In this episode of Pray the Word on Esther 3:13, David Platt leads Christians to pray for persecuted believers around the world in places like Afghanistan.
“Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with instructions to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the 13th day of the 12th month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.”
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine being a Jew at this moment and hearing that letters have been sent everywhere throughout all the king’s provinces with instructions to destroy, to kill, to annihilate all Jews? No matter how old or young, men, women, children, all of them on one day,
Esther 3:13 Reminds Us of Persecuted Believers
I can’t imagine all the thoughts and all the emotions that might go through my mind. That I might then be processing with my wife, with my kids, with everyone else in our community, every other Jewish man, woman, child, all processing.
It’s been decreed by the king to kill all of us, to destroy all of us. The word is to annihilate all of us, and all the questions that would lead to before God. And hopefully, ultimately, a crying out to God: “God, please help us,” in desperation for God’s provision.
I know that most everybody listening to this right now is not in that kind of situation. I do think about persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. I think about some of our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, for example, who are facing similar things to this right now. Or North Korea, just places where it’s been pronounced: destroy Christians, kill Christians. There are places like that in the world. I want to lead us to pray for our brothers and sisters there.
Esther 3:13 Comforts Those Who Are Hurting
At the same time, I want to pray for others who have gotten news recently that has just rocked you. Whether it was news from a doctor’s appointment, or news that someone has told you about themselves, who’s in your family or close friend or in your church that just rocked you, and brought you to a place of confusion, question, maybe fear, anxiety, in all of this.
I just want to lead you and us to pray in desperation for God’s provision, which is what we need to do in moments like this. Not to turn away from God, but to turn to God.
Praying for Those Who Have Received Difficult News
And so we pray, God, I pray for those who have gotten news from a doctor’s appointment in their lives; news from others that affects them, maybe even threatens their life: a cancer or a tumor, whatever it might be.
Oh God, God, I pray for your help for them. I should pray for your provision over them. For your provision of faith and strength and comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding that you would keep them from worry and anxiety.
Esther 3:13 Helps Us Trust in Him
You would help them to trust in you, and pray Isaiah 26 over them. That you would keep them in perfect peace, whose mind has stayed on you because he/she trusts in you. God, to help them to trust in you and God, we pray for your provision. We pray for your help in every way they need.
Praying for Persecuted Believers to Be Strengthened
And God, we pray all these things over our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan and North Korea and other parts of the world. God, please help them, strengthen them. Give them peace in the middle of threats against them. We pray for steadfast faith in them, for your steadfast love over them to be made known in even deeper ways during these days. God, we pray for that, for all who are walking through times like this.
And God, even in this, we pray for unreached people in the world, like the Northern Thai of Thailand, eight million of them, God, who right now are walking through all kinds of things in this world, and challenges in this world. But they’re doing it without the gospel, without the good news of your love in Jesus. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to them.
Esther 3:13 Leads Us to Praise God for the Gospel
Even as we praise you for the gospel in our lives, the gospel that reminds us that no matter what this world brings our way, no matter what diagnosis we receive, no matter what threat comes our way, no matter what imprisonment or death we face, that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
All glory be to your name, Lord Jesus for the life you’ve given to us, for the joy and peace and strength you’ve made possible for us, no matter what this world brings.
Praying for Those Who Are Persecuted
God, I just pray that over every suffering sister or brother listening to this right now. For suffering sisters and brothers who don’t have any access to any kind of spiritual encouragement through a podcast like this, in places like Afghanistan and North Korea.
God, we pray for the preciousness of the gospel to be all the more real in their hearts during these days. Even as we pray oh God for the spread of this gospel and the world, to the nations, to people who are hurting all over the world.
God, we pray for the good news of your love to reach them. We pray all of this in Jesus’ name, according to Esther 3:13. Amen.
View the 2022 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.