Friday, November 11, 2016

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) 2016

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.  
(Hebrews 13:3 KJV)


Twenty years ago the International Day of Pray for the Persecuted Church started—it is generally focused on the first Sunday of November (and occasionally the second Sunday of November per my research, see for more information).  Since the reality of Christian persecution is very real—a daily reality in many parts of the world; I cannot ignore it—thus why I am spending two weeks on this difficult but important topic.  For last week’s post, please click here:  Christian Persecution.

If you are interested in hearing a five minute testimony of what persecution looks like, I encourage you to watch this year’s Voice of the Martyrs’ video Hannelie.  It is worth the time it takes to watch.  May Hannelie’s testimony encourage you as it did me.

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries:  which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
(Philippians 1:27-30 KJV)

Our brothers and sisters in Christ in many areas—Asia (North Korea and China to name two), Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union—need our prayers daily.  They are paying a steep price because of Jesus; they have counted the cost and paid the price.  They see it as an honor to suffer for Christ.  What does it look like for you to count the cost of following Jesus?  What have you forsaken; what have you left behind?

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.  
(Isaiah 54:17 KJV)


But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 
(Philippians 3:7-8 KJV)

It seems to me that people who accept Jesus in areas where to do so means a death sentence know what it means (in a way that we cannot not begin to truly understand) to count the cost of following Jesus.  Keep in mind, the cost of following Jesus is real even without persecution.  I have posted on this topic in the past, please see Counting the Cost.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  
(Romans 8:28 KJV)

Learning, early on, to cling to Jesus—to abide in Him and He in us; to abide in the Word and to allow the Word to abide in us (memorization) should be helpful when persecution comes (or even just opposition) for following Jesus.  Like Daniel (1:8), we must decide now what we will do when persecution comes.  Where will you place your allegiance?  Will you pledge allegiance to the Lamb or will you pledge allegiance to the world?

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  
(1 Peter 4:12-19 KJV)

In studying the Scriptures earlier this year, I noticed that Scriptures seem to indicate persecution will happen, if we live for Christ as we should.

Personal Photo

Personal Photo

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.  
(1 Peter 3:13-22 KJV)


American Christians seem to be hiding their heads in the sand regarding the persecution of their brothers and sisters in Jesus, disregarding the reality of so many; thereby, refusing to even want to consider the possibility that one day they may face the exact same reality.  Persecution purifies and strengthens (or it can) Christians to live for Jesus.  The remnant that withstands persecution is stronger than before—the Scriptures are clear—persecution strengthens and grows the Church rather than killing it.   

As we pray for our brothers and sisters in chains (Hebrews 13:3) let us prepare ourselves to face the unthinkable.  While persecution is not pleasant to read or think about or even consider, denying its reality is not wise either.

Hopefully, we will never face persecution.  However, I am feeling nudged about getting prepared now, “just in case”.  After all, those of us who live in the Midwest tend to stock up on food and supplies prior to blizzards!

How can you prepare yourself for difficult days ahead?  Where have you placed your allegiance?

*No matter what happens can you say it is well with my soul?*  I encourage you to listen to following worship video:

Please join with me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the testimonies and tenacious faith of our brothers and sisters in Jesus; their stories are difficult to read or watch, yet they inspire us to live more fully sold out for You.  For those who are in prison for their faith strengthen and encourage them with Your felt presence.  Bolster their faith and witness as they face torture and unspeakable cruelty.  Illuminate their light—the light Jesus—in the darkest of places, showing their captors Jesus.  Let them know we are standing with them and are praying for them.  Comfort and protect their families who are suffering far more than we grasp.  Teach us through their witness how we are to live for You and even die for You.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,



  1. It's so difficult for us to grasp the horrors of persecution of Christians in other countries. Thank you, Kim, for bringing this to our attention that we might be reminded to pray always for these brothers and sisters in the faith.
    Love and blessings!

    1. Yes, Martha, it is very difficult for us to grasp the true horrors of persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It's an honor and privilege to bring attention to what is happening in other parts of the world. I don't want them to stand and serve alone. Thank you for praying with me!

      Love and blessings!

  2. Oh Kim, it was so hard to watch that first video. That mom is living her faith, and living her hope. I don't know how I'd do if this happened to me. She really is an inspiration, a living proof of faith in action.
    I know that there are many places where Christians are hated and oppressed, and even killed as in this case. I don't think that will ever really end until Christ comes again, but may he place all under his feet. May we all come together as one.
    Very powerful.

    1. Hi Ceil, I know Hannielie's testimony was hard to watch; she living her faith in a way that inspires me. You are correct, persecution won't end until Jesus returns. In fact, I expect it to get worse before it gets better.

      Keep the faith!


All comments are moderated. Please use care in posting comments or replies. If you wouldn't say what you are writing in person, rethink your words. Remember words can build up or tear down. Speak the truth in love.