Does it Make a Difference?
By Bill MacLeod
As we participate in our upcoming “One Body, One Voice, One Mission” January event this month, we are visualizing the unity of the body of Christ worldwide who worship the same Living Christ… but many at great risk to their own lives. We gladly welcome The Voice of the Martyrs who serves the persecuted church and who is sponsoring Leadership ConneXion with Dick Brogden this year. Recently one of their leaders shared these insights with us related to what persecuted believers ask most of us…and the results they see when we humbly accept…
Persecuted Christians’ first request is that we pray for them. But we’re here, and they’re there. Do our prayers make a difference?
A staff member at The Voice of the Martyrs, Petr Jasek, was imprisoned in Sudan 445 days. He shared a cell with ISIS supporters. Petr sat down with VOM Radio (VOMRadio.net) after he was released and returned to his native Czech Republic. He talked about how important the prayers of God’s people had been to him.
Petr said there were two times each week during his imprisonment when he knew people were praying for him. One was Sunday morning — Sudan is just one hour ahead of Prague — when Petr knew his home church met for worship, likely with his wife, Wanda, in their midst.
The other time was early evening on Tuesday — Sudan is eight hours ahead of Oklahoma — when Petr knew The Voice of the Martyrs staff members met for weekly chapel.
Through 14 long months in prison, Petr was encouraged every single Sunday and every single Tuesday by the knowledge that people were praying for him in those hours.
When Petr returned home, he learned the reason for his slumber. The people in his church had agreed to stop whatever they were doing every night at 8 p.m. and pray for Petr. They did that throughout his imprisonment. Petr immediately understood his peaceful sleep: 8 p.m. in Prague is 9 p.m. in Khartoum, the hour at which the lights went out and he fell asleep.
When you pray for Christians imprisoned in China or Iran, those fearing the next Boko Haram attack in Northern Nigeria or Christians trying to decide when to reveal their faith in Jesus to Muslim family members, don’t take it lightly. Your prayers make a vital difference.
Our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ feel and experience your prayers in very real ways when you stand as one body with them.
Stop by The Voice of the Martyrs’ booth in the Main Atrium and sign up to get VOM’s free magazine. Each monthly issue will encourage your faith and help you pray more effectively for persecuted members of our Christian family.