I usually get up early in the morning to spend time with the Lord, His Word and my coffee. I really enjoy my mornings, so I generally go to bed early at night, so that I am refreshed when morning comes. It's funny because sometimes the conversation and word study get so good that I don't want to stop and begin my workday. During my quiet time this morning, the persecuted church was laid upon my heart.
In the United States it's easy for Believers to take for granted the right to pray and worship in public because Christianity here is generally accepted. However, in many nations across the earth, it is not. Truly these are perilous days here in the United States and across the earth, but we serve a great God and the prayer of the righteous can achieve what armies cannot.
Many people believe that we are walking in the last days before Christ' return and that the many events happening across the earth are simply prophecy being fulfilled. Well, I believe that too. And many, even Christians and pastors believe that God is sovereign and will do what He wants so they don't petition God like He encourages us to do. Have you ever thought this way?
As I said, you're not alone, but notice that in Matthew 6:8 Jesus says, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" but in the next verse he nonetheless commands us to pray: “So pray this way: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored, may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ―Matthew 6:9-13 (NET Bible)
WHAT IS GOD’S WILL?
Well, 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us that He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.
As I prayed this morning, it was also laid upon my heart to pray for those who persecuted church. The Lord said, “Pray that those who persecute the Church have an experience like Paul did.”
We often hear that we should pray for persecuted Christians, rarely is it requested to pray for those who persecute Christians. Sometimes it can be hard to imagine that our enemies—or those who hurt us or persecute us— could ever turn away from evil and come to Christ, but He has called us to pray for them and we have an example in scripture that God can save them.
Saul of Tarsus hated Christians also and made it his goal to capture, then bring Christians to public trial and execution. He was there when Stephen the first Christian martyr was killed by an angry mob. After Stephen was martyred, “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison" (Acts 8:3). But God saved Saul of Tarsus, changed his name and he wrote most of the new testament. He went from persecutor to Christian.
Saul of Tarsus is proof that god can reach anyone! He is proof that those who set themselves up as enemies against us, are people in need of a saving relationship with Jesus. The Word of God instructs us to love them, praying that they might enter into His kingdom!
Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He also said, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28).
What to Pray for Those Pray for those who persecute the Church
Well, since the Lord said, “Pray that those who persecute the Church have an experience like Paul did.” I will start there.
Father, You saved Saul of Tarsus and used him tremendously to save the lost, and help Christians to grow in Christ. Like you touched Saul I ask that You touch those who persecute Your church today. Father, I ask for freedom and salvation for them. Make known to them His glorious riches through the mystery of Christ. Open their eyes, unstop their ears, deliver them out the hand of bondage. Send the Word of Deliverance. Forgive them for their sins, bring them to repentance, and make them forgiving people, and protect them from overpowering temptations and from the destructive power of the devil.
In the name, through the Power and Blood of Jesus Christ generational mindsets/strongholds be broken. Thank YOU for setting the captive free. May the laborers of the harvest be bold and go forth. Father thank You for watching over Your word and performing it. You are still God!!!!! You break down every wall, YOU part rivers, YOU remove shackles that YOUR LOVED ONES may FREE. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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