How To Pray For Persecuted Saints

The Olympics provide an ironic contrast between the face China puts on for the world and its harsh treatment of Christians (see my Tuesday post).

The Bible says we’re to remember those in prison as though we were in prison with them (HE 13.3), so I want to grow in faithfulness to pray for persecuted saints, both those imprisoned and those who are “free”, but live under oppressive governments.

A few feeble thoughts:

  • Ask God to use his persecuted saints to spread the gospel

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (PHP 1.12-13)

  • Ask God to deliver many from imprisonment as he did Peter and Paul (Acts 4.23; 12.6-11; 16.39)
  • Ask Christ to strengthen them

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (CO 1.11)

  • Ask God to give them grace to love their enemies

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (MT 5.44).

  • Pray for their families

Ask our faithful heavenly Father to care for the spouses and children of believers in prison.

  • Ask the Sovereign Lord to cause evil authorities to become favorable to the gospel

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 TI 2.1-4)

We’re to pray for governments to enable believers to lead quiet godly lives for the sake of the spread of the gospel. Though Jesus uses persecution to spread the gospel, this passage indicates that in times of peace and government favor, the gospel can spread more easily.

Here is a suggestion:
consider taking a portion of your prayer time one day a week to pray specifically for the Christ’s persecuted saints. For more information and ways to pray see Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors.

photo by Peter Stuckings

  • Wendy

    Thank you for the encouragement, as well as the practical help. It is easy to forget to pray for those who are persecuted when we are so comfortable here. So, thank you for encouraging me and others to take the time to pray for brothers and sisters all over the world.

  • Emily

    the Voice of the Martyrs website is giving away bracelets that say “pray for China” in Chinese and English. If you want one, they will mail it to you for free.

    that helps me to remember to pray too.

    thanks for posting about this. i think it is something we need to be reminded of often.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Wendy, Emily,

    Thanks for your comments. I think the bracelets are a great idea.

  • Elaine Crowell

    The photo on this post is great. I went to the photographers link and see the photo on Flickr. Do you know how I can get permission to use the image for reprint? I searched all over Flickr and couldn’t come up with an answer.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hi Elaine,

      I use the Flickr Creative Commons photos. I think that you could email the photographer for permission to use it. Hope this helps. If I can help you further, please let me know.

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