First I talked with Sarah (not her real name). Sarah’s husband was in prison for speaking the truth about Jesus. He and others were sentenced to five years in prison. It was appealed, but in the meantime, Sarah and her two children waited.
A stray tear rolled down her cheek as she told me that they were proud of their husband/father, but they miss him terribly. They were proud that he was sharing in the Lord’s suffering and telling others about Him. They were determined to keep their faith strong and continue to serve God. They were demonstrating real courage.
Then I met with Julia (not her real name). She too shed tears as we talked. She and her two children also missed their husband/father. He was murdered for speaking boldly about Jesus. They didn’t understand why this happened. The pain was humanly unbearable. But they knew he was a brave man who loved God. Julia was determined to continue in ministry—to honor her husband and to honor her Lord. Courage is a word that applies to her also.
My good friend Karen (not her real name) has spent most of her working life traveling to the places where believers are persecuted to tell their stories. She exposes place after place, situation after situation, where Christ followers are arrested, tortured, discriminated against, even killed. I marvel that she is still alive. You can read these stories at www.compassdirect.org.
Please join me today–the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church–and every day in bringing these sisters and brothers before the Lord. Their faith in Christ matters enough to them that they say, “Today I am prepared to die for Christ.” Can we stand beside them on our knees?
Here is a great article to encourage your prayers, including a list of ways to pray: Praying for Persecuted Brothers and Sisters.