Luke 7:23 (NLT) And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.
My Brothers and Sisters,
Satan loves to put the spotlight on those Christians who have turned away from Jesus. Particularly if they are a well-known pastor or worship leader. It is disheartening to read such reports of church leaders who have renounced Christ for various reasons.
But we must be reminded that for every well-known church leader who takes to social media and declares that he is rejecting Christ, there are countless thousands who are paying a heavy price for their faith in Jesus. We call them the persecuted church. They are not well-known except in the eyes of God. For those who stand for Christ and paid the price know that they have an eternal reward in Jesus. They are blessed.
Let the mega church pastors deny Christ. Let the worship leaders have their crisis of faith. But in nations like North Korea, Eritrea, China, and other hostile nations. Believers are standing firm amidst the persecutions and tortures, even in their ultimate martyrdom. There are those who are standing firm for Jesus and the idea of denying him is unthinkable.
In the past few months, several hundred believers have been arrested in the nation of Eritrea for following Jesus. They are given a sheet of paper and told that they would be let go and return to their families if they would renounce Christ. To my knowledge, I have not read where one dear Eritrean saint signed the paper and renounced Jesus. These Eritrean believers have chosen to suffer and even be martyred for their Lord Jesus. And this is played out all over the world daily in what we call the persecuted church.
It is estimated that every 6 minutes someone is martyred for their faith in Christ. By the end of this day over three to four hundred will have laid their souls out on the altar of Jesus. These are the ones who have not denied him. These are the ones who are overcomers. They have not renounced Christ, in doing so, they have defeated Satan by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and not loving their lives even unto death. These are the ones who have been faithful until death. These are our persecuted brothers and sisters. [Think about that for a moment, our brothers and sisters.]
I have no doubt that we will hear of more church leaders in America who will deny Christ for one reason or another. This will be disheartening but let us remember that for every well-known church leader who will stand up and deny Christ much to the glee of the enemy. Even still, there will be those three or four hundred who will lay down their lives for Jesus daily. There will be those several hundred who daily are martyred for him.
Let us draw inspiration from the persecuted church. Let us look to our persecuted brothers and sisters in the shadow of the cross and imitate their faith. Let us remember to keep our brothers and sisters in our prayers. Let us pray that they, as well as ourselves, will stand firm even in this evil day. Let us pray that we will not turn away from Jesus.
Your Brother in the Shadow of the Cross.
It has been a little over a year since our dear Brother Blaine went into Glory. I miss him and look for the day when I will see him again and rejoice together in the presence of our Glorious Father.
Meanwhile, he will be in the hearts of all of us as we remember and continue to pursue as he had done in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are led by the Spirit, please join us on the prayer call tonight as we pray for the persecuted church and the global harvest of souls. Please join us as we pray for those who are standing for Jesus and as we pray for ourselves to draw inspiration from the persecuted church.
We will continue to pray for:
- Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity
On Jul 08, 2020 · Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah.
- Pastor Wang Je Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the church in China.
On December 28 the police raided the Early Rain Church and arrested Pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, and ten elders of the well-known 750-member church for holding “illegal” services. Some 100 believers were detained, questioned, and later released. Pastor Wang’s wife was also released. Pastor Wang remained in detention.
- For Anita, an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime.
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues.
Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani converted to Christianity at the age of 19 and leads a 400-member house church in Rasht, Iran. Since 2006, Iranian authorities have consistently harassed and detained Pastor Nadarkhani and his family. In 2010, the authorities sentenced him to death for apostasy before acquitting him in 2012. Pastor Nadarkhani was tried again in 2017 on false charges of “acting against national security” and promoting “Zionist Christianity,” for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. By July 2018, plainclothes agents raided Pastor Nadarkhani’s home to execute the sentence, beating and apprehending him and using a taser gun on one of his sons. He is now incarcerated at the notorious Evin prison near Tehran.
- For the harvest
“2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2
In the love of Christ,
Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.
The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.
With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.
Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.
If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.
Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.
Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today