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Praying for the Persecuted

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Dear Friends,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to Sunday.
No one can deny that in the wake of our withdrawal of remaining American troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban retaking cities previously liberated from their barbaric tyranny, the country has slipped back beneath the dark waters of fear and oppression.
Today, the Taliban are armed to the teeth with billions of dollars in American weapons left behind in the evacuation.The situation is dire not only for our friends in that country but also for Christians who have grown and thrived in the last 20 years.
Today, our Christian brothers and sisters have been left with a simple choice: Either renounce Christ and live or confess Him and die.
Over the past twenty years, even though Christianity was outlawed, thousands, if not tens of thousands came to faith in Jesus Christ, worshiping secretly in their homes.
Today, under the Taliban’s ruthless Sharia Law, conversion from Islam is a capital crime, punishable by death. Already reports from Afghan church leaders are reporting soldiers gathering intelligence, checking the roles at local mosques, and going to the homes of suspected Christians and executing them. Unless the Lord intervenes with a mighty hand, the worst is yet to come for Afghan Christians.
In the face of such evil what can American Christians do?
We can pray!
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ facing persecution around the world knowing that the prayers of the righteous have “great power” (James 5:16). And it’s not that the prayers of the righteous are great but because the one who has made them righteous and promised to hear them is great!
 Hebrews 13:3 says “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated since you also are in the body.”
But how should we pray?
Pray that the Lord would protect our neighbors a world away.
Pray that as God delivered Paul from the sentence of death (2 Corinthians 1:8-10) that He would deliver those who have entrusted their souls to him in faith by any means necessary.
Pray that the Lord would wondrously convert the wicked (Acts 9:1-7) and if not, that he would restrain or destroy them for the sake of His bride, the church (Psalm 139:19).
Pray that God would pour out the Holy Spirit upon his people to galvanize their faith and give them the right words in the crucial hour (Luke 12:12).
Pray that, if God has sovereignly decreed the deaths of Afghan Christians, that they would face their end with courage, clinging to Christ, “rejoicing with the apostles that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41).
Pray that the blood of the martyrs would be the seed of a thriving Christian church in Afghanistan and spark a revival around the world.
And finally, Pray that God would keep us ever mindful of and grateful for the delicate liberties we enjoy as Americans where we are able to worship freely and without fear.
 
See you this Sunday in person or online
In the light of His glory and grace,
Pastor Doug