Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Today is the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church. We christians in America take for granted the freedom we have to worship our lord and savior Jesus Christ. But across the globe there are thousands who suffer and die so that they can worship the one true Lord. Please take today to pray for all those that God would ease their suffering and bless them abundantly as well as save souls who are out persecuting Christians and change them the way Paul was changed.

More Christians have died for their faith in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined. For 30 of those years I pastored churches in Canada. I have seen my share of internal disagreement and even discouragement within the Church of Jesus Christ.

… are a powerful testimony to God's promise never to leave us or forsake us.

But I recall no time when I feared for my life because of my faith in Christ. During the same time, though, in hundreds of places around the world, thousands of fellow Christians gave their lives, lost their jobs, or were cast out of their families because they chose to follow Jesus.

What were these courageous Christians thinking as they served and suffered for Christ?

During November, the Church is called to hear the voice of the persecuted Church. So this month we will lift up the voices and lives of believers whose suffering and joy in Christ are a powerful testimony to God's promise never to leave us or forsake us.

The Bible assures us that God hears the cries of His people. As the apostle Peter puts it, we are "God's elect, strangers in the world," and today we are "scattered" across the globe.

May God bless us as we journey through the scattered Church in our world. We will certainly be assured that nothing "in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39).

Rev. David Tigchelaar is Executive Director, Bible League of Canada.

Originally published in The Joy and Suffering of the Persecuted Church, 2002.

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