Week 3, Day 18: The Persecuted Church

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What does your faith in Jesus Christ cost you daily?  If it costs a great deal, may the Lord strengthen you and comfort you.  If it costs you very little, may the Lord give you wisdom as you seek to risk more for the sake of the name of Christ.  Watch the below video of a brother who is paying the cost to serve Christ.

TESTIMONY – BENJAMIN KWASHI

Our love of Christ calls for solidarity with one another. Loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ includes the privilege of caring for those who are persecuted and in prison for their faith and witness.  If one part of the body of Christ suffers, all parts suffer with it. We commit ourselves to sharing in the suffering of members of the body of Christ throughout the world, by keeping ourselves informed, by focusing our prayers, and by engaging in urgent advocacy.  We see this sharing not as an exercise of pity, but rather as a true longing to learn what the suffering Church can teach us and give to those parts of Christ’s body that are not suffering in the same way.  We are warned that the Church that feels itself at ease in its wealth and self-sufficiency may, like the Church of Laodicea, be the most blind to its own poverty, and the one in which our Lord himself feels a stranger.

How can you respond to the challenge of the persecuted church?  Perhaps you are a part of the body that is currently suffering persecution.  Know that we are praying for you, that the Lord is pleased with your sacrifice for him, and that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to you. 

What about those of us who are not overtly persecuted for our faith?  Consider two things:  first, commit to daily prayer and fasting on behalf of persecuted brothers and sisters.  Start today.  Second, consider whether, in fact, we are not persecuted because we are not heralding the Gospel of the only true God and living as Gospel people in a “perverse and crooked generation”.  Where might God ask you to die to safety in order to risk for his glory?  It doesn’t matter where you live, or your vocation, the call to risk is for all who belong to him.  From Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, the Disciples, and now to us, God has led his people into risk that his name might receive honor, and that many more people would have the opportunity to claim Christ for themselves.

Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who suffer on behalf of Jesus and for his name.  Strengthen and comfort them.  Let their experiences equal what is spoken in your Word which says that there is joy in suffering for Christ.  And we pray that your people in all places would risk for your name.  Pry our fingers away from the hold we have on safety, security, and comfort.  Set us free from our need to be safe anywhere but in your arms. Amen.  

 

This blog is a part of the Lausanne Global Prayer Focus. We invite you to journey with The Lausanne Movement in prayer throughout the month of May. This journey will be a personal one, and a collective one. It will be focused on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, his good news for all people.

In week 3, we are focusing on A World Apart from the Gospel. pdfDownload a prayer guide for the week, or visit www.lausanne.org/pray to access the new content daily. You may also enter your email on this page to be sent a weekly email reminder with the new prayer content each week of May. Be sure to select “Prayer” as a Topic Interest.

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