By Jordan Rowley
Spiritual Coordinator, Climbing For Christ
Many Christians facing severe persecution live in remote or restricted areas with little or no access to today’s modern communication technologies. So it’s hard to know the exact number of our brothers and sisters who are being martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ.
A recent statistic from Voice of the Martyrs states that about 176,000 Christians were killed in one single year. That’s 482 Christians executed each day, or 20 fellow believers slain each hour. That’s one brother or sister murdered every three minutes!
However accurate these numbers may be, one thing is known for sure — the death of every martyr is precious to the Lord.
These dear saints are from every corner of the globe and every walk of life. Their persecutors are demonically inspired souls who seek to destroy and devour any and every follower of Christ. Each Christian man, woman and child who is slain is done so in hopes of quieting and quenching the work of God.
However, with the vicious torture or the brutal killing of every martyr, somehow more light floods the darkness, more fuel is added to the passionate flames of fellow believers, and more glory goes to the Worthy One who was slain. Many of these precious brothers and sisters are given the opportunity to be granted “mercy,” “freedom” and “life,” if they will simply deny their Savior; but most refuse. They boldly stand firm, unashamedly knowing that their true mercy, true freedom, and true lives are found in Christ alone!
Let us, the Christian Church as a whole, look the other way no longer!
Let us, each and every individual believer, no longer make excuses for not knowing more and not doing more! After all, these are our brothers and sisters. This is our Christian family being brutalized, and to them this is literally life or death.
If any of these saints had been born under different circumstances, in a different place or in a different time, perhaps they would have been spared the hardship of such intense persecution. Perhaps they would have been sitting in the next pew or row at church on any given Sunday. Perhaps they would have been on the worship team or served in the children’s ministry at your own church.
However, in the Lord’s sovereign and perfect will He has placed them where they are, and He has placed us where we are. They face the constant threat of being beaten, tortured or killed; whether on their way to or from work, church or school, or even while in their own homes. At any moment the attack could come.
What if it were your closest Christian brother or sister who was facing such harsh and violent cruelty? What would you do? You would do more than just think about them every now and then! You would do more than just feel bad for them! You would do more than just say a quick prayer whenever you happened to think about them!
Let’s break the silence and get on our knees regularly on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters. The most important thing that we can do for them is PRAY! In fact, that’s what the majority of our persecuted family asks for — our prayers! Praying is both the least and the most we can do. It’s the least we can do because it’s so simple, yet it’s the most we can do because it has the biggest impact.
Let’s be the silent majority no longer, but rather, lift them up in prayer to our Great and Gracious God! Let’s pray for our fellow believers just as Jesus prayed for His followers as recorded in John 17: that they might be kept from the evil one, sanctified by the truth of God’s Word, that they may be made complete in oneness with the Lord, that they may be where our precious Lord Jesus is, that they may behold His glory, and that the love of God would be in them as God Himself is in them.
Let’s remember all of our fellow believers facing persecution as if we were bound and suffering with them, as we join together in prayer asking that the Lord would cause them to grow stronger in spirit day by day, that the Lord would protect and provide for their families, that they would be bold and wise, as well as loving and compassionate to all (including their persecutors). In Jesus name, Amen!
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” — Hebrews 13:3
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” — Romans 12:5
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.” — 1 Corinthians 12:26
Jordan Rowley, a staff member of Climbing For Christ, oversees C4C’s PRAYER TEAM. He sends out weekly Prayer Updates and “prayer flares” to worldwide Climbing For Christ members who have been called to pray for His ministry and the saints. To contact Jordan with a prayer request or to join our Prayer Team, email jrowley@ClimbingForChrist.org.
Posted June 27, 2011