Every one of the mission organizations that help persecuted Christian that I follow say the same thing:
Prayer is the single most important thing that we can do to help persecuted Christians. It’s the very first thing that persecuted Christians ask us to do for them because they know that is the most important thing that will help them.
Every time that I read this on one of the missions’ websites, I instantly remember a quote from one of my all-time favorite books.
Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. . . Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. . . Prayer give us the significance of frontline forces and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider.” John Piper, 2003, Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions, Baker Academic.
The easiest, yet most important thing that we can do for the persecuted church is to
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints” Apostle Paul, Ephesians 6:18; written from prison, to the church at Ephesus
When we pray for ALL the saints, especially those who are “ambassadors in chains” (Eph. 6:20), we:
- Give persecuted Christians exactly what they are asking for.
- Giving glory to God first, and relying upon his might to handle the circumstances of the persecuted.
- Prepare our hearts, minds, bodies and souls for the possibility of persecution. The more we pray for the persecuted and learn about what is happening to them, the more we are prepared for it ourselves.
If you are already in the daily habit of praying for Christians who are discriminated against, threatened, thrown in prison, tortured, or murdered for the sake of their faith in Christ, then
I do not cease to give thanks for you . . . Apostle Paul, Eph. 1:16a
But, if you haven’t yet made prayer for the persecuted a daily habit, now is a great time to start!
How to get started in 2 simple steps:
1. Just start praying. Ask God to strengthen all of his people who are being persecuted. It’s that simple.
2. Once you get in the habit of praying this everyday, you might want to find a devotional to help you pray for specific nations.
Two of my favorites are
Both can be purchased at InterVarsity Press
“Operation World” is my go-to guide for praying for ALL of the nations. It is a comprehensive guide to the research that the same-titled organization gathers.
Every nation on earth is alphabetically listed, and ever listing has national statistics, maps, prayer concerns and joys. This version is a few years old now, and I anxiously wait for a newer, more up-to-date version, but when used in conjunction with news sources and reliable internet sources, “Operation World” is an invaluable tool to help bring focus to prayers for the persecuted.
Operation World also has a website that has current information about where persecution is rampant. You can also follow Operation World on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
I love this organization and their self-titled book however, I am a little disappointed with Operation World’s YouTube videos, as all of their videos on their channel are 3-4 years old.
Pegues’ prayer devotion book is similar to “Operation World”, but is not as comprehensive. Sometimes I throw this in my suitcase when I go away because it’s easier and lighter than “Operation World”.
Pegues is the CEO and founder of an mission organization Window International Network. According to the WIN website, it is
a Christian organization developed to inform, equip and mobilize networks of prayer around the globe to empower effective evangelism, church growth and discipleship in the 10/40 Window.
To follow WIN on Twitter, search for Beverly WIN.
These are my recommendations, but remember that you don’t need to purchase either of these books, or any book, to pray for the persecuted. All you need is to get in the habit. Why not start today?