A little over a year ago I wrote a post about prayers for persecuted believers. It wasn’t I wanted to do. Honestly, I wanted to stay as far away from it as possible. But as usual, God changed my heart and my mind. You can read about it here. God used something as simple as writing my signature to remind me to pray. And for the last year, every time I have signed my name–whether on a document or an electronic signature pad, I’ve lifted persecuted Christians before the throne of grace. They certainly are not long prayers, but they are prayers that please God and prayers He can use to accomplish His purposes. Plus, the habit of doing this has kept the persecuted church in my heart and my mind.
Since it’s been a year, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give you my list of quick, but desperately needed prayers for our brothers and sisters across the globe, who are facing persecution for their faith in Christ.
The Apostle Paul prayed for believers all the time. In fact, he opened most of his letters with a tender prayer of thankfulness for his believing friends, and then passionately prayed for their faith to grow and deepen. But he also asked the churches to pray for him. It is these short, specific prayer requests I use when I pray for persecuted believers. I just pray whatever God brings to mind. Sometimes it’s the same prayer for a week or two. I don’t think about it too much. I trust that God has me praying what He wants me to pray. Sometimes I pray for a specific missionary I know. Sometimes I pray for Christians in a certain region. Sometimes I pray specifically for women and young girls. Usually, as I finish up my signature, I am praying the same for myself and for my own family.
15 Prayers for Persecuted Believers
1. Pray for their safety and rescue from unbelievers.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea. (Romans 15:30-31 NIV)
2. Pray that God will give them the right words to boldly share the gospel with everyone they come in contact with.
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20)
3. Pray that through their suffering, the gospel will reach many, including their captors.
And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. (Philippians 1:12-13)
4. Pray that all believers will gain confidence to boldly share the gospel without fear because of the obedience of other suffering believers.
And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. (Philippians 1:14)
5. Pray that they will never be ashamed, but continue to be bold for Christ.
6. Pray that their lives will bring honor to Christ whether they live or die.
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. (Philippians 1:20)It doesn't take long to lift our persecuted brothers and sisters before the Lord.
7. Pray that God will give them many opportunities to share the gospel.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. (Colossians 4:2-3)
8. Pray that they will proclaim the message clearly.
Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. (Colossians 4:4)
9. Pray that they will continue to be faithful and to endure all persecution and hardship, knowing that joy awaits them.
We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. (2 Thessalonians 1:4)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
10. Pray that the gospel will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
11. Pray that they will be rescued from wicked and evil people.
Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. (2 Thessalonians 3:2)
12. Pray that they will have a clear conscience and live honorably in everything they do and say.
Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do. (Hebrews 13:18)
I also pray for the following:
13. Pray that they will love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (Mark 12:30)
14. Pray that the parents, and especially the fathers, will teach and model faithfulness to their children, especially in the context of suffering.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)
15. Pray that their captors will treat them with kindness.
He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love. He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness. (Psalm 106:45-46)
Last year’s post was written on the heels of the ISIS execution of the 21 Egyptian believers. That image is burned into my mind and my heart. Persecution continues. Believers are suffering imprisonment, torture, and death. They need our prayers! If you are not already, please lift our brothers and sisters before the throne of grace. To help you keep these prayers in mind, I have developed a printable that you can keep with you. You can download it by clicking here. Please take brief moments to pray for Christians who are suffering for their faith in Christ–whether they are in another country, or at the school down the street from you!15 Powerful Prayers for Persecuted Believers