You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
The first request of us from the persecuted church is that we pray for them. And correspondingly, they are usually great models of people of prayer which we can emulate. But we often need to be reminded that they do not ask us only to pray for them but also to pray with them. If we only pray for them, we will pray for their safety and the termination of their persecution. They want us to pray with them, which means we will pray for: the advance of the gospel in their land; that they will bear fruit that will last; and for perseverance and fearless courage in the face of suffering.
Pastor Samuel Lamb from Guangzhou, China, has an interesting prayer for severe situations of persecution which expresses his trust in a great God. He prays: “Lord, I rejoice in how You are going to work this out.”
Moses Xie, a Chinese church leader who spent more than twenty years in jail for his faith, says that when asking visitors to pray for him, he is really after three distinct outcomes:
“First, I want them to experience the blessing of prayer for themselves. They will go to God on my behalf, but they will receive a great blessing from being in the presence of God.
Second, I know that as they pray, their burden for the persecuted will increase, and as their burden grows, so their commitment to assisting us in all sorts of other ways will increase also. Prayer alone makes them be the body.
Third, I want them to release more of God’s power into our situation through intercession since I know that God has bound Himself not to act until we ask.”
Today is a great day to glorify God in our lives and those of the persecuted church.
RESPONSE: Today, I will not only pray for the persecuted, but I will also pray with the persecuted.
PRAYER: Lord, may my life glorify You today, and may I be a lasting fruit bearer who only desires that Your will be done.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
They are usually great models of people of prayer, which we can emulate.
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