Devotionals Praise and Prayer

devotional – klumsy



Posts: 1061
From: Port Angeles, WA, USA
Registered: 10-25-2001
a long time ago i requested this forum here, devotionals and then i never lived up to my word of delivering them... so here is one that i did for Godcentric devotionals
(can also be found at )

The Persecuted Church

WIth just a few days ago being "international day of prayer for the persecuted church" i thought it appropriate to share on this subject accordingly.. I believe that sometime in the future, we all will suffer (and more than just a few jokes from non christian friends and workmates) and be persecuted for Christ. But such suffering, i am not scared of.. It is a sweet pain to suffer for Christ, but such a bitter pain to suffer the consequences of our own sin and selfishness - In one you know your place in Christ, thankful for His grace and mercy, like so many saints of old and new , who can sing praises and give thanksgiving in the most horrible of situations. The have that peace that transcends all understanding ( Phillipians 4:7 ) and are able to love their enemies in ways that we sometimes can't believe, as they are abiding in Christ - experiencing His grace and mercy from moment to moment... The other sort of suffering, is not nice, as we are painfully aware of our depravity and that this is just the result.. It is a bitter suffering, Yet through that we can still come back to Christ, and thank Him that our sins have been forgiven , and He is the one who suffered the most for our sins, we can therefore come see things from His perspective, and rather than wallowing in our self-hate, or annoyance, or gloom, come back to Him and be thankful for the Cross, see his poured Blood as precious, rather than just ordinary
( hebrews 20:29 )
But anyway back to the persecuted Church..

Millions and millions of Christians around the world are persecuted - often extremely - for their Faith - for OUR faith. An ever increasing event (though the harvest of those coming to Christ is also every increasing - AMEN) THe secular news hardly shows of this suffering (or of the growth of the church as well). So how are we to respond? How are we to love our brothers in Christ? Do we actually see them as our brothers in Christ - or do we just see our own countrymen, or even our own church as our brothers.. What are the principles of persecution in the bible?
One theme that i hear again and again from those who are persecuted is NOT to pray that the persecution would stop, But pray that they would be strong and courageous through it.. Doesn't that just blow your mind? I think if i was persecuted i'd ask God to take it away.. but Matthew 5:10 says "Blessed are those who are persecuted".. They are blessed.. How many of us , in times of struggle, could say to GOd - thankyou for this blessing of persecution..

Matthew 5
10 God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11"God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied
about because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it!
Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.
And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.

So do we just say "oh yeah, they are presecuted, and boy they are blessed for it, yeah just let them get persecuted where they are at , and i'll get along with my life here" or do we take an interest in them? and if so how?

People who are persecuted so often love their enemies , and so well, they willingly sacrifice their lives because they realise the measure of God's amazing love for them (and they are thankful that they are already saved) and for all people including those who aren't saved, including their enemies.. and they are willing to lay down their lives for their enemies, so that some of their enemies get a chance to know the Truth, to be set free by Jesus Christ, and recieve that abundant love of God which drives them.

Could we do that for our enemies? Do we even pray for our enemies? I think the place to start in loving is in prayer.. I know myself that i don't even pray nearly enough for the ones i love the most, let alone for others in much church, or another churches/christians in other countries, let alone my worst enemies.. But now i give God permission to mess with me , to change me and challenge me in this area..

In Pauls letters you can see him talking of his praying for many churches, passionately, and sacrificially , that he hadn't even met.. He also wrote letters to such churches, in doing that , he was being a true "brother in Christ", and that is what we can do.. We can be aware of those who are suffering for Christ, we can have limited relationship with them, show them the yare not alone, and we can pray, and pray sacrificially (whether the sacrifice is a night of t.v or whatever), and in doing so the heavens will move, and a side affect will be we will grow in Love , and be more like Christ. And it will put God more at the center of our lives, as well as put our lives into perspective.

Can we mourn with those who mourn ( romans 12:15 ) -share their tears, pray and intercede for them with passion...

lets focus on God's words now rather than my own, for His have untainted Truth, and are full of Life first starting with a command for us to remember these persecuted christians.

Hebrews 13:3
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners,
and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Mark 8:
34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up
his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If anyone is
ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in
his Father's glory with the holy angels."

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing
power is from God and not from us.
8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11For we who are alive are always being given o
ver to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in
our mortal body.
12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Revelation 12
11They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.

1 Corinthians 12
20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!"
And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be
weaker are indispensable,
23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.
And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,
24while our presentable parts need no special treatment.
But God has combined the members of the body and has given
greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts s
hould have equal concern for each other.
26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored,
every part rejoices with it.

Acts 4:18
Then they called them in again and commanded them not
to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
19But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is
right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.
20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Acts 5
27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the
Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.
28"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said.
"Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are
determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
29Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!

Romans 5:3
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

2 Timothy 2:10
I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and
eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

and the persecuted church cries out to us with the following like paul:

Romans 15:30
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and
by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle
by praying to God for me.

Philippians 1:20
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed,
but will have sufficient courage so that now as always
Christ will be exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death.
21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

closing points

remember and pray for those who are suffering
We are all part of one Body in Christ, and in your physical body when you hand hurts, you care about it etc. Follow the example of these brothers , in dedicating your whole life to God - as use the days of our lives, our current freedom for Christ while we have them still.

closing prayer

Lord , forgive me, and others who have put other things above You, and loving ourselves more than you, and more than our brothers and neighbours. Lord Challenge me , to grow up in my faith, and walk like the apostle Paul, and walk like many brother around the world, in the easy times and in the hard times.. Lord give me a heart that would love abundantly, like your heart that loves this world so abundantly, give me a heart that would love others with sacrifice - whatever that sacrifice is. Lord for the perscuted Church, those in trying circumstances now, Please Lord sorround them with you peace, make them aware of your presence and the hope of glory, Help them see that though their oppressors can take away their life they can not take away their relationship with you, nor their faith. give them joy where they are at.. LEt them know that they are not alone.
Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you

Love Karl.

Visionary Media
the creative submitted to the divine.
Husband of my amazing wife Aleshia



Posts: 2779
Registered: 01-20-2001
I really enjoyed reading this and it did challenge me in some areas, great stuff Karl! I'm going to see if my Fiance and I can do this together. Keep them coming!

It's not seeing is believing, it's believing and then seeing.



Posts: 208
From: Scotland
Registered: 10-26-2002
Well written. It gives me more courage.

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all around me seemed insufficient for the day. ABRAHAM LINCOLN