Will You Pray with Me?

Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. – Hebrews 13:3

My friend Mandy, the “Blue Collar Theologian,” posted recently about the Church in the West and our need for awareness and courage. She said, among other things, “It is heavy on my heart how often the persecuted church is missing in our prayers.”

Where I live, in middle class America, suffering for the gospel is not an everyday occurrence for most believers. It’s easy to limit our prayers to the health of our children, “traveling mercies” for loved ones on the road, and for Sunday’s service to go well. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with praying these things. I happen to believe there’s nothing too big or too small to talk to the Lord about. If it’s important to us, it’s important to Him.

But in reading Scripture, I see a need for us to stand with some people very close to the Lord’s heart: the suffering Church. I’ve been trying to include this group (largely invisible to people like me) in my daily prayers. Ministries like Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs have given me a great deal of guidance in how to pray. It occurred to me to post my prayer in the hope that my readers will join me in praying for these special people.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we lift up those who are suffering for their faith in You. We pray for those who are being discriminated against because of their faith, who are denied benefits or protection because their faith makes them second-class citizens. Bless them for their stand and remind them they are being identified with You, which is ultimately counted as a great honor.

We pray for those who have lost their jobs because of their stand for You. Teach them to look to You for their needs to be met and let them see Your provision for them daily and give You glory. We pray that in Your perfect timing You would provide new jobs for them that are much better than the ones they lost – better pay, better hours, and better conditions. May they do the work You have gifted them to do with excellence and great satisfaction. May these workers be an answer to prayer for their employers as much as their job has been answered prayer for them, and may everyone involved glorify You.

We pray for those who have lost homes and possessions for Your sake. Thank You for Your promise that they will receive a hundredfold in this life. Show them Your provision, and give them a hundredfold joy, as they see that You have not forgotten them and never will.

We pray for those who have lost loved ones because of the gospel, especially the widows and orphans of pastors. Wrap Your arms around them through Your Church and remind them that their loved ones are with You and that they will see them again.

We pray for those who have been rejected by their families because of their faith. Dry their tears and remind them that You will never reject them. Give them the grace to forgive and pray for their families and give them the joy of seeing those prayers answered when family members come to faith.

We pray for believers who are being interrogated. Give them courage and the peace of Your presence. Give them the right words to speak and the boldness to speak them. May their testimonies impact their interrogators, as Stephen’s words impacted Saul/Paul.

We pray for believers who are imprisoned, in actual prisons or in their homes. May those who are in solitary confinement sense Your presence in various ways every day. Let them hear Your voice whisper comforting words to them. Let them catch glimpses of angels in their cell or room. For those who feel they have lost their ministry, remind them of the powerful ministry of prayer. Lead them in their prayers and give them enough news of the answers to keep them encouraged and praying, knowing they are doing a powerful work for Your Kingdom and haven’t been forgotten.

We pray for believers who are locked up together. Make their fellowship sweet as they share their testimonies, pray for one another, and study Your Word. If they don’t have access to written Scriptures, help them remember verses and passages to share with one another. Let them teach one another songs of praise and sing them together. Let them feel Your unmistakable presence and know they have not been forgotten.

We pray for believers who are in prison with unbelievers. If those unbelievers want to hurt them, surround them with Your angelic warriors, so that they can’t be touched, and may this be a sign to all concerned that You are the true and living God, and You take care of Your own. Give those believers the privilege of praying for and witnessing to their cellmates and give them the joy of seeing them come to faith in You. Show them they haven’t been forgotten.

For those prisoners who don’t have enough to eat, expand their meager rations into a feast that is more nourishing, more strengthening, more filling, more satisfying, and even better tasting. For those who are shivering in the cold, wrap them in invisible blankets that warm them down to their toes; if they are in sweltering heat, send them cool breezes, so that they will know they haven’t been forgotten.

Finally, for those making the ultimate sacrifice today, who are sentenced to death for their faith, give them the peace that surpasses understanding and a joyful excitement in knowing they will soon be in Your presence. Give them the grace to forgive anyone who has persecuted, betrayed, abandoned, or forgotten them and to pray for their enemies. As they face eternity, give them the unique delight of seeing the look of astonishment in the eyes of their executioners, as they leave this world with smiles on their faces and Your praise on their lips. In Jesus’ name, amen.

