Post-election last night, I was thinking about how much Western Christians (and Americans in particular) take for granted their ability to organize, whether politically or corporately for worship or service.
We form PACs of various kinds, open new churches, new missions, launch service ministries, and except for occasionally butting heads over zoning issues and the odd complaining neighbor, there really aren't any significant barriers in our way. Not that that couldn't change, but for now, we are generally free to do these things without the threat of harassment or arrest.
Now imagine living in North Korea. Or certain provinces of China. Or Pakistan. Or Eritrea. The list could go on and on. In these countries, just believing can be enough to condemn you to imprisonment or death. It could mean you can't hold a job, or keep custody of your kids. Organizing a ministry or a new church (at least openly) is out of the question.
As the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (November 13, 2005) approaches, take time to remember your brothers and sisters in Christ who take their lives in their hands every time they share their faith. And it would be a good thing if you remembered to pray for them other days, too.
Prayer Item for today - North Korea (Open Doors)
Child Beggars: There is so much poverty in North Korea, and children, in particular, suffer the most. These children who have no parents and no home try to grab every grain of rice on the ground at the local markets, but they are often driven away without having had anything to eat. Pray for these child beggars on the streets. These children have no one to care for them. Pray for good supervision of these children and that they may one day hear the Gospel.
Guards/Prisoners: There are various prison camps in North Korea; their conditions are appalling. Christians are imprisoned if it becomes known that they love the Lord Jesus. Please pray that these Christians will be able to show something of the Light of Christ to their fellow prisoners and to the guards. An ex-prisoner from one of these terrible prison camps, Soon Ok Lee, said that the Christians she met in the camps never denied God and continued to be a living testimony to their faith.
Underground Christians: In North Korea any expression of faith in Christ is punished and they are in great danger of being sent to a prison camp. Pray for the Christians who continue underground, despite the difficult circumstances and pray for safe and encouraging meetings. Please join Open Doors’ North Korea prayer campaign. The goal is to have at least 1,008 people pray for ten minutes a week to make a powerful impact on this oppressive situation on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We want to know You more and hear Your voice more clearly so that we too can partner with You in meeting human needs through the wonderful ministry of praying for others. We thank You because You have given us this desire. You will fulfill our requests as we walk in obedience to Your truth. We anticipate a new dimension of revelation by the Holy Spirit in our praying for others.