International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

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Sunday November 9 is the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church.

As we think about our brothers and sisters around the world who live under the constant threat of physical persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ, the things that are brought up here and on the local TV shows we discuss regularly pale in comparison.  

The following information is from this site.

Consider this –  did you know that over 200 million Christians around the world suffer persecution?  

Depending on the country, each form of persecution is different.  But it is real, and its threat to the Church is serious.  

Below are compelling facts about what kind of persecution is taking place today all over the world against our brothers and sisters in Christ.  As you educate your friends and church about the reality of Christian persecution, we hope this information will equip you to pray powerfully and effectively. 

When we go to the persecuted Church and ask them what they need most, we always hear first, ‘please pray for us.’  This is their ardent request.  They find strength in knowing we have not forgotten them, and we are praying for them to hold fast to their faith.  So please use the information as you pray. 

Consider these facts:

 

•  The world’s worst persecutor of Christians in the world is North Korea. 

•  In Saudi Arabia, practicing Christianity can result in death by beheading or stoning. 

•  Over 90% of China’s Christians worship in hidden, underground house churches to avoid government regulations and restrictions. 

•  There is only one Christian church left in the Gaza Strip, and its membership has dwindled to less than 100. 

•  Algeria is about a quarter of the size of Texas, and only 3% of the population are Christians. 

•  There are 69 languages in Iran, and only three of them have a completed Bible.  Iran is also the third worst persecutor of Christians in the world. 

•  Open preaching in Sudan is punishable by beatings or imprisonment. 

•  Christians make up less than 1.7% of the population in Pakistan, and over 70% of them are the poorest of the poor. 

•  It is estimated that there are 1,100 Christian missionaries living in Turkey.   

This Sunday, November 9, please join with members of the Lord’s church from all over the globe as we intercede on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ (like the early church did for Paul in Acts 12:5).
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Sunday, August 3 – Prayer Day for Johnny, Norm and James – Part II

As happened back at the beginning of June, recent events here have convicted me again to not allow this blog to degenerate because of the wild postings of a rambling man.  It is not what the blog is supposed to be, and it is not what I want it to become.

Here’s what I wrote back in June, and it’s being reapplied today, but updated:

When the people who represent the doctrine that this blog discusses are people who seem to revel in stirring things up and getting people riled up (regardless of what is motivating them to do this), then it is easy to find ourselves getting comfortably in a permanent defensive posture.  Johnny Robertson’s visit yesterday just underlines how easily that can happen.

I don’t want this blog to be a place that Johnny, Norm and/or James can give to their supporters and say, “Look at how I am being treated!  I must be doing something right if they are so upset at me!”  Rather, I want it to be a place where the three men would see the love of Christ exhibited.

I would ask my regular commenters to consider the following Scripture passages:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse (Romans 12:14).

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it (1 Corinthians 4:12).

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble (1 John 2:9-10).

Now, I am not saying that any certain people who have been posting here about the three TV hosts have been acting improperly.  However, I want this to be a place where Jesus’ name is honored, and I think one important way we honor Him is when we act like Him.

So, I invite you all to join me on Sunday, August 3 as I pray for Johnny Robertson, Norm Fields and James Oldfield, “faithful”, “TD” – and all hyperconservative church of Christ folks in general, but specifically the Martinsville church of Christ, the Danville church of Christ, and the Reidsville church of Christ.  Some suggested things we can pray for them:

1.  For the well-being of their families

2.  For their health  

3.  For Godly wisdom for those in leadership as they attempt to lead the churches where they teach and preach

4.  That Christ would dwell in their (and our) hearts through faith.  And that they (and we), “being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that [they] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17-19

5.  That they would experience the true freedom found in being a follower of Christ.  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36

Won’t you join me in praying for these men this Sunday?

Thanks,

Nathan