disturbed for their condition, and that until their warfare has ceased, we will be resolved to pray until there is a visible response from heaven; and that in persecution, as well as in prayer, the sovereign grace of Christ Jesus our Lord will transform their night into day, their pain into providence, their injustices into righteousness, and, following the ruling motif of the cross in the Gospel, move the good ship of the Gospel forward, so that the things that have sought to destroy us become, in the hands of a glorious God, the very things that come to save us, and the winds that rose to destroy our little boat become the fair breezes that filled our sails and guided us home to You. This prayer for Your persecuted Church we offer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“What is Christian Persecution?

Christian persecution is any hostility experienced from the world as a result of one’s identification as a Christian.  From verbal harassment to hostile feelings, attitudes and actions, Christians in areas with severe religious restrictions pay a heavy price for their faith.   Beatings, physical torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe punishment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death are just a few examples of the persecution they experience on a daily basis.

According to The Pew Research Center, over 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions (and many of these people are Christians).  Also, according to the United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.” [Source: Open Doors USA]