Paul didn’t shy away from suffering. In fact, he knew that suffering was part of our actual fellowship in Christ. “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” Phil. 3:10
Most of us have not actually suffered for our faith in the US and so this concept may be uncomfortable or even frightening. Yet we know that all around the world millions of Christians suffer simply for naming the name of Christ. What are some practical areas we can help in?
- Listen. Take the time to read about what our Brothers and Sisters are going through and purpose in your heart to do this. Ask the Lord to give you a compassionate heart for them. Jot down some areas you feel a call to pray for.
- Read. Look up Scriptures on suffering – find out what the Bible says about it an in what context Christians suffer. It may surprise you to know why we suffer. Some verses on suffering: Matthew 5:11, Acts 5:41, Romans 8:17, Philippians 1:29, 3:10, II Timothy 2:12, Hebrews 11:25 and James 5:10. Jot down the verses that especially speak to your heart as you read through them.
- Pray. Now that you’ve taken some time to be informed and read about suffering and persecution, go over your notes and the Scriptures you’ve looked into and begin to pray in areas around the world. This will get you started:
- Pray for families, children, marriages
- Pray for jobs for Christians
- Pray for the Church, for the pastor and his family, for the leadership
- Pray for the government over the Christians who are being persecuted
- Remember, persecuted Christians don’t need or want our pity, they want us to pray with them. Do you know they pray for the American Christians because they know we have not yet suffered. They pray for you already!
- Persecuted Christians don’t want us to forget about them.
- Ask the Lord if he wants you to do something more for persecuted Christians.
Indigenous Ministries works with persecuted pastors, Christians and churches in several areas around the world. We have firsthand knowledge of and stories of our Brothers and Sisters’ suffering. For more information on how your church can help the persecuted Christians, email firstname.lastname@example.org.