Praying for the Persecuted Church part 2

Whilst speaking about the destruction of the Temple and signs of the end times, Jesus warns his disciples that they will face persecution as followers of Him from within their own family.

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.” (Mark 13)

In the latest Open Doors prayer diary for March and April there are some examples of this:

  • In India, a wife was so badly beaten by her husband when he found her praying that she had to have five stitches in her head.
  • In Kyrgyzstan, a wife is being beaten by her husband and he is threatening to divorce her because of her faith in Jesus.
  • In the Arabian Peninsula a sister is facing severe abuse from her family-in-law since accepting Christ.
  • In Tanzania, a young lady who is 18 years old, secretly converted to Christianity after graduating from high school. She was selected to attend a college, but when her family learnt of her conversion, they rejected her and stopped paying her college fees.

In the West we might complain about Christianity being marginalised and be concerned about what could happen in the future. However, in many counties in this world the price of following Christ is very high as we can see in the examples above. They already right now are facing some incredibly tough situations. There are also other countries where it is just too dangerous for people to be open about their faith and they must keep it secret.

If you wish to pray for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in the countries where it is most dangerous to follow Him, then the following resource will be helpful to you.

World Watch list 2021

In January, each year Open Doors publish their World Watch list which lists the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. The top 10 countries are currently:

  1. North Korea
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Somalia
  4. Libya
  5. Pakistan
  6. Eritrea
  7. Sudan
  8. Yemen
  9. Iran
  10. India

For many years Open Doors have been doing a very good job in supporting the worldwide persecuted church and if this is something that interests you, I would highly recommend that you explore their website.

Praying for the Persecuted Church

There are many countries in the world today where life can be difficult for Christians. In these countries both individual believers and the church face persecution for their faith.  For those Christians who live in Muslim countries Ramadan can be especially tough and challenging for them.

We may at times feel helpless to know how we can assist and support our fellow Christians in their struggles. One thing we can do though is to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. But what should we pray?

Open Doors is an organisation that works to supports the persecuted church throughout the world. There are many resources available on their website to help us in praying for our fellow Christians.

They also have a prayer diary and the following five prayers are taken from this month’s issue in which some of the prayers focus on Christians in Muslim countries during Ramadan.

  • Ramadan is a lonely time for many believers from Muslim backgrounds, especially those who must keep their faith secret. Many feel intimated because they are not fasting. Pray that isolated believers will know the Lord’s comfort and be strengthened in their faith.
  • There is an urgent need for Christians who can stand by  believers from Muslim backgrounds, to model the Christian life to them. Pray that churches will be places where  believers from Muslim backgrounds are warmly welcomed and receive the love and care they need – especially during Ramadan.
  • Believers from Muslim backgrounds often visit their families during Ramadan in Malaysia, but these visits can be incredibly difficult, as not every family member supports their decision to follow  Christ. Pray for wisdom for these believers and ask God to use them to open the hearts of their families to the love of Jesus.
  • Pray for wisdom and boldness for Christians in Muslim majority areas looking for ways to share the love of Christ with their Muslim neighbours during Ramadan. Pray that many Muslims will begin their journey towards Jesus as a result of their witness.
  • A Christian in Indonesia was rejected by his family when he became a believer, but he still plans to visit them this Ramadan because he wants them to know about Jesus. Pray for courage and protection as he shares the good news and ask the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of his children and relatives to receive the seed of the gospel.

Open Doors do a very good job in supporting the persecuted church and if this is something that interests you I would highly recommend that you explore their website

Keep on Praying

At the beginning of Luke 11 the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They were aware John the Baptist had taught his disciples how to pray and wanted Jesus to do the same for them.

One of the things that Jesus taught, in response to this question, involved a story of a man who went to his friend’s house at midnight to borrow some bread. This was because he had a visitor and had nothing to feed him. The man kept knocking on his friend’s door until eventually he had a response.

Jesus then went onto say these words:

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (NIV)

Many other versions translate this verse similarly to that (e.g. ESV, KJV, NASB, NRSV, RSV etc). However, interestingly there are some other translations who record it slightly differently:

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (NLT)

Some other versions (e.g. The Amplified Bible and the HCSB) also translate it in a similar way.

When looking at that verse, in the later translation, I find the phrase “keep on” very encouraging. Many Christians have probably been praying about something for several years. At times they may feel tempted to give up as their prayer has not yet been answered and they feel discouraged. This could be the salvation of a loved one, the restoring of a backsliding Christian, the release of a believer in prison for their faith in Christ or God’s justice in a situation to be manifested. Jesus is telling us here to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking and eventually the door will be opened.

Therefore let us not give up but keep on praying as instructed by Jesus.

Categorized as Prayer Tagged

Online Prayer Meeting

A few years ago one of the Christian Facebook groups I belonged to held an online prayer meeting and I thought it might be interesting to blog about it.

The prayer meeting was led by the group moderator and instead of speaking our prayers out loud, we typed them out on our laptops / computers into the private Facebook group. This is a different approach for most people, but one of the advantages was that we had to think about what we were saying. It prevented us from rambling on!

If I’m being honest I do struggle with praying. One of my problems is that my mind does tend to wander and my concentration levels are not brilliant. However, I found that during the online praying my mind did not wander and I was able to concentrate. Although this prayer meeting only lasted about 30 minutes, I have found that in shorter prayer times when I’m praying my concentration levels have wandered.

So why could I concentrate better at this meeting? Normally during times of prayer, we bow our heads, close our eyes and then pray. Now obviously I could not do that at this online prayer meeting. Well I could have done, but I would not have known what people were saying in their prayers! I found that by concentrating on the screen, reading the prayers and then thoughtfully typing out my own prayers my concentration levels were much better than normal.

I personally found the prayer meeting very beneficial and felt closer to God during this time. This was interesting because the group contained a mixed bunch of people and a wide range of theological views, not all of which I agreed with. Yet this prayer meeting worked. Afterwards I reflected that I stopped myself judging the content of the prayers of the other people and make sure that I kept a right heart attitude throughout. I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t always do this at prayer meetings!

Some might feel hesitant about the value of online praying but Jesus did say “for when two or three gather together in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20). Nowadays thanks to the wonder of technology those two or three could be literally thousand of miles apart physically but united spiritually through prayer.

Online praying provides us the opportunity to pray with those who we may never meet on this earth. It also means that the house bound person or the parent who cannot go out due to childcare arrangements can also participate in prayer with us. It allows us to pray with our missionary friend when they are away overseas.

Although the prayer meeting I attended was conducted via typing into my laptop, of course you could use tools like Skype and pray out loud as you would normally do in a prayer meeting. There are so many ways that one could use technology to assist them in online prayer meetings. I don’t think that Christians should abandon “real-life” physical prayer meetings and replace them with online ones. But instead these could supplement them.

If you are interested in online praying why not give it a go!


How to Pray

You may have heard of the “ACTS” method of praying. In this instance ACTS stands for:

    • A = Adoration
    • C = Confession
    • T = Thanksgiving
    • S = Supplication


Last Sunday I heard a sermon called “How to Pray” by Bayless Conley on television. In his sermon Bayless spoke about a method he uses called “Pray”. The initials stand for:

  • P = Praise
  • R = Repentance
  • A = Ask
  • Y =Yielding

Interestingly both methods mentioned above put praise to God ahead of asking for things when we pray. I suspect many of us if we are honest start with asking for things rather than praising God! The obvious advantage of starting with praise / adoration is that helps us to fix our eyes on God rather than focusing on ourselves.

If you are struggling with prayer I think using either of the above would be helpful to enhance your pray life.

Categorized as Prayer Tagged