18 Jul How Can I Pray Through Persecution?
WRITTEN BY: Hannah Jones
Throughout the month of July, we’ve been reading from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. If you have taken just even a glimpse into this book of the Bible, you’ve seen how John (the author of the book) shares with us details surrounding the visions that God has given him in order to give us a picture of what the future looks like.
Now, I know that some of the things we read in Revelation might seem a little out-there or even difficult to understand, but we know that everything that is written within the Bible exists for a reason: to help us draw nearer to Jesus.
Revelation 14:12 reads: “This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.“
Endure persecution patiently? … Really?
I don’t know about you, but that can feel like a lot to ask, depending on what it is we may be going through. Around the world, people still experience persecution through imprisonment, physical abuse, fines, or destruction. But persecution can come in many different forms —it can be defined as any kind of hostility that we experience because we identify as followers of Jesus.
Examples of persecution we may encounter in our daily lives could be:
- Being mocked or bullied for our faith in Jesus
- Being excluded from opportunities because we are open about our faith
- Rejection from a friend or family member who may not have similar beliefs
When it comes to enduring any trial we face, prayer should always be our first response. If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, the Bible tells us that we will face some type of persecution at some point (John 15:18-21). But, by seeking God first, we can ask for wisdom and strength to endure while trusting that God will work things out for his glory.
Here are some prayers you can pray this week as you patiently endure what you may be going through (adapted from Pray First: A Guide for Personal Prayer by The Journey):
Put On The Armor Of God
Feeling like you’re left to face difficulties alone? God gives us spiritual armor that we are able to “put on” in every situation. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
“Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I declare that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. I wear your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Cover me with your holiness and purity—defend me from all attacks against my heart. Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me where you are working, and lead me to it. Give me strength to walk daily with you. Nothing that is coming today can overcome me because you are with me. I agree to walk in step with you in everything as my spirit communes with you in prayer throughout the day.”
Ask God To Transform Your Hopelessness
Are you feeling completely hopeless about what you are going through? God wants to come close to you. He will carry the burdens for you and transform your hopelessness into hope for the future. (Psalms 34)
“Father, I am thankful for your love and faithfulness each and every day. Your word assures me that you are ‘close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.’ (Psalm 34:18) I thank you that in my brokenness you speak most clearly to me and provide a path forward. ‘For when I am weak you are strong’ in my life. (2 Corinthians 12:10) I praise you for transforming my brokenness into your glory! When I am broken you speak new life into my soul. ‘May these dry broken bones come to life as I hear the word of the Lord’ (Ezekiel 37:4) in this storm of my life. Thank you for your forgiveness, mercy and grace! In Jesus’ name.
Pray For Those Who May Be Persecuting You To Know God
Many people think Christianity is just another religion. They only see God through the lens of the organization and institution of the church. They may even feel frustrated, angry, or betrayed by people in churches they have encountered. God didn’t come to build an organization; he came to have a relationship with his children. (Romans 8:15)
“Father, I pray that people will understand how much you love them. Stir in their hearts a longing to come home, to hear your voice, and to see you welcoming them with open arms. Help them to see their need for a meaningful relationship with you. Let them know you are always running to meet them and hold them close.”
As we heard in the message this past weekend, instead of trying to preserve our life, surrender it daily to Jesus. It’s through drawing closer to him that we can experience peace that we didn’t think would be possible in the midst of difficult times!
Hannah Jones / Communications Director
Hannah has been gathering at The Journey since January of 2017 with her husband, Sydney. She started serving on the Production and Communications teams in 2018, where she found her love for getting to make a difference in the lives of others. As the Communications Director at The Journey now, one of the things she loves most about her role is getting to lead a team of people who focus on telling the stories of the lives that are changed through Jesus!