Pray for Their Freedom
Can you hear them crying out to you from prison like Paul did? “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers” (Romans 15:30-31). Let us not leave them alone in their jail cells without our prayers!
Read Peter’s story in Acts 12 for inspiration to pray more earnestly and perseveringly for the persecuted to be released. “While, upon various pretexts, the execution of Peter was being delayed until after the Passover, the members of the church had time for deep searching of heart and earnest prayer. They prayed without ceasing for Peter, for they felt that he could not be spared from the cause. They realized that they had reached a place where, without the special help of God, the church of Christ would be destroyed….With the prison doors securely fastened, and a strong guard before them, all chance of rescue or escape through human means was cut off. But man’s extremity is God’s opportunity….Joy and praise filled the hearts of the believers, because God had heard and answered their prayers and had delivered Peter from the hands of Herod” (Acts of the Apostles 145-148).
Pray for Their Faithfulness
Can you picture the faith of the persecuted being refined in the fire as they say with Paul as he wrote from jail, “For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:19-20). Paul did not want mere deliverance from jail. He wanted deliverance from discouragement or failure that would dishonor God. Pray for our brothers and sisters around the world to be kept faithful during each of the enemy’s temptations, and against every wrong feeling and thought in their challenging situations.
Pray for Their Witness
Tertullian said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Apologeticus, Chapter 50). Paul was deeply affected by seeing Stephen’s love and faith while he was stoned. Many since have chosen to follow Christ after watching the brave deaths of faithful witnesses. Pray for those who are persecuted today, so it may be true as Paul requested, “praying always with all prayer and supplication…that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-19
Pray for Their Families
The spouses and children of those who are beaten, jailed, or martyred suffer terribly. They may be threatened with similar treatment. They may be shunned by their community. They may simply have no food, clothes, or ability to get a job. Claim in their behalf the promise that Paul claimed in jail, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13, 19).
Pray for Justice
We can join the prayers of previous martyrs whose words are symbolically represented in Revelation 6:9-10. “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”
Ask God to end the tyranny of various kings, prime ministers, and chiefs, and entire governments who restrict religious freedom and kill those who worship God according to their consciences.
Pray the News
Stay up-to-date with worldwide news of the persecuted. Pray after you read each item so you will not be a mere observer but an interceding partner with Christ. Open Door USA regularly updates its list of current news.
Pray for the Countries with the Most Persecuted
The World Watch List ranks countries in order of highest levels of persecution. Learn about these countries and pray for their specific needs.