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My Heart-Wrench for the Persecuted

01/05/2017

This morning as usual I woke up early and met with God, thanking Him and praising Him for the gift of Jesus and the gift of His grace, that one  such as me, could be grafted into His family.  What an honor!  What a privilege!  My heart, the core of myself, is so filled with gratitude that I can feel it in a way that I cannot describe.  Maybe you understand what I mean.  Thanks just has to come out, and so it erupts from the center of my being.  Thank you Father.  Thank you Jesus.  Thank you Holy Spirit.  Our Trinity God, 3 in 1.  Amen

All that being said, as I moved into prayer I could not help thinking about the persecuted Christians around the world.  I was drawn deeply into prayer for our brothers and sisters who are suffering pain, fear, homelessness, loss of loved ones, hunger, thirst, cold, and loss of all their possessions.  I prayed and I prayed, naming countries, and praying for the Christians and Jews and even for those who will become Christians, and as I did so I realized that there are very few countries where Christians are not being persecuted at some level, the United States and Canada come to mind.  Even Europe is beginning to see persecution, not at the level of the Middle East, Africa, N. Korea, China, India, and so many other countries, but persecution is on the increase there.

This then led me to the thought, “the strong must support the weak,” followed by the questions, “What can we do? What can I do?”  Oh Christians in the US are certainly mocked by many people, but we are not persecuted, and we have brothers and sisters who are suffering at levels we would find hard to believe.

In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12)

My eyes were opened wide as I read Charles Morris and Craig Borlase’s book, Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus, which is a book about the strength of the Christian faith in the Middle East despite of, or ever maybe because of, persecution.  In the book I read first hand accounts of people from several of the countries that we read about in the news every day, countries where Christians as being beheaded and crucified, and where women and girls at very young ages are being raped continually by many men.  Yet their faith holds!  It is amazing.  It can only be through Jesus, himself, that these precious people can face each moment of their days.

Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. (John 15:20)

“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Jesus final words in the book of Matthew (chapter 28, verse 20b)

God and son2

And so, I realize what I can do best is to continue to pray for these members of our Christian family, as well as for the Jews.  But I also need to pray for their tormentors, that Jesus will continue to reach them through visions and dreams, and that their hearts will be transformed from hearts of pure evil to hearts that serve our glorious King, Jesus.

For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism: I persecuted God’s church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it.  (Gal 1:13)

He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy. (speaking of Paul in Gal 1:23)

Will you join me in prayer?

Holy and Almighty God,  I can only feel a drop of your intense love for these people, both your children and their persecutors, and yet what I can feel is strong.  I know you love the sinner, no matter how great their sin, and long for them to turn to you for forgiveness and the grace of salvation through your son, Jesus.  Please hear our prayers as we pray that your Holy Spirit will fall with power over the Middle East, Africa, China, N. Korea, India, Vietnam, Philippines, and all other places where persecution of Christians and Jews persists. Let thousands and thousands of hearts be changed, Almighty God.

Jesus, savior of the world, forgive me for every moment that I forget about my hurting brothers and sisters.  I lift them up to you today.  Please fill them with the strength they need to get through this day.  Fill them with a strong sense of your presence in the midst of their fears.  Ease the pain of grief  their carry.  As the families lose all of their belongings, their is shame that fills the hearts of the men, especially.  I am not sure what it will take, if not a miracle from you, Jesus, but release them from these feelings of shame.  Let them have joy and love in the midst of their trials, and for those who are in the process of torture, give them supernatural strength and peace.  Hold them strong, Lord Jesus.  Hold on to them just as you have promised.

Thank you for hearing our prayers.  In your holy name, Jesus, we pray. Amen

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