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(Voice of the Persecuted) Being the facilitator of a national conference call to pray for the persecuted church, much of our information is taken from reports and profiles given by advocacy groups such as Open Doors and Voice of the Persecuted. It is this information that often informs our prayers.
But it is a special blessing when I can hear from someone who is on the front lines. Those who are literally ‘boots on the ground’ in the midst of persecution witnessing the horrible atrocities that our brothers and sisters are enduring.
Through Voice of the Persecuted, I had the opportunity to connect with a Nigerian brother, ask questions, hear his response and to pray with him. He has seen the horrible persecution our brothers and sisters are facing in the country. Much of that persecution inflicted by the Boko Haram. This brother has seen atrocities that would grieve one’s soul. He too has been a victim of persecution. Yet this brother`s faith is strong.
He tells us that the saints in Nigeria hear our prayers as we pray for them. He asked that we pray the Nigerian brethren would have strength to endure the persecutions they are under. He also asked that when faced with their own martyrdom, the believers would have the courage to stand for Jesus and not deny Him.
What this brother speaks testifies to what I have heard regarding prayers for the persecuted. The persecuted ask that we pray for them. And their top prayer request is not that they escape persecution, but to have the faith to endure the persecutions and be faithful to Jesus even unto death.
1. Please pray that God will strengthen the Saints in Nigeria in the midst of persecution by Boko Haram.
2. Please pray that God will enable the saints to be faithful to Christ even as unto death.
3. Please pray that God will provide for the physical needs of precious saints who have been displaced by the evil of Boko Haram.
4. Please pray for a maturing and a unity of the Church in Nigeria in the face of persecution.
5. Please pray for God to change hearts of hate two hearts of love among the Boko Haram. Remember that Paul who was then known as Saul was the extremist of his day. And I cannot help but think that some serious prayer was going up for him in Damascus. And we see what the outcome of that prayer was. Saul was changed. Saul became Paul. Paul became a defender and a proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So how many Saul`s might God have among the Boko Haram?
Blaine Scogin, VOP Prayer Coordinator
Join us in prayer for these precious souls enduring so much suffering and persecution. We will be raising our prayers and voices on this day with our faithful brethren in Nigeria. Our prayers will not return void.
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – The Bishops and the faithful of about 55 archdioceses, dioceses and apostolic vicariates of Nigeria, are invited to a national prayer vigil which will be held at the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja on the evening of 13 November to the dawn of the 14. The vigil is part of the national campaign of prayer proclaimed in June by the Nigerian Bishops to restore peace in the Country, due to the violence of Boko Haram (see Fides 06/06/2014).
The prayer intentions suggested by His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, are as follows: “for the release of those abducted in Nigeria and their return home; for people who are suffering because of violence; for agents of the security forces who have lost their lives or were wounded or mutilated to serve the nation; to eliminate corruption and promote justice; for the affirmation of family values, of family institutions and for the protection of life”.
VOP Note: Remember Nigeria and the faithful in your prayers. Pray for peace and the release of all who have been abducted. Pray all enemy plans will be foiled.
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate their suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
(Voice of the Persecuted) With a heavy heart, we request prayer for our dear brother and correspondent in Nigeria. Yesterday, his father was killed by the Boko Haram. His family has long suffered persecution, the loss of family members and abuse at the hands of this evil group. Please remember this family, the nation of Nigeria and all who are suffering there.
Father God, we thank you for the love, mercy and grace you continually give to us. Humbly and earnestly, we ask You to hear this plea for our brothers and sisters and the nation of Nigeria.
We pray for the horrific violence and senseless slaughter to end. For all agendas, evil plots (political and religious) against them be foiled. We pray for mercy on the suffering believers. That their strength and faith to stand and endure be increased. Father, make them a Light in the darkness spreading over the region. For Your Gospel to be boldly preached by them without any fear. For the lost to be found and for the lands in which we all live be more pleasing to You.
We thank you that our Christian brother who has lost his life is saved by Christ’s ultimate gift of love in sacrifice. And the promise that we will one day worship and rejoice together with him. Stay near to his family in the extreme pain of their grief. May they feel Your presence surrounding and holding them. Father, we ask for divine protection for his son who bravely goes where others will not—ministering and bringing aid to the victims of the ongoing violence.
We pray all this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen
Thank you and may God bless you for caring enough to learn about our suffering family in Christ, globally. And for continually remembering them in prayer.
Lois Kanalos, VOP Founder/Advocate and the VOP team