My last article was about the need and responsibility we have to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted throughout the world. Reports show that some 215 million Christians experience high, very high, or extreme persecution.
The need to pray is real. The reason for prayer is severe. The time to pray is now. But “how to pray” is a question upon many hearts who are willing.
The following comes from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and is extremely helpful in knowing how to pray. Billy Graham once said, “Prayer is the Christian’s greatest weapon.” Please consider the following five points of prayer from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as you battle for your fellow Christian brothers and sisters worldwide.
1. Pray for those in the midst of persecution. (Hebrews 13:3) Global watchdog “Open Doors” reports that 322 Christians are killed every month for their faith while millions more suffer persecution on a routine basis. Please pray that these believers will not only stay committed to the call of Christ but also will respond in love to the evil shown by their aggressors. God’s love will open doors for these believers to share the Gospel even more.
2. Pray for those who are doing the persecuting. (Matthew 5:44) Pray that God would open the eyes and soften the heats of these individuals who bring unfathomable abuse upon Christians. Remember as you pray that God sent His Son for the whole world (John 3:16); He does not want anybody—even these individuals—to perish (2 Peter 3:9).
3. Pray for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted. (Hebrews 4:16) Ask God to comfort families who many times do not receive updates about their loved one and are not allowed to visit, or it’s simply not safe enough to do so. Pray they, too, will remain faithful to the calling God has placed on their lives.
4. Pray that churches would rise up. (Acts 4:23-35) Support from the body of Christ is so critical. Whether we are giving up our time in prayer or our resources in physical support, the church must rally around those suffering for Christ. American Christians also should rattle the door of Washington by writing their elected officials. Remind them the persecution of Christians is a real issue that must be addressed.
5. Pray that world leaders would do all they can to fight this persecution. (Psalm 2:10-11) God makes it clear in His Word that leaders have a responsibility. Pray God would stir their hearts, and they would not only draft but enact the necessary policies and procedures to make a lasting, global difference.