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Prayers for the Persecuted this Easter

Prayers for the Persecuted this Easter

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?

  1. For strength and comfort

 “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.

  1. Boldness

“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.

  1. Salvation

“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.

PAKISTAN: Terrorist Threat to Pakistan Churches

PAKISTAN: Terrorist Threat to Pakistan Churches

Authorities in Pakistan fear that a terrorist linked to Islamic State is planning an attack that could target Christians in Punjab province at Easter.

The bomber is likely to try to carry out a suicide attack in Lahore, according to a contact of VOM’s partner office in the UK.

Easter has been a particularly dangerous time for believers in Pakistan. Last year four members of one family were shot dead in Quetta by terrorists deliberately targeting Christians.

During Easter 2016, a suicide bomber targeted church-goers at a park in Lahore, killing more than 70. Most of the victims were women and children.

Source: Release International

  • Thank God for the witness of His church in Pakistan and ask Him to protect His people. Pray especially for safety at Easter church services and celebrations.
  • Pray that the authorities will put in place effective measures that would prevent any attack from happening.
  • Ask God to convict all those whose hearts are filled with hatred towards Christians to repent of their actions and turn to Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

The Hope of Easter Begins

The Hope of Easter Begins

Today is Good Friday. It is a day for Christians which marks reflection and mourning but most of all hope. For Christians in restricted nations, Easter is a time which carries an increased risk of persecution.

On Easter Sunday 2016, in an attack targeting Christians, at least 75 people were killed and over 340 injured in a suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan.  Holy Week 2017 began with more attacks on innocent Christians. In Tanta Egypt, a man wearing concealed explosives passed through a security checkpoint outside St George’s Church, and detonated himself. At least 28 people were killed, and 77 were injured. At the Egyptian port city of Alexandria three hours later, another bomber tried to enter St Mark’s Church. When the man was stopped by an officer, he also detonated his explosives. This time 17 people were killed and 48 left wounded.

Jesus offers a living hope to our persecuted brothers and sisters due to His victory over death. Because of His resurrection, death is nothing to be feared. It is this hope that inspires so many Christians to endure persecution, rather than renounce their faith in Christ.

“We have peace in our hearts so that whether we are poor or persecuted, we have this peace. It is the hope of heaven that keeps us going in the midst of persecution, so whether we are persecuted, beaten or not, it is the hope that we will be in heaven that keeps us moving forward.”  – A believer in Burma

In Australia we often take our freedom to worship for granted. As you meet today to remember our Saviour’s death and again to celebrate His resurrection on Sunday, please say a prayer for our brothers and sisters in restricted nations who are doing the same, at great risk.