Hebrews 13:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
There are an estimated 100 hundred million Christians facing persecution in the world. Christians all around the world are imprisoned for their faith in Jesus. According to Open Doors USA each month 332 Christians are killed, 214 Churches and Christian properties are destroyed and 772 acts of violence are committed against Christians. For more information click here.
When I first learned about persecution I went to the Voice of the Martyrs website. I was looking for a way to help. I initially thought that would mean going overseas or giving money. I’m not old enough for relief work and I only make a little bit of money babysitting sometimes. Most of the time, I am babysitting my little sister and my mom usually pays me in books and lattes. So, I wasn’t sure how I could do anything to help without going overseas. Right away. I learned there is much I can do. I can write to Christians imprisoned for their faith around the world, to encourage them and let them know they are not forgotten. Often the prisoners don’t receive the letters, but the letters let the prison officials know there is an audience and the world is aware of their political prisoners. You can also write letters and emails to government officials on behalf of the prisoners.
Prisoner Alert is a ministry under Voice of the Martyrs. With Prisoner Alert you can be alerted when Christians are arrested and receive prayer requests and updates. They share information about Christians who are imprisoned so you can pray and write for them. Before Prisoner Alert posts about a prisoner they get permission from their family and church. You can also purchase a Prisoner Letter Writing Kit from Voice of the Martyrs that has eight prisoner profiles and self mailers. In the beginning, you might not be sure what to say, Prisoner Alert has suggested phrases you can use. I’m excited, I got my first kit and I am writing the letters now.
With Open Doors letter writing you send in the letters you write to Open Doors and they will translate and deliver the letters to persecuted Christians. You can write letters of encouragement to children in orphanages and families who have loved ones who are imprisoned or who have been killed. While writing letters to prisoners can offer encouragement to them and communicating with government officials can help, the most important and powerful thing we can do is pray. Starting with Paul the Apostle, through stories of modern persecution we see the same threads of connection. Through the power of prayer people are healed, they are comforted during unimaginable trials, they are continually walking with God and keeping their eyes fixed on Him. There are so many things we can pray for them: hope, strength, comfort, boldness in witnessing to their persecutor and fellow prisoners and to forgive their persecutors. They are never alone, He is always there. You can have prayer alerts and request sent to your email from Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs.
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Thanks for reading and God bless you!
“Our prayers can go where we cannot…there are no borders, no prison walls, no closed doors that are closed to us when we pray.” -Brother Andrew- Founder of Open Doors