Prayer, Plain and Simple

Pray for followers of Jesus living in Iraq. On Sunday a 30 year old Christian man was shot to death by gunman. Last week as many as seven churches were bombed. And many experts say that the full scope of the raging religious violence is not known because Christians often do not report assaults for fear of even greater reprisals. These are very trying days for believers in this war-torn nation. Let’s support our brothers and sisters in prayer!

Persecution is nothing new for followers of Jesus. It has been our lot for 2,000 years. But around the world persecution today is worse than it has ever been. For instance, since 2003 and the beginning of the Iraq war nearly 500,000 Christians have been forced into exile. Pakistan, Nigeria, China, and India are also hotspots of physical opposition against believers.

God’s promises are clear. He does not say that we will be immune from suffering for our faith. In fact, we are to expect it. He does promise that he will be with us through the pain. And he encourages us to walk through such sufferings together. Those of us in the West are not there physically with our brothers in sisters. But we can join them in prayer, asking God to comfort, protect, support, and guide them.

Join me in this prayer for all suffering Christians:

Father, you do not promise to take us out of the world or out of suffering. You do promise to be with us always. You offer your strength and wisdom and the power of your Spirit. You, Lord are our guard and shield. Please now be with our fellow Christians in Iraq who today are suffering from hatred and intolerance. Give them strength and provision and supernatural wisdom. And give them grace to extend your love and forgiveness to those who harm them. Lord, protect them by your own presence. In Jesus name…

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