“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).
Beheadings, mass murders, rapes, and imprisonments. The news is filled with stories of Christians who are persecuted. The evil is beyond imaginable.
Even though they live thousands of miles away, they are part of our family because they believe in Jesus—who was mocked, beaten, spit on, and crucified. They are our brothers and sisters, and they are suffering for believing in our Brother.
It might seem easy to feel helpless. But there is so much we can do!
We follow the example of the believers in Acts 12 who were “earnestly praying to God” because Peter was in prison. We remember those who are suffering and mistreated. We speak up for them. We pray for their courage, strength, and comfort. We pray that their torture is used for God’s glory.
We pray as if we are the ones being persecuted—because when one part of the body of Christ suffers, every part suffers with it.
Finally, we pray for the persecutors, because we have no idea the plans God has for them. Saul, who approved of Stephen’s stoning, became Paul, one of the greatest dispensers of God’s grace.
Jesus means it when he tells us, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44,45).
Children of the Father have an awful lot of praying to do. Let’s get busy.
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. Her voice is heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace. She is married to Greg, and they live in Wisconsin with their three active children.
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