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Praying for my family, the persecuted church

How praying for persecuted Christians draws us into one family.

When I think of persecuted Christians, I tend to think of people in isolation.

In prison.

At work.

In families.

So many of those who have chosen to follow Jesus have chosen to do so at the cost of something else – community. Whether they love Jesus in secret because they are aware of the potential retribution of family and neighbours who are against their conversion, or whether their faith is so well-known that they have been imprisoned in solitary confinement, many members of our Christian family experience extreme isolation. For me, as a person, like us all, who has been built for relationship, the thought of being unable to share the core of my being with those around me, or being cut off from human contact, sends a shiver down my spine.

So, when I pray for persecuted Christians, I tend to pray for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

For peace.

For comfort.

For companionship.

We’re heading towards the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the persecuted church, which takes place this Sunday, 18 November. Once again, Christians around the world will lift their sisters and brothers before God in prayer. We at the Evangelical Alliance will be taking part, and I want to invite you to join us. Find out how you can do that. I also encourage you to read about recent developments in the case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who was recently released from death row in her home country after nine years imprisonment on blasphemy charges. 

It is a mighty thing to be seen by Almighty God, the Lord of lords, the King of kings. To know that you are not alone, that the Prince of Peace hems you in, going before you and behind you. To know that you are loved with the purest love.

It is of great comfort to me to call on the Holy Spirit to intervene in the hearts of my Christian family. To know that the God of all creation is fully aware of every one of His children, even the ones hidden away in isolation, moves me deeply. I can call on His mercy and ask that He meet with the lonely. I can call on His comfort and ask Him to wipe away every tear. I can call on His grace and ask for His sustenance.

It is a mighty thing to be seen by Almighty God, the Lord of lords, the King of kings. It is a mighty thing to be seen by Him whoever and wherever you are. But imagine what it must be like to know that you are seen by the Lord of Hosts in your underground prison cell, or in the quiet of the morning before the family rises. To know that you are not alone, that the Prince of Peace hems you in, going before you and behind you. To know that you are loved with the purest love.

As a family of believers, we get to be a part of this seeing. We can, and should, pray every day for our brothers and sisters around the world, whose experience of following Jesus isn’t as comfortable as ours. Every time we pray for them, we draw them into our community, and we step into theirs. Every time we offer them up to our Father, we remember that we are family, adopted together by the same blood of Jesus.

I live in continual faith that the Lord hears my prayers and that His Holy Spirit does the work He promised: to be a friend, a helper, a counsellor to the weak, to the lowly, to the broken. On Sunday, once again, I will ask God to meet with the lonely and isolated, to breathe new strength to weary spirits, to remind my hidden family that they are seen, that they are loved, that they are treasured – and not just by the God of Heaven, but by me too.

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:15 – 17

Read the Religious Liberty Commission’s statement on the release and safety of Asia Bibi.

About the author

Alexandra has been at the Evangelical Alliance since 2015. Previously she worked for Alliance member Release International. Alexandra has a masters degree in Democracy and Democratisation from University College London and spent time with the Baptist Missionary Society in Kosovo. Alexandra is part of the leadership team at her church.

See more from Alexandra Davis

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