44 thoughts on “Will You Pray with Me?

  1. I am not sure if people know this but you can actually write as well to VOM prisoners. You may never be sure if the letters are received depending on the country or prison, but that is not the point. I always ask GOD to help the letters along and ask them to get to the people they are intended for. If you go to their site, you can find the section for writing in the prisoner’s own language there. GOD BLESS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I will check it out, and hope others will, too.
      Even if the letters are screened and withheld, still that means SOMEONE is reading them, and it’s not a huge stretch of faith to believe that the Lord would put those letters in the hands of whomever He wants reading them. You never know what He will use to reach lost people. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I often try to send little book marks or little quilted prayer cloths, things that will fit into an envelop just to let people know they are not forgotten. You can also write the governments as well. I always hope that if it does not get to the prisoners it will get to their captors and GOD will use it to soften their hearts. GOD BLESS.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Exactly what I was thinking! I also have heard that in some countries the governments are sending agents to spy on evangelical churches. People who told me this were upset about it, but my reaction was, “Praise God! Let’s pray when they hear the gospel they’ll get saved!” πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazing grace in your prayers.
    Nik Ripken, in “The Insanity of Obedience” notes that in interviews with Chinese Christians, they rarely ask for prayers for deliverance FROM persecution. Assuming persecution to be the norm for a follower of Christ, they ask westerners to pray that they will be faithful witnesses to their persecutors. May we be found faithful.
    ❀️& πŸ™, c.a.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s close. But I like the clarification that it’s NOT the absence of trouble. I was sharing with a friend about the many kinds of belts there are, and how the “belt of truth” resembles each of them. She added to my list the belt of weights worn by scuba divers, that keeps them from drifting in currents. That’s what I think of when I hear, “We are in the world, but not of the world.”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you, Annie for this reminder. Those suffering for the Gospel are very close to God. They are overshadowed by His presence. At the same time, as we pray for our brothers and sisters, we also know there will be more who will suffer who are not yet struggling. Bless you for this prayer. God’s grip – Alan

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think you know over the years my relations with some underground pastors; I think prayers from saints like yourself is something they know roughly about, and I think God hears and answers what you and many others pray for. One day in heaven I want God to show us what He did with the means of our prayers

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    We live in world that is losing sight of our Savior. Powerful governments like that of Communist China directly oppose the spread of the Gospel. Our own government runs secularized schools and teaches multiculturalism, which says that all faiths are equally valid and true. By implication, that means that no faith is valid and true. Our mass media is mostly godless. Our great corporations think only of profits.

    So, what should we do? We can begin with prayer.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. What a wonderful prayer, Annie! It made me cry.

    There are a lot of reason to pray, because it breaks our hearts, because the Bible tells us too, because it moves mountains and changes everything. But another reason why we are called to, “Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners” is to keep it fresh in our minds so we will do everything we can to prevent it from happening to Christians in our own neck of the woods. When we understand that the threat is real and we empathize with those who suffer, we speak out and we pay attention when we see it going on. In the safety of the Western world we can grow complacent and forget that it can easily happen to us. Recently Canada was arresting pastors, and my state was certainly threatening and harassing them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen, it can happen, and Jesus said it will. When I pray for those who are suffering, I admit I am hoping that when it’s my turn, someone will be praying for me.
      Even as we speak, a father of seven is facing charges of “assault” for pushing someone who was attacking his child in front of an abortion clinic where he was protesting. He could face up to 11 years. That seems like something that could happen to any of us who have kids (or grandkids). Scary.


  7. Thanks Ann for another timely message. I thank God that He uses you to help us know how and what to pray and what to do to further His kingdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann, a wonderful prayer, in all of its facets! Most of us are not suffering much here for our faith, at least not compared with so many of our brothers and sisters in other countries. I wrote about this last year; it includes quotes from some of our persecuted siblings about how they would like us to pray for them. Click here if you’re interested: https://keithpetersenblog.com/2021/03/10/how-should-we-pray-for-persecuted-christians/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amen. Thanks for helping me with that prayer. It definitely isn;t something I think about often, but am definitely aware. If I am aware of religious persecution in “middle-class America,” then I can only imagine how hard it is for some people in other countries…


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