Prayer is a powerful tool that can bring hope and help even amidst the direst of situations. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, recognized by churches across the globe, is a particular time when believers gather to pray for those facing opposition for their faith.
In countries where it is frowned upon or outright illegal to be a Christian, many faithful men and women worship the Lord. Despite the dangers, they courageously continue to show their faith to any who might listen no matter the consequences. And sometimes, those consequences entail discrimination, exclusion, beatings—even death. Yet in the face of seemingly overwhelming opposition, these brave believers hold on to their faith, knowing God will preserve their soul.
A Family’s Opposition
For 16-year-old Adette, attending church brought her no small amount of joy. Having been freed from an evil spirit, the young woman attended the church of GFA Pastor Kearney, the one who had helped deliver her from the oppressive spirit. Where before, Adette had been a devout practitioner of her beliefs, her deliverance opened her eyes to the love of God.
When her parents found out Adette had embraced Christ into her heart and cast away her previous beliefs , they were furious. Adette’s newfound joy only served to further infuriate her family. They forbade her from attending the church anymore, perhaps in hopes their daughter would give up her foolish faith in Christ. Yet she couldn’t, and Adette continued to attend church in secret.
One day, Adette’s parents caught her making her way to church. Furious with her disobedience, they beat her. Deny this Jesus, they demanded of her.
“I will not deny Christ,” Adette returned. “Whatever you want, you can do with me.”
When they realized Adette would not give in, the family gave up, and kicked her out of the home. Thankfully, Adette’s uncle sheltered her, where she could possibly follow Christ in peace.
Pray for the Persecuted
Countless stories like Adette’s have occurred many times across the world. We must remember that the persecution of the faithful in closed or hostile regions continues unabated.
With this in mind, we can together pray for the many thousands who face death for their faith, joining the thousands of others as one Body of Christ. On November 7th, let us take the time to remember those who have faced death for their unwavering faith in God, and pray for those currently facing threats to their lives for theirs.