Christian persecution is rising around the world, and many believers are being persecuted, imprisoned, and even killed just because they follow Jesus Christ.
According to Christians in Crisis International Ministry, 43 million Christians have become martyrs with 200 million people facing persecution for being Christians, and 60% of them being children.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” (Hebrews 13:3)
We as the body of Christ can remember these brothers and sisters who are facing persecution by praying for them. We may not have seen them or may not even know their names, but we are joined together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Here are 7 ways in which we can pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ:
1. Pray for them to stand firm on their faith
We can pray to God to help our persecuted brothers and sisters to have the grace to endure trials and suffering for Christ’s sake. Ask God to help them to be persevering in their faith and face trials faithfully rather than giving up their faith in Christ.
The Bible is clear about staying faithful to Christ. It is written in the word of God:
“if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.” (2 Timothy 2:12)
“… the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
Pray that persecuted Christians cling to Christ and follow Him regardless of the heavy price they have to pay. God’s power and faithfulness keeps them secure till the end of their life (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24–25).
“…nothing can separate them from God’s love, not even death” (Romans 8:31–39).
2. Pray for the gospel to be spread
Before his ascension into heaven, Jesus clearly told us that we are to spread the gospel to the unreached ones. We are to pray for those countries and people who have still not received the word of God and should try our best to give them the word, or support missionaries doing so.
“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12)
3. Pray that persecuted Christians can have fellowship with other believers
In countries where Christians are persecuted, the believers are not able to meet openly but have to gather secretly to have fellowship among themselves. Let us pray that these believers experience the blessing of gathering with other Christians for worship, and regular fellowship.
We in western countries take attending the local church for granted most of the time, this is such a blessing to be with one another in fellowship (ex: Romans 12:3–21). We share each other’s joys and help bear each other’s sorrows.
Persecuted Christians need our encouragement and prayer, even as God continues to give them His special grace as they are unable to gather together due to restriction.
4. Pray for wisdom for pastors of persecuted churches
Pastors are responsible for shepherding God’s people and are the main targets of persecution in many countries. During these end times, Satan is doing all he can to stop pastors from proclaiming the gospel and exhorting God’s people to faithfulness.
We must pray for strength for pastors to proclaim the truths of God’s Word regardless of the persecution that they face.