Needed: Fervent Prayer for Persecuted Christians!

This morning as I was having my time of “coffee with the Lord” I was reminded of the challenges of the persecuted church!  I don’t think we think about them enough – fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing pressure and persecution everyday for “the faith” – Pastors and church leaders who are maligned, intimidated, imprisoned, tortured… even giving their lives for the sake of the gospel!

I thought about them as I read Apostle Paul’s prayer requests for the church in Thessalonica (and himself) this morning.  Both Paul and the church in Thessalonica were sharing the gospel and living it out in hostile environments… There were risks (and opportunities) at every turn…  This is what Paul asked… This is the assurance he sought to provide them…

First his prayer requests…

“Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored… Pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith… May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance!”

Then the assurance he sought to give them…

“The Lord is faithful!  He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.  We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.”

(from 2 Thessalonians 3.1-5)

Today I’m aware there are fellow brothers and sisters of mine that are suffering for the sake of the gospel!  Wonderful Christians who are facing incredible pressure and persecution for the Name they hold in highest honor and esteem – the name of Jesus.  I will answer Paul’s appeal for prayer as though it were given today!  I will lift the needs of “the persecuted church” to the Lord in prayer!  I will allow the Holy Spirit to make specific what to me seems a general need.  I will pray in the Spirit according to Romans 8.26-27 AND I will have confidence that God will fulfill the next verse on their behalf… “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose!”

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