Persecuted But Not Abandoned

Last night Curtis and I got to spend time with some of our best friends, Kay and Jerrell. As a missions pastor at our church, Jerrell always has fascinating stories to tell about people’s lives being transformed in our city and around the world. If you think Christianity is boring, five minutes around Jerrell will change your mind.

God is doing some jaw-dropping things all around us. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how excited I am about what He will do in Memphis this weekend. I’m also pumped up about a Spanish-speaking pastor in Houston who has led hundreds of people to Christ by sharing the Gospel at the end of the ESL classes his church hosts. And Curtis and I are giddy about the testimony of a man at our church who gave a New Testament to his co-worker years ago. His co-worker moved away shortly after, but called him 15 years later with great news. He had become a Christian after reading that Bible. Not only that, but his future wife and her parents ended up professing Christ as Savior. Wait, it gets better. They now have two sons who are believers and are in school training to be ministers! Praise God!

Those are some great examples of what’s going on in the church in America. Stories from other parts of the world are not always so neat and tidy.

Jerrell reminded us of the story of two young women, Maryam and Marzieh, who at this very moment are suffering in prison in Iran because of their faith in Christ. They happen to be the same ages as my sister and me and were roommates before they became cell mates. (They were later separated.) They have now been in prison for seven months and are in deteriorating health.

If I know anything about our Siestas, it’s that you all can do some serious praying. Since I also have a pretty good idea of how many of you are out there, I absolutely cannot resist gathering our hearts to intercede for Maryam and Marzieh. Many of us are praying for this weekend’s Memphis event. (Thank you for that. It’s so needed.) While you pray for this gathering of women who will worship without fear of being arrested and imprisoned, will you also pray for the persecuted church? For our Christian sisters, Maryam and Marzieh? God has filled me with faith that our prayers for them will have an impact, whether it’s through their release, improved health, spiritual encouragement, or something else.

Here are a couple of articles about Maryam and Marzieh.

This one is from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada Weblog. Check out the link to the Persecuted Church Prayer Wall on their blog.

Here’s another article from a ministry called Elam. Elam’s web site focuses on and provides many resources about the church in Iran.

“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. …And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:10-13, 18-20).


Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: