Almost every day there’s another story in the news about Christians being persecuted because of their faith in Christ. Each account seems to be more brutal than the next. Yes, these stories break my heart. But they also call me to prayer.
Are you praying for persecuted believers in the middle east and around the world?
Yesterday, during my morning Bible reading, I came across a passage that makes a powerful prayer for the persecuted. It is part of the story in Acts 3-4 about Peter and John healing a man who had been crippled from birth. The miracle drew a crowd and gave Peter an opportunity to tell the crowd about the One who has the power to heal and to save. He told them about Jesus.
The healing and the preaching got Peter and John arrested. After spending the night in jail they were brought before the Jewish leaders to explain by what power the man was healed. So Peter got to preach again!
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12, NIV
The Jewish leaders felt their hands were tied. The crowd had witnessed the miracle. And the man was running around as proof he had been healed. So they ordered Peter and John not to speak or teach again in the name of Jesus, threatened them with future punishment, and released them. This time.
Immediately they went to meet and pray with the other believers. They raised their voices in prayer. They praised God and asked Him to help them stand firm through future persecution and to continue to work miracles in the name of Jesus.
They knew the persecution would continue and even increase as they obeyed God. They didn’t ask God to remove the persecution. No, instead they asked Him to give them boldness to testify and for God to glorify the name of Jesus in their midst.
Their prayer is a great example for us today. To pray for ourselves and other believers around the world:
- Strength to stand firm
- Boldness to speak out
- Glory for Jesus
Will you pray for yourself and someone else today?
A few other posts you might find helpful: