I am tearfully in prayer for the martyrs’ families and loved ones in Syria, Kenya, Pakistan, and other cities/countries of suffering where God’s people are being slaughtered by wicked men our liberal government wants you to think are an isolated group of “extremists.” Hundreds of Christians, and non-believers as well, have been killed over the past year (the past weeks!) and it’s a gut-twisting thing to see this happening.
This morning, a member of our church asked for prayer regarding the situation in Pakistan, which brought me to tears. This so shortly after the attack on the mall in Kenya, along with my Dad explaining his correspondence with an old friend whose family and flock are continually persecuted and killed for their faith in Africa has made for quite an emotional morning. I also read an article on a woman called “Hope,” who after six attempted suicides was rescued from the deception of North Korean tyrants and now works to share the gospel with others in her country. (Her story is here.) That is why today I am sad, and a little angry… but I am also hopeful, and eager to share these stories with you for additional prayers.
It’s frightening that martyrdom is no longer something we merely read about in ancient history books. It hasn’t stopped since Cain murdered Able, and it’s making its way ever so subtly into our own free nation under the guise of “tolerance” for evil. People think it’s impossible for America to backslide so much that it would allow terrorism and martyrdom to become commonplace like in other parts of the world, but look at how it’s already begun. Look how so many of us turn a blind eye to the world’s events because it’s uncomfortable or scary. (I admit, I have done this myself.) Look at how Christian businesses are fined and punished due to standing fast to their principles. Look at how public schools trample God’s word and infect our youth with their lies and ignorance. Look at the mass murder of unborn children in our nation. Look at how the elderly are disrespected and abused. Our countrymen worship democracy and tolerance while by their votes they pay for the dismemberment of children and fund medical benefits for some of the most hardened criminals in our prisons. We need to pray for our country, and see what turning from God and His commandments leads to.
I don’t like to post doom and gloom on a Sunday (or ever) but this is important, and I think we all need to be aware that this is happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our family is being persecuted. None of my immediate blood relatives or close friends have been directly effected by the attacks, but my heart grieves for our spiritual family. I don’t have a lot of political smarts, or any power in that arena. I don’t know what I in my slight abilities can do to help, but I thought asking for prayer was a good start.
While praying for the obvious… the courage of the oppressed, the wisdom of our leaders to abandon their weak policies and protect the helpless, and comfort and healing for those left to mourn their loved ones, I don’t want us to forget to pray for the murderers of God’s people. Yes, pray for the terrorists, the people willing to strap bombs to themselves and kill others for a twisted ideology and a false god who can offer them no hope. I know that God gives His people strength. As promised, He is with them to the end. I am confident that He was with His children even–no, especially when facing death. And it is only such a powerful and merciful God that can turn the blackest heart to Him. Even Saul, who stoned and imprisoned the saints was converted on the very road to destruction, still breathing threats against the church. Saul, who became the great apostle Paul and was himself martyred. Our people will be granted the bliss of eternal life. We have that hope, that security, that peace. And as hopeless as things may seem for us on earth, the eternal terrors our persecutors will suffer are unfathomable.
Pray for their souls, that their eyes would be opened and they be brought to repentance and faith before they seal for themselves a place in the pit of hell. And pray that through these horrific events, God will still be glorified in the advance of His word, the strengthening of the saints, and the comfort of the persecuted.
And praise God that for the time, we here are afforded the privilege of attending church without the threat of death or dismemberment.