International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2014
IDOP is meant for us to pray over our brothers and sisters. Pray for their struggles, pray for those who persecute them, pray for justice, but most importantly, pray for God's glory.
We see God's power in the darkest and most unexpected situations, and this story from Pastor Samuel* in Bangladesh exemplifies that truth.
"I am a village doctor, which helps me to preach and share His gospel with others, and individual patients. A few months ago some angry men came to disturb a group during one of our counseling times. We asked them to go away by telling them we were speaking the Word of the Lord to eager people, and we wanted to discuss the Word together without interference.
When I left the meeting at noon that day, these vagabonds and wicked people stopped me in my way. At first they only yelled at me, but then they began to beat me with sticks and their fists. I fell unconscious and some other people carried me to my friend's home, and then to my own home.
After many days, when I became fully healed, I began my work normally again. My whole team and I continued our prayer to change the wicked people.
One day I saw the men who beat me in the grocery market, but they would not look at me. Later on that week, I and my team member were going to another area to preach, and those wicked men came toward us. We were riding fast on our bicycles, but they caught up with us.
But then, they began to beg pardon for what they had done to me, and told us we could not go until we gave them pardon.
Their hearts had been changed by the Lord Jesus!
We caught hands with each other and gave thanks to the Lord, for we had prayed for this day to come. So we were able to forgive these men, and this is a miracle in my life that prayer can change the wicked hearts.
We are thankful to Him!" ~Samuel*
As you pray for your persecuted brothers and sisters remember that their ultimate goal is to glorify God. That is their deep desire, and it is God's desire. It is not shameful to be persecuted, it is not rare, it is not the end of a Christian's work.
Pray for God's glory to shine through the pain and sorrow to change lives."Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" ~1 Peter 4:16
*Names changed to protect the safety of our partners