Right now 200 million people, 60 percent of whom are children, face persecution for believing in Jesus, according to Christians in Crisis International Ministry, a prayer advocacy ministry for persecuted believers.
November 6 and 13, 2016, have been designated as International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Over the next few weeks, please remember to pray for believers throughout the world who are suffering violence, oppression, displacement, and family rejection because of their faith.
Because the New Testament was written to persecuted believers, it is filled with examples of how to pray for our brothers and sisters under attack. Here are five examples from Ephesians on how to intercede for persecuted believers:
- That they would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:18).
- That the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Ephesians 3:16).
- That those under attack would know how much God loves them (Ephesians 3:17).
- That they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
- That they would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).
For additional ways to pray from Scripture, select any book from the New Testament (other than the gospels) and search for verses containing the word “pray.” Then use those verses to intercede for those suffering for their faith.
Along with these scriptural prayers, here are some practical prayer needs of persecuted Christians:
- For their safety and protection from those intent on inflicting harm
- That they would have access to a Bible
- That they have the courage to remain in their homeland
- That those who have been rejected by family and friends would be embraced by a new Christian “family” that loves and supports them emotionally and physically
- That God will comfort and protect women who are socially vulnerable or have lost the custody of their children because of their faith
- That God would provide employment and safe places to live
Adapted from How to Pray for the Persecuted Church by Evangeline Vergo. Reposted with permission, Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU).