Sunday, November 9, 2008

PRAYING for the PERSECUTED

Today I'm continuing PRAYER for the PERSECUTED CHURCH!

My MISSION 4 MONDAY is posted on my main blog with SUPER SUNDAY ~ SCENE ~ SONG ~ SCRIPTURE or even SERMON!


INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER for the PERSECUTED CHURCH is part of being "SALT & LIGHT"

So, MR. LINKY is up for MISSION 4 MONDAY over there not here.(click on "there" or "SALT & LIGHT" or "SSSSS")

I could have just linked you to the various sites but I realize that many of you will not go there to read what you should read! So please take the time to read.

Taken from WEA...[pdf]...Religious Liberty Commission
'Life can be difficult for Christian minorities and harsh for converts.'
In places where human rights are poor and Christians are a minority, but where politics is secular or relatively progressive and religion is largely nominal, life can be difficult but not severely or pervasively.

'Christian minorities suffer systematic discrimination and persecution.'

This is one degree worse than the above category, usually because religion and politics are more intertwined and religion is less nominal.

'Persecution of Christian minorities is pervasive and severe.'

There are significant religious and/or political forces driving a campaign of persecution, such as the Hindutva forces in India, the ruling Communist parties in Laos, the clerics in the Muslim world (Islam being in fact a political religion).

'Historically Christian ethnic minorities at risk of genocide.'

Iraq: Islamist forces and sympathisers (Sunni and Shia) in Iraq are exploiting the chaos of war to 'cleanse' Iraq of Christians, nearly all of whom are ethnic Assyrians, the indigenous people of Iraq.

Kosovo (Serbia): The Serbian population in Kosovo (the historic and spiritual heartland of Serbia), virtually all of whom are Serbian Orthodox, are at risk of genocide on account of Albanian separatism and nationalism, and Islamic imperialism – different forces which assist each other.

Northern Laos: The Communist government of Laos is waging a low-level but genocidal war against the predominantly Christian ethnic Hmong of Northern Laos because of their longheld political stance: pro-democracy, pro religious liberty, pro-West.

Papua (Indonesia): The Indonesian government is waging a low-level but genocidal campaign against the predominantly Christian indigenous Papuans because of their resistance to Indonesian occupation, exploitation, colonization and Islamisation.

{09 (or 16) Nov 08} International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church [IDOP]


The following is a devotional available also from IDOP Refined in Fire


EMERGING GLORIOUS
from the REFINER'S FIRE
& IDOP Special Prayer

by Elizabeth Kendal

We are often reminded that we are living in 'the last days' -- the days between the resurrection of Christ and his return. We know these are the days of the Church, mission and the Holy Spirit, as well as days of tribulation and trial. But lost to most is the fact that these 'last days' are also the days of the Church's sanctification. Stories of tribulation and persecution generally feature the Church as victim and can cause us distress. Stories of Holy Spirit-empowered mission generally feature the Church as victor and can encourage us to feel strong, excited and expectant. But sanctification (the process of being made holy) invariably involves unpleasant truths, confession, repentance and humility; hard work, pain and reform. While sanctification is something we should covet and pursue no matter what the cost, tragically it is something to which much of the Church remains proudly and stubbornly resistant.
But God is indeed not only building his Church in the face of futile but fierce opposition
(Matthew 16:18), he is also sanctifying his Church in preparation for the wedding of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9). While persecution is to be condemned and opposed as injustice and sin, it is also God's refining fire, where disparate, drossy bodies are refined and molded into one in answer to our Lord's prayer that we should love him and one another with the same perfect unifying love that defines the Trinity (John 17:20-23). Further to this, while the godless get angry and perish in the fires of testing, the children of God look to HIM and in doing so come to depend upon, know and trust their maker more perfectly (Job 36:5-15). The refiner's fire is where faith is both tested and perfected for our benefit and the Father's glory.

If we are to be a holy nation (1 Peter 1:13 – 2:12), separated from all that is worldly and devoted wholly to God, then we must do as the bride is instructed to do: 'Forget your people and your father's house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him' (Psalm 45:10,11 ESV). Yet we cling to the world, and our beauty is marred by the dross of worldliness, idolatry and unfaithfulness. Those who think this is not the case are deceiving themselves
(1 John 1:8). We find it so hard to forsake the world, but God does not leave us to struggle in weakness. No, the gracious and faithful master craftsman is working on us all the time, as individuals and as a Church (local and global). Nowhere is this more evident than in the midst of persecution and suffering.

And so we pray: not only for religious liberty and for justice, deliverance and peace for the persecuted Church, but also for insight into what God is doing in the life of his people so that we can 'get on board' and actively participate in, rather than proudly resist, this wonderful sanctification.

God is purging idolatry, forging unity and removing those sources of worldly strength upon which we so adulterously depend. He is increasing our love and our faith. We must never despair over the loss of political power or influence, for the hope of the Church was never to be found there (Zechariah 4:6). An abundance of earthly lights (light pollution) causes the stars in the heavens to appear dim. It usually takes a power blackout or a trip into the wilderness for the glory of the heavens to be revealed. The same is true concerning advocacy for religious liberty and the persecuted church. An abundance of earthly powers may cause us to forget or neglect the greater power and love that is in heaven. A political-power blackout or a trip to the political wilderness may be God's gracious way of drawing our attention to him and reminding us of where the true power lies. Prayer is not a lesser form of advocacy, it is the greatest. So let us pray!

PRAYER

(based on Colossians 1:9-14, Psalm 45:10,11 ESV.)

Dear God our Eternal Father,

A great hostility is rising all over the world against your gospel and against your Church. Despite a decade of high-powered, economically-driven political advocacy for religious freedom, persecution of Christians is increasing in frequency, scope and intensity. Furthermore, because of geopolitical and economic changes, we are finding ourselves increasingly helpless (in earthly terms) to prevent it or even just escape it. Hardship, suffering, vulnerability and despair are spreading.

Father, we ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that amidst whatever this world and the prince of this world might throw at us, we may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to you, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

May those who are suffering and facing trials, hardships and even genocidal violence on account of Jesus Christ and his gospel be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. May the Spirit fill them with assurance of their salvation and an anticipation of their great inheritance in the Kingdom of God's Son. May the Holy Spirit lift their heads, restore their souls and draw them into prayer. May the Father answer their prayers, deliver them from evil and increase their faith.

Father, by your mighty power and in your amazing gracious love and mercy, purge us of all worldliness, idolatry, faithlessness and unfaithfulness, that we might be the beautiful bride you so desire. Open our eyes and ears and soften our hearts to your will. Fill us with brotherly love for all our brethren. Sanctify us. Refine us in these dark days and strengthen us for the darker days that lie ahead. May the devil have no victory over us. May your glory be revealed in all the earth.

AMEN

THE DAY COULD COME FOR YOU or I, so we must uphold our brothers & sisters now in:

THANK YOU IDOP & WEA for making us AWARE of the NEEDS & HOW to PRAY!

THERE IS ENOUGH PRAYER REQUESTS FOR THIS ENTIRE WEEK & BEYOND IF YOU TAKE SERIOUSLY THE PERSECUTED CHURCH'S PRAYER NEEEDS
GO TO IDOP....http://www.idop.org/prayerrequests.html

Let the Lord choose for you which persecuted country you should uplift in prayer (if you cannot pray for all, it is better to focus on ONE then not pray at all)...
Here is an example of what they do for each country listed below ( I will use the first one AFGHANISTAN) If you click on the country's name you will be linked to IDOPs PRAYER REQUEST for that country just like I have shared for Afghanistan>

Afghanistan on map

PLEASE PRAY FOR– AFGHANISTAN

Continues to deteriorate. The Taliban's opium-funded insurgency is advancing. No liberty or security.

The nation:

  • for God to graciously reveal himself to Afghanis (Isaiah 65:1) and to intervene to frustrate the ways of the Taliban ( Psalm 146:9).
  • for God to move powerfully amongst the Afghan Diaspora, so that Afghanis in exile may become the parents, Christians, leaders and nation builders of the future Afghanistan.

The Church:

  • for God to bless Afghanistan's secret believers and keep them safe so the Afghan Church may live and grow to be an instrument of blessing (salt), transformation (yeast), and truth-giving (light) for the nation.
  1. Afghanistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Belarus
  5. Bhutan
  6. Burma
  7. China
  8. Egypt
  9. Eritrea
  10. India
  11. Indonesia
  12. Iran
  13. Iraq
  14. Jordan
  15. Kosovo
  16. Laos
  17. Lebanon
  18. Malaysia
  19. Morocco
  20. Nepal
  21. Nigeria
  22. North Korea
  23. Pakistan
  24. Palestinian Territories
  25. Philippines
  26. Russia
  27. Saudi Arabia
  28. Somalia
  29. Sri Lanka
  30. Sudan
  31. Turkey
  32. Turkmenistan
  33. Uzbekistan
  34. Vietnam
  35. Yemen
  36. Zimbabwe

Heavenly Father,

Forgive me for not taking the time to pray more fervently for these brother and sisters in our world and their endless persecution against them by their countries' governments and other religions. Wrap your arms around them dear Lord, shield them, protect them, guard their hearts. We lift up the leaders. We pray for wisdom, discernment, and courage for the leaders (and journalists) of the Free world. Let your Truths be known and promises be ever near to their hearts, minds, and spirits. We come against the spirits of tyranny, terrorism & propaganda that is false, and corruption rearing its ugly head throughout the world. Forgive us for being so comfortable and not realizing the many deceiving spirits roaming about to devour the nations & your people. Harden not our hearts nor allow us to be lukewarm but striving to encourage others in Christ Jesus! Let us continue to pray & seek Your will & Your way...

The desire of a godly king:

‘Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow.’
King David's prayer in Psalm 25:4

Wise advice to a king:

'Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’
Advice to King Lemuel from his mother. Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV

Encouragement to pray:
‘The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.'
Proverbs 21:1 ESV

Promise:
‘O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.’
Psalm 10:17-18 ESV


1 comment:

Michele Williams said...

Wonderful blog! I have a little comprehension problem. How do we share Mission 4 Monday. And what exactly is it? My brain is in a fog right now and I'm not quite sure what I am to do? Sorry about this.....

Michele

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We were ALL made for a mission...God has a unique purpose & plan for everyone.
ALL MONTH, Every Week, Every Day...it's a lifetime experience!
This is where we share MISSIONS that have been placed on our hearts or in our lives. For God has given each of us a purpose & a unique plan to fulfill.
If you are new to Mission4Monday, please click here for more info.
A very special thanks to those of you (you know WHO you are) that faithfully have posted a MISSION4MONDAY whether you remember to link or not I appreciate it and if you are a regular and I notice, I have been linking you to the LINKY!
You are welcome ALWAYS to leave in the current comments a link to anything you share MISSION wise.
Thank you for placing M4M button on your posts, I so appreciate it! YOU each have presented FABULOUS ideas weekly!
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Micey also has been to Haiti and shared. Please pray for Micey. Once again she has returned to help in Haiti!
Lots going on over here at a mission field at home in the USA. PRAISE GOD & continue to pour out blessings on Auto Mission & Sherry w/Cowboy.
Nancie was a participant in the very beginning, but unable to currently blog actively. Yet she still has much good material to read in her previous posts along her sidebar of a worldwide health mission.
New blogger that shares MISSIONS at times:
Here's a current post she shared.
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Choose one or all or any & you will be blessed!
or
I also have another MISSION: to PRAY, so you can visit our team blog, THE LIGHTHOUSE of PRAYER over here
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Mission 4 Monday sadly ended last year as a meme, but I continue to share here and I know others also share various MISSIONS, especially the people above. Check them out!!! Encourage and perhaps join us.
Since my life is a MISSION, I share whenever I can. There are many of you, who do community involvement/church events, volunteer opportunities or know missionaries that you could share to motivate others. Motherhood and Homeschooling are MISSIONS and callings!!!
Each of these are MISSIONS and important to encourage others.
If you are doing something or share someone's MISSION on your blog, please leave your info in the comments anytime! Hopefully others will notice & come visit. THANKS!