PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us:
Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
For the last 20 years, the first and second Sundays of November have been designated as “International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”
The necessity of focusing on praying for our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Christ is apparent when we grasp that the majority of Christians are ignorant of the brutal persecution fellow Believers suffer for the cause of Christ.
In our text for the day taken from the New Testament, we are plainly admonished,
“Remember the prisoners [persecuted Christians] as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also” (Heb. 13:3).
Yet, at a conference a few years ago, the director of a Christian organization bluntly confided to me that, “talking about the persecuted church is a bit of a downer for me. I just don’t want to hear about it; and, I don’t think Christians want to hear about it.”
Do we need to remind ourselves that for no other reason, Christians should stand as a voice of solidarity with the persecuted church because they are brothers and sisters in Christ?
Amazingly, Christians in the Western world seem blindly unaware and woefully unaffected by 21st century persecution of people of biblical faith who have endured unspeakable torture, crucifixion and beheading. Churches have been burned to the ground. Entire Christian villages were massacred and hundreds of young women taken captive as sex slaves.
The facts are accessible for any willing to take the time to investigate.
Today, at a minimum, recognize the threat of persecution that millions of Christians face is not limited to one or two days a year; it’s a 24/7 reality.
Don’t let this day pass without making a commitment to daily pray for the persecuted church. The apostle Paul reminds, “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it . . .” (1 Cor.12:26).
1) DETAIL: Grace. Used as a visual reminder to pray for the persecuted church, this iconic image was established as the state photograph by the Minnesota State Legislature in 2002. By Eric Enstrom [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via contact form. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.