Easter is a time of great joy for those of us who celebrate – large family meals, extra church services, visits to the Show and Easter egg hunts. Our long weekend here in Australia is often so filled to the brim with festivities, we may miss time to reflect.
For Christians in restricted nations, Easter can look different. While we parade and party, they may face an increased risk of persecution. It has also been known as a time of year where churches are targeted in violent attacks.
Pressure, extra surveillance and disapproval from family are just some other ways these Christians can feel the squeeze of persecution at Easter.
Despite this, they are faithful and hold fast to the message of hope. Even with the risk, they continue to go to church and celebrate.
During this season of great hope, may we take the time to reflect on the love of Jesus and also pray for our brothers and sisters. If Christ calls us to love as He did, then one way we can love others is by praying for them. Prayer as Christians can be our love in action.
So how do we pray for the persecuted this Easter?
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (NKJV)
God is the giver of incredible peace and comfort and if there is one thing we can pray for, it’s that our brothers and sisters in Christ will be filled with that comfort. That God would uplift them with His strength and give them the inexplicable peace that only He can give.
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NKJV)
We praise God that so many persecuted Christians are bold in their faith, despite their lack of freedom. We praise God that they remain faithful to Him even in the most difficult circumstances. But we also pray for added boldness. That they would gain a deeper understanding of the faithfulness of God, that He goes before them and guides them and that they will be filled with inner strength. We pray that this Easter, they will experience a new boldness for proclaiming the Gospel.
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
Easter is a powerful season for people to find Him! The love and message of Christ can change the very hardest hearts. We continue to pray that in this time, people will find God and be changed forever.
We hope you’re encouraged to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord this Easter and to also think of and pray for our brothers and sisters doing the same thing, in different circumstances.
Post your prayer in the comments below.