Pray Beyond the Horizon

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

– Philippians 4:6 

THE NUMBER ONE THING PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS ASK FOR IS PRAYER.

When we pray we are speaking directly to God, He hears us and He listens.  We might not always recognize an answer to prayer, and it might not be the answer we were wanting, but God is outside of time and sees the completed picture.  Our whole live are laid before Him, He sees our entire lives, nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

“Through prayer we can reach into the future and with loving hands touch those beyond our reach.” ― Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors.

HERE ARE SOME RESOURCES AND WAYS YOU CAN PRAY FOR THEM:

Voice of the Martyrs

With Voice of the Martyrs you can commit to pray for a Frontline Worker, someone who is working in a hostile nation.  https://secure.persecution.com/giftslip/frontlineworker.aspx

You can also sign up with your email to receive prayer requests from the persecuted. http://www.persecution.com/public/pray.aspx?clickfrom=%3d6d61696e5f6d656e75


Open Doors

Open Doors has a monthly prayer calendar to download and you can sign up for weekly prayer alerts.  https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/monthly-prayer-calendar/

November 6, 2016 is the International Day of Prayer (IDOP).  Open Doors has a downloadable IDOP kit.  http://live.opendoorsusa.org/idop/


Release International

Release International has a prayer calendar and prayer points for you to download.  http://www.releaseinternational.org/pray/ 


Prayer Boards

In the class, I taught with my Mom, about persecution we made prayer boards. https://wordpress.com/page/heartsnotforgotten.com/628

We printed Prisoner Profiles from Voice of the Martyr’s and Release International

http://www.prisoneralert.com/

http://www.releaseinternational.org/prisoners-of-faith/

We included the Open Doors’ World Watch List Map and fact sheets on the boards, along with Scriptures and quotes.

World Watch List Map and Country Fact Sheets  https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/about-wwl-ranking/


“Never stop praying.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Sometimes we may feel like God can’t hear us when we pray or that He is not listening or answering our prayers.  He does hear us when we pray and He listens to our prayers.  He might not always answer our prayers the way we want or in the time we want.  We may not even recognize His answer as an answer, but He hears us and He cares for us.  He will never leave us or forsake us.

“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

– Proverbs 15:29

He will never leave you.

God bless you,

Shae

 

 

A Birthday Prayer

 Hebrews 13:3 New International Version (NIV)

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.


The American Pastor Saeed Abedini has been in prison, in Iran, since September 26, 2012.  He was sentenced to eight years in prison.  September 26, 2015 will mark his third year in prison with many reports of abuse and torture.

His wife, Naghmeh Abedini, is asking churches around the country to come together on September 26 in prayer for Saeed.  Prayer vigils are being held at state capital buildings, churches, and homes.  For more information on how you can attend or host one visit http://beheardproject.com/prayer-vigil/saeed/.
Saeed’s daughter, Rebekka, will be celebrating her ninth birthday September 12th.  This is another birthday spent without her dad.  Naghmeh posted their church’s address on Facebook.
If you want to send an encouraging birthday card, you can mail it to:
Naghmeh Abedini
123 Auto Dr.
Boise, ID 83709
Naghmeh also requests prayer for her kids, they are starting to lose hope that their dad will ever come home.
Here is the letter Saeed wrote to his daughter last year, for her birthday:

My Dearest Rebekka Grace,

HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY!

You are growing so fast and becoming more beautiful every day. I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day as I watch from a distance through the prison walls and see pictures and hear stories of how you are growing both spiritually and physically.

Oh how I long to see you.

I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY In your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn’t answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family.

The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is control? LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control.

I desire for you to learn important lessons during these trying times. Lessons that you carry now and for the rest of your life. The answer to the WHY is WHO. The confusion of “WHY has all of this happened?” and “WHY your prayers are not answered yet” is resolved with understanding WHO is in control…LORD JESUS CHRIST, our GOD!

God is in control of the whole world and everything that is happening in it is for His good purpose, for His glory, and will be worked out for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. He is doing something inside each of us and also outside in the world. People die and suffer for their Christian faith all over the world and some may wonder why? But you should know the answer of WHY is WHO. It is for Jesus. He is worth the price. And He has a plan to be glorified through our lives.

