“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.”
As we pray each day during this pandemic for different prayer requests that people are sending in at radical.net/prayerrequests that deal with this pandemic, it’s been sobering, I hope encouraging, to pray for the specific needs and specific people’s lives, knowing that each individual that sends a prayer request in represents in so many ways so many different people struggling with similar things. Today, though, I want us to pray for people who likely are not listening to this podcast and would not be able then, and in most cases would not be able to send something in, even if they were.
Let’s remember Christians throughout the world who are in chains and are persecuted because of their faith in Jesus.
So I want us to pray specifically, in light of Psalm 129, for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. I think about brothers and sisters in Christ we have in North Korea, in Somalia, in Yemen, in Afghanistan, in places in the world where there’s little access to resources like Pray the Word, where there might even be government or other restrictions that keep Christians from ever being exposed to a resource like this.
And I, I just want to lead us to pray, as I read Psalm 129 about the affliction that is coming to the psalmist and really persecution and harm that is being done toward the psalmist and how that has been the case for a long time. And the Psalmist says, “Greatly, have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.” And I just want to lead us to pray on behalf of those who are experiencing affliction and attack. So on top of affliction associated with a global pandemic, that there is additional affliction being put upon those who have faith in Christ by their government or by their family and friends around them.
So God, we pray right now for our brothers and sisters in Christ, for men and women. God, I think about brothers and sisters isolated in Somalia, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, throughout the Middle East, where if, when they speak about the gospel, it could cost them their lives. It could cost them their jobs, not because of a struggling economy, but because of their faith in you. And God, this pandemic is obviously hitting all kinds of different people in all kinds of different ways all around the world. But we pray, we intercede right now on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters. God, we pray that they would know you are with them. We pray that they would know your strength, they would have your peace, that they would experience your joy. God, we just pray right now for those brothers and sisters in those imprisoned camps in North Korea. God, please may they know your peace and your strength and your joy.
God for our brothers and sisters who we don’t even know where they are right now, but God, you know them, you see them. God, we pray that amidst their affliction, they would know that you are with them and that you are the prevailer, that those who afflict and persecute them will not ultimately prevail against them. And God, we pray to you, strengthen, protect, guard, defend their faith during these days. We pray that just like we see in the New Testament, you would give them boldness during these days to make the gospel known, even at great cost. And God, we pray, just like you did in Paul’s life, God, we pray that you would bring persecutors to know you through those they are persecuting. God, please do it. God, we pray for your salvation among persecutors today. Among those who are doing the afflicting, may they have their hearts totally transformed by your grace.
God, we ask for that. We ask knowing you can do that. Would you do that today? Would you bring about like a Saul-like conversion today? We’re asking for that right now, God. Oh, God. How we would love to get to heaven one day and meet someone who was persecuting Christians, who on this day was saved and was turned into a proclaimer of the gospel. God, please may it be so.
We pray. We pray today and we pray that you would help us to pray continually for our brothers and sisters, our family, who is in prison, in chains, in pressure, in suffering for their faith, because of their faith. Please help uphold them with your righteous right hand. Help us to know how best to help them. Please use, even URGENT, this new initiative in Radical. God, use us please. As we work together across churches to come alongside our brothers and sisters on the front lines of the most urgent, spiritual and physical need, God, please, please, please use us to make your grace and your glory known in those places alongside our brothers and sisters who are giving their lives, risking their lives every day to make your love and glory known. We pray together for our family around the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.