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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Len...

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - From Suffering to Glory

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - From Suffering to Glory

“These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich! ... Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”(Revelation 2:8-10)

Two days ago we reflected on the martyrdom of such faithful Christians as George Orjih and Danil Sysoyev. For some, martyrdom speaks of pain, anguish and suffering, but for the early Church, martyrdom spoke primarily of glory. To die well demonstrates courage, commitment and certain knowledge of Christ’s promise of eternal life. Those who endure pain and suffering for Him, who overcome the world and are faithful even to death, receive from Him the reward of the martyrs’ crown.

Easter-Day
In the midst of persecution by the government and army, Burma’s Christians hold on to their faith. In one church a text from Revelation 2:10 was hung: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”

Thousands of Christians around the world suffer attacks against themselves and their property and many are martyred for their loyalty to Christ; yet they are commended by the Lord Jesus for their riches. The perseverance under pressure of persecuted Christians tells a moving story of their faith, hope and love for Christ. We thank God for the strong and devoted witness of the two men described above and for the many others like them who, through the proclamation of their faith in Jesus Christ, have earned the martyrs’ crown.

We have moved from Good Friday to the joyous experience of Easter and the resurrection hope that awaits all Christians. In Him we have a hope that cannot be taken away.

Please Pray:
Today, let us thank God for the witness and inspiration of those who are taking a stand for Christ in the face of opposition to their faith. Pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, that even though they may face death, they will hold on to the promise they have in Jesus Christ, and may be assured that the Lord will raise them up as He Himself was raised. Pray that they may find encouragement and strength in the words of Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.
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    • Heavenly Father, we pray to You for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Madagali, in Adamawa state, until their town was seized by Boko Haram two months ago. We think of those who were betrayed into the hands of Boko Haram by their neighbours pointing out Christian homes or places where Christians had hidden. We bring before You those who saw their menfolk beheaded, and women forcibly converted to Islam. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

    • Pray for a pastor in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania whose home was attacked on 17 May; two of his children were injured. When he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family; it was they who made the accusation against him. He has faced much opposition because of his fruitful outreach to Muslims, and several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations. Pray that the sovereign Lord will help him and that he will not be disgraced (Isaiah 50:7-9). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

    • A church on Mafia Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, was attacked on 9 May by around 80 young Muslim men armed with arrows and knives. The church members, who are mainly converts from Islam, had gathered for their weekly overnight prayer session when the attackers appeared, shouting “death to ritad’i” (those who leave Islam). They set fi re to the church, leaving the interior in ruins, and then went in search of the pastor, but he was not at home. The incident followed a bomb blast at another church in Mwanza in mainland Tanzania on 5 May, in which a worker at the church rest house was critically injured. Pray that the authorities will effectively address the increasing incidence of attacks against churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Cry out to the Lord for the many Christian victims of kidnapping by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Remember especially the more than two hundred teenage girls who were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state, on the night of 14 April. A video released in May showed eight of the girls speaking about their ordeal; they plead for their release, and one says, “I never expected to suffer like this in my life.” It is believed that they have been divided into at least four groups and that most of them are being held in camps outside Nigeria. They are hungry, while some are unwell and need medical attention. Pray for their safe release and for that of other kidnapped Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Deadly attacks by Boko Haram continue relentlessly in Northern Nigeria. On 15 June, gunmen descended on the remote Christian village of Daku in Borno state; they killed 15 people, chasing and shooting those trying to escape, and torched a church, several homes and a market. Two weeks later, scores of people were killed in attacks on four villages near the mainly Christian town of Chibok; in Kwada the assailants burst into four churches and opened fire on worshippers before setting the buildings on fire. Pray that our distressed and persecuted brothers and sisters may find strength in the Lord their God (1 Samuel 30:6) as they pass through this bitter ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

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