I ran across this article the other day and immediately wanted to re-post it… It is from a prayer site blog called “Vigilant Warriors”
“Have you taken a look at the news headlines lately? I’m not referring to the U.S. headlines, nor the generic world headlines. The news banners I speak of are world religious headlines.
“Northern Iraq No Longer Safe for Christians”
“Two Pastors Killed in Kenya’s Coastal Area”
“Syrian Crisis: Christians Targeted in the Chaos”
“One Third of Syrian Christians Have Gone, Says Cleric”
“Nationalist Hindu group destroys church, threatens believers”
“Iran abuses Christians National and International rights: Christians are jailed, tortured and
prevented from meeting together”
“Interfaith conflict threatens to engulf Central African Republic”
This is, of course a very small sampling of what Christ Followers face in today’s world. And it should not be surprising to those of us who follow Jesus. He warned us it would be this way.
And brother will deliver up brother to death and the father his child. And the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated of all men for My name’s sake, but the one who endures to the end shall be kept safe. (Matthew 10:21-22)
It is, without a doubt a war. The persecution we read about today, the persecution brother and sister followers in many areas of the world are experiencing is war against God’s Truth. Those being persecuted are in the midst of battles raging across the globe. These are battles that must be fought, but not in the conventional sense – guns vs. guns, violence vs. violence. The truth is, Christ Followers worldwide are under increasing spiritual pressure, and physical violence. But the war, on our part, must be fought with Christ’s compassion, peace, hope and love. They need supplies, support, strength and spiritual under-girding. They need us to stand with them, though we may not be physically beside them.
During World War 2, the U.S. realized that to win, we would need large numbers of soldiers, physically on the ground, confronting the forces arrayed against us. Moreover, it became apparent that there would need to be an even greater push, here at home, to supply and support our troops. Icons such as “Rosie the Riveter” and Captain America were created to enlist the help of the American people in producing the overwhelming flow of supplies to the troops, to enlist their whole-hearted support for the war effort and to undergird all spiritually.
During World War 2, “Just before the Battle of the Bulge, as Allied forces found themselves surrounded by the enemy and hounded by freezing rain that kept reinforcements from reaching them in the Ardennes Forest, Gen. George Patton asked his chief chaplain to write a prayer for good weather. Patton then used it as a training letter for 3,000 officers, asking them to instruct all their enlisted men to pray. ‘Those who pray do more for the world than those who fight,” the letter said. “We must urge, instruct and indoctrinate every fighting man to pray as well as fight. In Gideon’s day and in our own, spiritually alert minorities carry the burdens and bring the victories.’”
Consequently, in today’s battles, our first line of support for our troops is prayer. Hebrews 13:3 tells us to
“Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them. Remember those who are suffering, as though you were suffering as they are.”
And Paul reminds us,
… there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one
If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all
the other parts share its happiness. (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)
The active word here is Remember, “It means that we are to remember them “with appropriate sympathy;” or as we should wish others to remember us if we were in their circumstances. That is, we are
(1) To feel deep compassion for them;
(2) We are to remember them in our prayers;
(3) We are to remember them, as far as practicable, with aid for their relief.
Christianity teaches us to sympathize with all the oppressed, the suffering, and the sad; and there are more of this class than we commonly suppose, and they have stronger claims on our sympathy than we commonly realize.” Barnes
Hence, as we hit our knees we bind ourselves to those brothers and sisters out there who are suffering. We can walk in thought beside them, imploring the Father to strengthen them, give them resolve for continued boldness and intercede for them and their families. Now we begin to fulfill the needs of those “on the front” who battle for the truth.
Sunday, November 3 is the International Day Of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. If you have not already joined the battle remembering “those who are in prison… those who are suffering”, this is a great day to set your resolve.
The letter of 1944 shows us that with all the battles we have to fight, and all the means that have been given to us with which to fight them, our most effective weapon is always prayer. The One who calls His people to be overcomers holds all victories in His hands, and is able to do “immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.”
Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)”
From a blog posted at Vigilant Warriors on October 26, 2013.
A satisfying prayer life elevates and purifies every act of body and mind and integrates the entire personality into a single spiritual unit. In the long pull we pray only as well as we live.
~ A. W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
Prayer is so underrated these days. We focus so much on the “doing of the Christian life” that most days, we negate to enjoy the sweet fellowship of God that the ancients so desperately craved. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was so rare, so sacred and by honoring His presence, still the only way to hallow Gods holiness.