Church, does your heart throb when you realize that we have reached the one year anniversary of the shocking kidnapping of the Chibok girls in northern Nigeria?
Church, do the young martyrs of Garrisa University urge you to pray prayers of protection and fearlessness for their sisters and brothers in Kenya?
Church, does the barbaric torture and death of your people drive you to your knees?
Church, do the followers of Christ in North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and other oppressive lands stir you to pray for their fortitude and strength as they face persecution and extreme hardship?
Church, do the missionaries you have sent to all corners of the earth embolden you to pray for the Gospel to transform lives in the name of Jesus Christ?
Church, do the current times of need, distress and danger cry out for your persistent, prayerful response?
Church, how will you answer?
Over two thousands of years ago, the early church of Christ fell before their God in earnest prayer for the salvation of their friend and for their strength and conviction to persevere during perilous times as they shared the transformational, life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Mere hours earlier, one of their emboldened leaders, James had been captured and beheaded according to the command of King Herod. Now, another one of their friends and leaders sat chained between two soldiers while sentries stood guard outside his Roman cell. The early church feared that Peter’s death was surely imminent. The situation was impossible.
The desperate word spread quickly.
Pray for Peter!
Pray! Pray! Pray!
The hour of public distress and danger was upon them. Persecution against the followers of Christ was intensifying.
In Acts 12:5, Luke recorded the church’s response to the harrowing times:
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
Church, is such a time upon us, now?
Church, your prayers have often focused upon the ill and the weak. Such healing prayers are well and good, yet these times demand something more from you. Your people – all over the world – are growing more desperate for the return of your King, the Lord Jesus Christ! Those who are being kept in prisons, kept in refugee camps, kept in slavery, kept in hiding, kept in isolation, and kept in abuse, kept in suffering, kept in bondage, and kept under the yoke of oppression need your intercessory voice to rise to the heavens, Church.
Church, does the rising crescendo of the world’s need for Jesus Christ ignite your heart to fervent prayer?
Over two thousand years ago, Church, you responded like your life depended upon it!
It does again!
Will you pray, Church?
Will you pray?
Image retrieved from BosNewLife