I want you to read the book of Habakkuk. He had the same question as you. But see that the Lord answered him in Habakkuk 2:3, “the vision comes and doesn’t delay on time, wait for it.” Mommy and I always had big desires to serve Jesus and had great vision to be used for His Kingdom and for His Glory. So today we pay a cost because God, who created us, called us to that.

And so I want you to know that the answer to all of your prayers is that God is in control, and He knows better than us what He is doing in our lives and all around the world.

Therefore declare as Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-­‐Nego did in Daniel 3: 17-­‐18!

17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

And learn and declare as Habakkuk did that even if we do not get the result that we are looking for, God is still good and we WILL praise His Holy Name.

Habakkuk 3:17-­19

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Then my dear beloved daughter Rebekka Grace, I pray God will bring me back home soon. But if not, we will still sing together as Habakkuk did HALLELUJAH, either separated by prison walls or together at home.

So, let Daddy hear you sing a loud Hallelujah that I can hear all the way here in the prison!

I am so proud of you my sweet courageous daughter. Glory to God forever, Amen.

Kisses and Blessings,

Daddy


The president of Iran is going to be in New York, speaking before the United Nations, on September 28.  Naghmeh is going to New York, praying for an opportunity to speak with him.  In Saeed’s letter you can see the peace God gives him.  He knows that Jesus Christ is control.  He is not angry with God for not answering their prayers by releasing him from prison.  Instead, he’s confident in God’s promise. Let’s continue to pray for God’s will for Saeed and his family as he continues to stand for his faith in Christ.

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 God bless you,
Shae

Prayers, Letters & Encouragement

 Hebrews 13:3 New International Version (NIV)

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!

Shae

“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

I’m Only Fifteen! How Can I Help?

“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.”  Hebrews 13:3 NIV 

A New World

This weekend I went to Mission Connexion for my first time. A few days before I was looking for some kind of conference I could attend, but I found nothing. I went to the Voice of the Martyrs website to see if they were doing anything in my area.  I had been wanting to go to one of their conferences, but there were none anywhere close to me.  I felt frustrated and disappointed.  Then I checked under local events and saw they were going to be at Mission Connexion in Portland, Oregon in two days.  Only two days away!  I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited, I was even more excited when I found out that Don Richardson was going to be there. He is a missionary who went with his wife Carol and their seven month old son and spent 15 years living with a stone age tribe in Papua, the Sawi tribe were cannibals and headhunters.  He wrote about their experiences in Peace Child.  To learn more about Don Richardson’s life I went on Youtube and found interviews with him, this is my favorite clip.

I went to Mission Connexion not knowing what to expect.  Most conferences are geared more toward college students or adults. I’m only fifteen, how can I help? I wasn’t sure if I would just be an observer.  I was surprised at how I was welcomed and included. I could feel God’s hand guiding me as I met so many people who shared their time and stories with me.  Here are some of the highlights:

My first impression was Book Heaven!  All of the books I’m on the hunt for were there, plus so many more.  I was able to get a few and took pictures of many I plan to read in the future.  Now I know how much is available from YWAM Publishing about my favorite topics.

Open Doors

When I talked with the representative from Open Doors I told him about this blog and how I want to help our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. He suggested that when I meet new immigrants I talk with them and find out their stories.  He also suggested I visit churches with refugees and volunteer to teach Sunday school.  He said there is a need and he thought I would be embraced. My sisters and I are all wearing rubber barbed wire bracelets they gave us.  They are great conversation starters, whenever someone asks us about them we can share about the persecuted church.  I want to plan a secret church youth event and the bracelets would be a great reminder to give to the other teens that go.  I’ll post more about that as it develops.

Voice of the Martyrs

At Voice of the Martyrs the representative shared with me many materials I had seen on the website including two DVDs I have been wanting to watch –Underground Reality Vietnam and Underground Reality Columbia. I am going to share them with my friends and family.  She also gave us bracelets that say “Pray for China” another great conversation starter. The Special Issue 2015 newsletter she gave us included a great pullout “I Commit to Pray for My Persecuted Family” map.  The back suggests 10 Ways to Pray.  Follow the link and you can read people’s stories and join with others in prayer there.

Prayer is a powerful way for us to intercede for them.

Colossians 1:9-12 New International Version (NIV)

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Keep in Touch

This is a new blog.  Sign up with your email at the bottom of the page to automatically receive updates.  Leave a comment .  I want to hear your thoughts.  I’ll share more about the wonderful people I met and what else I learned in my next post.