Since the death of our Lord on the cross, it is estimated 43 million believers in Jesus have also become martyrs. Martyrdom is not a topic we hear much about. It may seem like it applies only to a few people in far-off places, but actually martyrdom happens every day in over fifty nations. Today, approximately 100,000 die annually for their faith. In addition, many are persecuted for their faith via imprisonment, kidnapping, torture, boycotting and/or being held without access to basic needs available to the rest of their community.
In Western, first-world countries, we may never have experienced these types of persecution for our faith. But let’s think about it like this—are you free to talk about Jesus at work? At school? What would your doctors, neighbors, bosses or teachers think if you were open and free about your faith? Do you find yourself restrained about your faith for fear of being treated differently, rejected or opposed? If you do, then for those brief moments you can get a glimpse of what our brothers and sisters living in restricted nations face.
Recently, we received word about a young man—we will call him Omid— living in a restricted nation who began relationships with a few local believers. While attending small home group meetings, he heared stories from the Bible. Local extremists took notice. In order to punish him and bring fear to the community, Omid was kidnapped. Our prayer team fervently prayed for his safe return. After several weeks, Omid came back with evidence of being tortured in unspeakable ways. Will Omid return to fellowship with the Christians? Please join us in praying for Omid and many like him—believers and those seeking Christ—that they would be filled with courage and protected from evil.
PRAY THE SCRIPTURES
Remember, the New Testament was written to persecuted believers, making every word applicable to pray. “Pray-reading” is a powerful tool in your prayer tool belt. Please take a look at these examples from Ephesians:
Pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:18).
Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
Pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).
Praying Scripture is a sure way to know you are agreeing with God’s will, praying according to His Word, and building your faith in the process.
PRAY FOR THE NEEDS OF THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH
Pray with GCM daily for the practical needs of the underground church. Here are a few of the greatest needs our disciple makers ask for while living underground:
Pray they would be hidden from those who seek to do them harm (John 8:59, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).
Pray they would be strengthened with might in their inner man (Ephesians 3:16-18).
Pray God will supply all their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Learn more ways to pray for the persecuted church and read news alerts on current crises by visiting International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
ENGAGING WITH THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH
Let’s remember that in some instances these persecuted believers are more ‘free’ than we are. Though they live underground, they are deeply dependent on hearing God speak daily so they spend much time in prayer and worship, experiencing God in ways we might never be able to imagine. When we keep them in our prayers, we are opening up our heart to share not only in the pain and pressure they feel, but in the glory and reward.
Are you praying regularly for GCM? Please feel free to send us messages via our website to encourage and strengthen our disciple makers. Learn more about ‘adopting’ a disciple maker by contacting us below. And thank you for your prayers.
Does your church or prayer group want to adopt disciple makers in prayer? Contact us today and tell us about your group.