Praying for the persecuted
    October 1 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

    We are blessed in this country with a religious freedom that people in other parts of the world cannot even begin to imagine. Every week you and I can worship wherever we choose and with any group of people we choose.

    We can carry our Bibles in public and say we are Christians without fear that the government will put us in prison or kill us.

    Every day Christians around the world suffer persecution. Open Doors, an organization serving persecuted Christians, includes a list on its web site of the latest news about persecuted Christians and churches. Nearly every day this group has a report of some kind of persecution — or martyrdom — happening around the world. They report that about 100 million Christians face persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ, with millions more facing alienation and discrimination.

    I can hardly bear to read the personal stories on the Open Doors web site about Christians dying for their faith. In the Middle East, a mom and her two children waited for dad to come home from work, but he never did because five men stormed the Christian publishing company where he worked and tortured and then killed him. A bomb exploded in a church in Southeast Asia and a man watched as the fire consumed his wife. The man and his wife had only just been married.

    North Carolina Baptists, are we praying for the persecuted church? Are we regularly falling on our faces before God and pleading with Him on behalf of our brothers and sisters around the globe?

    Prayer is so important in the life of a Christian. Through prayer we get to know the heart of God. God has invited us into His presence at any time. We can approach His throne of grace with confidence, knowing our prayers are heard and are treasured by God.  If we believe all that to be true, I challenge you and I challenge myself to get more serious when it comes to intercessory prayer, especially for the persecuted church.

    Nov. 14, 2010, has been designated as an international day of prayer for the persecuted church. We may not be able to go overseas and minister to these Christians, but we can each pray for them. They need our prayers more than anything else.

    I encourage you to mark Nov. 14 as the beginning of a new commitment for your church to boldly pray for persecuted Christians. Pray for those who are being sent away from their homes and their families because of their faith. Please pray for those who will ultimately give their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    If your church would like materials to help promote this important day of prayer, visit www.opendoorsusa.org.

    “Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.” Psalm 10:17-18
    10/1/2010 6:05:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments




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