Monday, March 23, 2015
Prayers for the Persecuted Church
Our beloved bishop in North Alabama, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, released this prayer which we used in worship yesterday at the church I serve. It is a prayer for the persecuted church.
She has invited all United Methodists in North Alabama to a week of prayer for our brothers and sisters who face persecution for their faith. Whoever and wherever you are, please join us in this prayer. In today's world, there are those in our Christian family who are losing their lives and livelihood because of their belief in Christ.
I try to pray prayers not clouded by the language of politics, but purely for the sake of the Body of Christ. It is not the first time in history that the blood of the martyrs has been part of the painful struggle of carrying the cross of Christ.
Prayer for the Persecuted Church
God of us all, You love us so passionately that you sent Your Son to help us experience the fullness of divine love. And while we love you, we are not often asked to risk our lives because of our faith.
This is not true for many of our sisters and brothers in Christ. Our hearts break as we see more of them suffering and dying simply because they are living as disciples of Jesus. We pray for their safety and sanctuary. We pray that you will give them grace in suffering. We are humbled by the witness of these martyred for their faith. We pray for their persecutors, and that acts of violence and persecution will cease.
Help us to grow in our commitment to live as Jesus' disciples. Remind us that we are the One Body of Christ: when one member suffers, all suffer. Stir us to pray unceasingly. And empower us to speak boldly.
We pray all of this in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ. Amen.