Let me set the scene…
Troy and I decide to go to town and run some errands at some of the businesses on Main Street in Seiling. It’s a really nice day and we’re just taking our time walking along the sidewalk.
Troy sees something up ahead so he goes ahead of me by a couple of stores. I don’t know what he’s doing. But about the time he gets ahead of me, I see a white hearse come racing down the street. When it gets right in front of Troy, the driver slams on his brakes and makes a hard left turn straight into the building in front of Troy.
Troy looks back at me and I know this is no accident – this is BAD! Several men jump out of the hearse and run towards Troy. As he runs through the buildings trying to get to the alley and away from the men, I run toward the alley as well.
When I get to the alley, I find a small nook in the buildings and crouch down hoping to not be seen. My heart is beating so I hard I think it’s going to explode! I wish I had run farther. I wish I had put more distance between me and these white robed men with guns.
And Troy? Where is Troy? I can’t begin to tell you how terrified I am. Did he get away? Did they capture him? Will they find me? I know the questions they’ll ask…
And, Yes. Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I am scared of what will happen. Yes, I am scared – no – terrified of what will happen! I can’t even begin to explain the terror I am feeling! It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life! But, yes, I am. I am a Christian. Troy is a Christian.
And as I crouch down in the little hole in the wall in the alley… as I watch the armed men looking desperately for Christians, I remember….
I remember all the times I read an email about Christians being persecuted and tortured for their faith. I remember the newscasts that told about the unjust and inhumane treatment of pastors abroad. I remember how believers across the globe are being imprisoned, burned and beheaded.
And I remember how I may or may not have said a prayer for them. I remember that I lacked the passion in my prayers to move Heaven on their behalf. I cry.
As I sit there in my own terror, I realize that I have let the persecuted Christains down. I realize that prayerlessness for them is a shame that I can hardly admit. My apathy toward their dire situations will not continue. They need my prayers. Their families need my prayers.
I will pray. I will survive. And I will pray.
And I woke up.
I woke up. But for far too many Christians, theirs is not a dream. Persecution and terror are their reality.
It’s true that when we are the ones affected we pray harder. When it’s our loved ones in need, we pray desperate prayers.
But friends, we have brothers and sisters in Christ all over this world who need our desperate prayers. They need us to remember them. To cry out for them. To not forget and pray as if it were us.
I hope you have done a better job of praying for the persecuted church than I have recently. But if your prayers need to be more ferverent and you need to be more mindlful of our persecuted brothers and sisters, then I ask you to purpose in your heart to pray differently. Pray with more passion. Pray with more desperation. Pray with more love, care and concern. Just pray. I am doing the same.
Photo by: irina patrascu