I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
— Romans 8:18, NIV
As the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church approaches, we are reminded again to pray for persecuted Christians.
Prayer like this isn’t always easy. Finding the right words can be a struggle when people are facing such difficulty.
If you are unsure of how to pray for people who are oppressed, try starting with these five prayer requests.
1. Pray for joy
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. — 1 Peter 1:6, NIV
As Christians, we are promised joy that doesn’t depend on our circumstances. But for those living in persecution, this joy can be hard to hold onto. Pray that these broken Christians will cling to the joy of Jesus, even when facing unimaginable horror.
2. Pray for hope
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. — Romans 5:3-4, NIV
Without hope, it’s hard to go through difficult times. Ask God to give persecuted Christians hope when they struggle to find it on their own. And ask Him to provide encouragement through Scriptures as they persevere.
3. Pray for strength
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. — Isaiah 40:31, NIV
Few situations require as much strength as living through torture and torment. You can pray that oppressed Christians will have the strength only God can give. Pray they will rely on His strength that never fails.
4. Pray for protection
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. — Psalm 91:4, NIV
This is probably the first need that comes to mind when you think of persecuted Christians. Ask God to provide protection for these individuals or to sustain them as they face mistreatment.
5. Pray for physical needs
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For… your heavenly Father knows that you need them. — Matthew 6:31-32, NIV
Many persecuted Christians also are in need of physical help. Some need Bibles, jobs, or safe places to live. You can pray that God will meet the needs of Christians facing persecution. And you can even provide one of these needs by sending Bibles to believers around the world this International Day of Prayer.
These prayer requests are a few of the many ways you can pray for Christians living in persecution. Your prayers make a real difference in the lives of your brothers and sisters in Christ. And they are especially important as International Day of Prayer approaches.
This year for the International Day of Prayer on Nov. 5, you can join our 24 hours of prayer and focus on 12 countries where Christians face heavy persecution. We’ll share specific prayer requests and details about what Christians endure around the world. Join us, and believers around the globe, in supporting persecuted Christians this International Day of Prayer.