“So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.”
– Jeremiah 38:6
This is a picture that’s very similar to what we prayed according to in Jeremiah 37, as he was put in prison there for proclaiming God’s Word. Here, he’s cast into a cistern with no water but only mud. We see this picture of him sinking in a muddy cistern for proclaiming God’s Word.
Jeremiah 38:6 Gives Us a Picture of Suffering for God’s Word
When we were praying according to Jeremiah 37, we prayed for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. As I was reading Jeremiah 38 today and came across this verse, I thought again about some of the specific instances that I referenced more generally in the podcast episode yesterday of persecuted brothers and sisters that I know, stories that I know of Radical workers.
Urgent workers who are in persecuted areas who are right now, while they not may not be in literal cisterns sinking in the mud, but they have been thrown into prison, and the intent of their persecutors is for them to languish there. I think about work that we have going on in North Korea, where we have brothers and sisters right now who have been put in prisons, in camps, where they are intended to languish until they die because they are followers of Jesus.
Serving, Supporting and Praying for Urgent Workers
I think of two other circumstances. And you can find out more about how you can be involved even in serving, supporting, and praying for these brothers and sisters by going to urgentneeds.org.
One in a country in Central Asia and one in a country in North Africa, where there are two brothers in Christ. Specifically, one in each of those places, who have been falsely accused and imprisoned. The accusations against them are horrible. The people who are making these accusations, their only aim is to smear these brothers in Christ.
Jeremiah 38:6 Gives Us a Picture of Faithful Witness in Prison
The governments there are friendly to any accusation against Christians, and it’s completely unjust where they are. They have been sent to prison in hopes that they would languish there. They have family outside that are pleading and working for their good, but there are significant obstacles to getting them out of prison.
I think of one other story coming in my mind now of a brother who was put into prison for proclaiming the gospel. I’ll just share the way this story played out. This brother was faithful in proclaiming the gospel in prison, to the point where people started coming to know Jesus in prison. His captors decided they didn’t want him in the prison anymore. And so they kicked him out of the prison because he was leading people to Jesus in ways that they were not happy with.
Praying for the Release of Those Imprisoned for the Gospel
You put all this together. We always have brothers and sisters who are in situations like Jeremiah was in. I just wanted to share those specific stories and invite us to pray specifically, not even just generally for persecuted brothers and sisters, but specifically for these brothers and sisters and these stories.
God, we pray together right now, all of us in this moment who are listening to this in the different places where we are. We lift our hearts to you and pray. We plead for these brothers specifically who are in prison. God, we pray for their release. God, we pray that you would bring them out. We pray that you would help them to hold fast to faith in you as they have been put in places to languish.
Jeremiah 38:6 Leads Us to Pray for Urgent Workers
God, we pray for their strength. We pray for their hope. We pray for their joy. And we pray for their peace. We pray for their comfort.
God, we pray for wives and children who’ve seen this happen to their husbands, their dads. We pray for their faith, for their strength, for their peace, for their comfort, for their hope, for their joy, God, for your provision for everything they need, especially when in, I know a couple of these settings, these are the men who provide for their homes, and their provider is not there. God, we pray that you would provide an extra measure of grace for these families.
Exalt the Lord Among the Nations
God, we pray, be exalted. God, we pray, show yourself strong on their behalf and cause the Gospel to spread through them in the middle of unjust accusations and imprisonment. Cause life to come where others intend to see languishing and death. God, we pray that you would bring life. God, we pray that you would enable them to live. And to spread life in camps in North Korea. In prisons in Central Asia and North Africa.
Even as I’m praying now, I think of other stories in West Africa. God, we know that we have brothers and sisters who are in situations like this. And we want to be faithful to intercede for them. Hear our cries for them now, we pray. Strengthen them. Help them. Uphold them with your righteous right hand. Just like you did Jeremiah when he was sinking in the mud in Jeremiah 38:6. In Jesus’ name, we pray, according to your Word. Amen.