This past week, stories of persecuted believers filled social media. As I read still another tragic account, the need to pray overwhelmed me. Yet, I felt so inadequate about how and what to pray for Christians in Iraq.
Recently, God has been shifting my perspective on Christian persecution. I know from His Word that He works in it and through it in a unique way and uses it to expand the Kingdom. Prayers solely for the persecution to end did not seem adequate.
So I asked God to show me. “Lord, how do I pray for your people enduring great suffering for the name of Christ?”
Then the Holy Spirit prompted me to look up passages in God’s Word about sharing in the sufferings of Christ. For that is what our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria and other parts of the globe are doing.
These passages give us some direction, some catalyst for our prayers. The following are 10 things I pulled right out of Scripture we can pray for these dear, suffering believers:
- That they would experience the overflowing comfort of Christ through the very real and abundant presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
- For their lives to produce patient endurance (2 Corinthians 1:6-8).
- That they would learn to rely totally on God (2 Corinthians 1:9)
- That God would help them maintain an eternal perspective, keeping Christ above all earthly things (Philippians 3:7-9).
- That they would know Christ deeply and intimately (Philippians 3:10).
- That Christ’s resurrection power would flood their lives (Philippians 3:10).
- That their suffering for Christ would be a clear, strong testimony to Christ, bringing Him glory (1 Peter 3:15-16).
- That they would experience overwhelming join as they participate in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:12-14).
- That their hearts would swell with praise for God (1 Peter 4:16).
- For their ultimate deliverance and glory in Christ (Romans 8:17-18).
Join me in praying for believers around the world who are being persecuted because of Christ!
How have you been led to pray? Voice a prayer in the comments below.