Today important issues clamor for our attention. In fact, many of those issues are represented in blog posts on Juicy Ecumenism. So it is a challenge to claim attention — even from Christians — for their fellow Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith.
Today, November 2, and next Sunday, November 9, are set aside as times to observe the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). So, to encourage you to prayer — for them — both today and every day, here is the what the Bible has to say about our responsibility to persecuted brothers and sisters, and ten reasons why YOU should pray for persecuted Christians.
What the Bible says about our responsibility to persecuted brother and sister Christians:
Galatians 6: 10
As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto those who are of the household of faith.
Proverbs 14: 31
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his maker.
Proverbs 24: 11-12
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say “But we knew nothing of this” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
Matt. 25: 36
I was in prison and you visited me.
Hebrews 13: 3
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Gal. 6: 2
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
1 Cor. 12: 26
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.
The Top Ten Reasons to Pray for Persecuted Christians:
Because they are being persecuted.
Because while true that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” it is also true that unabated persecution can actually eradicate Christian communities (i.e. the Middle East).
Because believers under persecution frequently do not have the chance to grow and be discipled, and can be led into heretical doctrines and cults.
Because they are our family – our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Because they ask us to pray for them.
Because it enriches our own spiritual life when we pray for the persecuted church and understand their courageous witness.
Because God changes our hearts by prayer and motivates us to action.
Because it is right to stand against injustice, and persecution for one’s faith is an injustice.
Because it works. God answers prayer.
Because God says to!