Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Today and every day going forward we will pray for those in the news and for those who need the love of Jesus in their hearts. If there is anyone you feel compelled to pray for in this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, OpenDoorsUSA.org released its annual World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is dangerous to profess your Christian faith. And, for the 16th consecutive year, North Korea and its communist regime sit atop of the list.
According to the website, “it is illegal to be a Christian in North Korea and Christians are often sent to labor camps or are killed if they are discovered.
The website says that, “some 50,000 Christians (worldwide) are languishing in prison or labor camps for their faith.”
For the first time, Afghanistan came in a close second behind North Korea. Somalia is third, the Sudan fourth and Pakistan fifth. My friend, Evangelist Chris Mikkelson, takes his life into his own hands every time he visits Pakistan to preach the gospel. But, he does it fearlessly and boldly in obedience to God.
If you are reading this, please know that these people desperately need your prayers. you already know there is power in prayer, so be in obedience to God today and take a couple of minutes to recite this prayer. Therefore:
“Lord Jesus, we come to you in unity as a body and obedience to you to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in these countries where it is dangerous to profess you as their savior. We know that they don’t need to live in fear because, as your word says, you have not given us a spirit of fear. But the persecution continues, and we ask for your divine protection over them as these people do your will and continue to praise you despite the ramifications of their faithfulness.
We adamantly pray for the people in the countries on this list–and the countries that are not on the list–who are persecuted for loving You. Let we, the American church, look at these people as an example and stop taking for granted the freedoms we have–the freedoms you have given us–to freely worship you. Let us never forget that they sometimes pay the ultimate price for their faithfulness to you, and that their reward is greater in Heaven. We ask that you pour down your divine protection upon them right now in the name of Jesus.
Soften the hearts of these government leaders–especially those like Kim Jong Un–and reveal your glory to them. Give them a “Road to Damascus Moment,” and let their hearts be forever changed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (Eph. 6:18)