There’s no denying that as Christians living in the U.S. many of our freedoms are being squeezed. We don’t fear for our safety yet, but recent Supreme Court decisions, along with the general direction of the culture, have already been costly for believers in certain professions. We are getting more used to opposition. But we still have reasons to give thanks.
Give Thanks for God’s Blessings
Still, the freedoms we enjoy in this country are still quite remarkable. We can still gather freely with other Christians to confess Christ as Lord, and while our public witness is continually under fire, there are still many opportunities to bear witness to the gospel and the truths of God’s Word. Thanksgiving provides us with another opportunity to express our gratefulness to God for these blessings.
At the same time, this time of year should be a reminder that not everyone has these freedoms.
Many Christians and non-Christians around the world live under corrupt governments that restrict basic freedoms, or in some cases, these governments are downright oppressive. As followers of Christ, we should care about all forms of oppression because we serve a God of justice (Psalm 9:7). However, we have a particular responsibility (and privilege) of praying for fellow believers who are experiencing persecution. Thanksgiving shouldn’t make us feel guilty, but it should remind us to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Pray for those Facing Persecution
We should pray that God would . . .
1. Preserve the faith of those who are tempted to deny Christ (Jude 1:24)
2. Protect the lives and families of those who experience physical persecution (Psalm 59:1)
3. Provide for those who face economic hardship due to their faith (Matthew 6:25-34)
4. Prevent governmental and cultural attempts to silence the gospel and harm believers (Psalm 10:13-15)
For more information on persecuted Christians and how you can pray for them, visit Open Doors.