This week on the Persecution Blog we are looking back at the top six most-read stories of 2015, based on the posts that created the most traffic throughout the year.
Today is #3. One of the things we always want to encourage readers to do is to PRAY for our persecuted family. And the desire of our readers to pray for our persecuted family is reflected in the fact that our third-most-read post of the year was a list posted in February of 40 ways to pray, as well as a challenge to pray for persecuted Christians throughout the season of Lent. These prayer suggestions work equally well today and this month. You can also be reminded to pray through The Voice of the Martyrs Pray Today app for your tablet or smart phone.
Come back every day this week as we count down to the most-read post of 2015 on Saturday.
Lent: 40 Days of Prayer for our Persecuted Family
Today marks the beginning of Lent, celebrated by many Christian traditions around the world. The Lent celebration is a reference to the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and facing temptations by Satan in the wilderness. Traditionally, it is a time which Christians devote to prayer in order to draw closer to God in the days leading up to Easter. Here are 40 ways you can pray for your persecuted brothers and sisters:
Pray for Your Persecuted Family
- Pray that persecuted believers will sense God’s presence.
- Pray that they will feel connected to the greater Body of Christ.
- Pray that they will be comforted by God when their family members are killed, injured or imprisoned for their witness.
- Pray that they will have more opportunities to share the gospel.
- Pray for their boldness to make Christ known.
- Pray that they will forgive and love their persecutors.
- Pray that their ministry activities will remain undetected by authorities or others who wish to silences them.
- Pray that they will rejoice in suffering.
- Pray that they will be refreshed through God’s Word and grow in their faith.
- Pray that they will be strengthened through the prayers of fellow believers.
Pray for Front-Line Workers
- Pray that the Lord provides opportunities for front-line workers to share the gospel.
- Pray that the Lord prepares the hearts of those who will hear the gospel.
- Ask for favor among those to whom front-line workers are ministering.
- Ask that ministry activities will remain unseen by potential persecutors.
- Pray that front-line workers will be refreshed and strengthened in God’s Word daily.
- Pray for peace in the worker’s hearts when traveling in especially difficult areas.
- Pray for boldness and courage as workers carry out kingdom work.
- Pray for the workers’ family members, as they often face long periods of separation.
- Pray that front-line workers will be encouraged, knowing that others are praying for them.
- Pray that front-line workers will have a real sense of the presence of God.
Pray for VOM’s Work in Restricted and Hostile Nations
- Pray for the families of those killed for their faith.
- Pray for those injured because they are Christians.
- Pray that believers in need of Bibles in hostile and restricted nations will receive them.
- Pray for Bible smuggling and printing efforts in closed countries.
- Pray for those sharing the gospel on the front-lines and in the most dangerous places.
- Pray for those supporting evangelists and other front-line workers.
- Pray for those distributing Action Packs and other aid items to persecuted Christians.
Pray for Prisoners, Widows and Orphans
- Pray for the health of those being held in prison. Many do not receive even basic medical care, and need God’s healing and comfort.
- Pray for Chinese believers and others who are forced to do hard labor in prison.
- Pray for Eritrean believers who are arrested for practicing their faith and held in harsh conditions.
- Pray for prisoners being held in Iran where believers face re-arrest, torture and even death.
- Pray that letters written to prisoners through VOM’s Prisoner Alert page would be a source of encouragement and hope.
- Pray that families of prisoners would be encouraged and feel God’s presence during times of sadness.
- Pray for the many women who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Ask God to help them remain steadfast in their Christian faith despite pressure to become Muslim.
- Pray for the mothers, wives, children and family members of those whose family members have been killed, like the 21 Egyptian Christians who were killed by IS in Libya this week.
- Pray that God will provide for the needs of the families of martyrs who are left behind.
God’s Continuing Work
- Pray for God’s work to continue in restricted nations like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, North Korea, and other countries with anti-Christian laws.
- Pray that the Gospel would be spread in every nation, tribe and tongue including hostile nations like Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Mindanao (Philippines).
- Ask God to help you continue to remember the many needs of Christians from around the world and pray for believers by name through tools like www.iCommittoPray.com.
- Pray for believers and those who have yet to hear the Word of God in specific countries through the VOM Prayer Map.