Hard Prayers for Hard Times

My heart breaks for those suffering persecution. Would to God I could rescue them all. But they already have a rescuer, a redeemer, who has not abandoned them even though it may appear He has to some who have suffered for so long.

My daughter and her family serve as missionaries in a third world country. I find myself continually surrendering them to God, asking Him to protect them, and to give them (and Mike and me) the grace needed should He call them to give their lives. It’s a hard prayer, a prayer for grace to live and die by.

And that is my prayer for all Christians everywhere. That we would be given the grace to stand – to live for Him even if it’s to kneel before the enemy and be beheaded…then Lord, grant us dying grace. The world is moved by the testimony of the saints as they point to the Savior. May God grant us all grace and peace in the midst of horror, and perseverance in the midst of persecution (and mounting persecutions in our country.) We simply must fix our eyes on Him, the author and finisher of our faith. He calls us to action, and so we do what we can amidst evil and corruption, but we can’t rely on human governments to fix the world. At best they can put a band-aid on it. This battle has been going on since the fall of man. Some are called to be martyrs, but they are not redeemed by their martyrdom, nor are they capable of redeeming others through their heroic act of courage. There is only One who can redeem the world.

Here is the hard truth . . .  Jesus came to rescue and redeem EVERYONE! Not just the ones we deem as worth saving.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Try to wrap your mind around the full essence of truth found in this verse. He bore the sins of the world . . . the WHOLE world. Those people doing all that persecution of Christians around the world, groups like ISIS . . . He died for them. God is grieved by sin; He abhors it. And yet He desires all men to be saved and made it possible through His Son, Jesus Christ. Me, I’m ready to send every last one of them to hell . . . how self-righteous of me! Those politicians that we can’t stand because they’re making a mess of our country . . . we criticize and get angry at them, we ridicule, point fingers and place blame. Yep . . . He died for them.

I just can’t fathom His fathomless grace.

Mark Mosley is a Christian inspirational speaker. He shared a humbling reminder of just how vast His infinite sacrifice for all humanity is.

Jesus bore the sins of the Assyrians, who gloated over the captives they had skinned alive; the sins of SS troops, machine-gunning women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing ablaze.

Jesus bore the sins of child molesters, making sure their victims never have to testify; the sins of the Pharaohs, sacrificing thousands of laborers’ lives, to build themselves deifying tombs.

Jesus was tossed about in these endless storms: enraged fathers beating toddlers to death; pimps seducing runaways into lives of drugs and prostitution; church ladies cannibalizing other church ladies over coffee; Canaanites throwing their children to Moloch, their sun god; impoverished parents in China selling their children into slavery.

Jesus bore the sins of embezzlers; gangsters; bullies; rapists; liars; the indifferent; the sadistic; the self-righteous Bible-believing leaders praying long and loud, while their wives sat in back pews praying that heavy make-up covered their bruises.

It is a scene of unbearable horror and unspeakable madness. He is the accused for us all, bearing the weight of abused children; families destroyed by adultery or apathy; civilizations decaying; wars ravaging victims. Yet, through it all, deep in the terror of hell, He keeps His eyes wide open.

He is not just a bystander caught in the accident; He has come deliberately. He will accept it all, absorbing the full force of this storm of wrath in His body, His mind, His heart, and His soul, until there is nothing left to feel.

Finally, the tumbling will slow a bit; the storm will slacken, and Jesus will lift Himself on His nailed feet to snatch a gasp of air and force His swollen tongue to shout, “It is finished—I’ve come; I’ve seen; I’ve paid for it all.”

I would add to that last line, “And I have borne all this for them.” The mercy that God expended upon mankind at the cross was immeasurable. Christ died for the worst of sinners and loved the most hateful of enemies. What a powerful reminder of God’s enormous love! Christ bore our sin and our punishment so we could bear His righteousness and His reward.

I’m humbled . . . perplexed . . . overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. What an amazing grace.

This coming Sunday, November 5, 2017 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Won’t you join me in praying for the persecuted church? Here are some helpful prayer points to lead us in praying effectively for them . . . and their persecutors.

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