International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church with Guest William Stark

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The simple act of living out their Christian faith is dangerous for so many Christians around the world. Because of extremism, many are part of underground churches that worship in secret. Other have no community support at all and worship on their own.

Let’s consider some facts on persecution. According to Open Doors, every month around the world the following occurs:

  • 322 Christians are killed for their faith
  • 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed
  • 772 forms of violence are committed against Christians (this includes beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests, and forced marriages)

According to the Pew Research Center, among the world’s 25 most populous countries, these five countries have the highest religious restrictions: Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey.

2016 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

This Sunday, November 6, 2016, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please take some time to pray for those who are suffering for their faith. I have listed resources here that will help you to pray in an informed way. These resources also highlight other ways you can help if you desire. For example, through VOM I have purchased Action Packs and filled them with blankets, clothing, etc. for displaced Christians. You’ll find numerous opportunities to make a difference. But remember, we need to start with prayer, as that is the most powerful way to affect change.

Update to 2013 Podcast

In 2013 I interviewed Todd Daniels from International Christian Concern. This year Only By Prayer welcomes William Stark From ICC as he gives us an important update on what we can learn from the persecuted church and how we can support them. Listen below or you can also subscribe on iTunes.

Resources for the Persecuted Church

There are other organizations as well. These will get your started as you seek to become informed and to help. Thank you for supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ, and feel free to post your prayers in the comment section.

Pray on!




5 Ways to Pray in November

5 Ways to Pray in November

November brings with it the scent of roasting turkeys and pumpkin pies, along with crisp air and snow flurries. Besides the approach of the holidays, this 11th month of the year contains several important events that call for fervent prayer. Here’s a list to guide your prayers for the next 30 days:

1. International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) — November 2, 2014. On this day, we remember to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith in Christ. Persecution is ramping up as Isis and other terrorist groups try to eradicate Christians from their homes and countries. It’s not just the Middle East, either, where Christians are being persecuted. In many countries harassment and arrests, injuries and death are all too common for Christ-followers. See the following websites for more in-depth information, along with ways to pray for persecuted Christians:

In addition, here are links to two interviews I did last year for IDOP that will help you to be more informed about this issue:

The Persecuted Church with Todd Daniels of International Christian Concern

Voice of the Martyrs Interview with Todd Nettleton

Verse: “Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men. See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, O Lord. I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight!” Psalm 59: 1-4

Prayer: Lord, we pray for your children who are being persecuted. Please give them courage and strength. We ask a hedge of protection around them. We pray for the persecutors to be convicted of their sin as Saul was on his way to Damscus. May they repent and turn to Jesus. Amen.

2. Election Day — This year Election Day is on Tuesday, November 4. Election Day is always important, and this year is no exception. Republicans are hoping to reclaim Senate majority from the Democrats in this Midterm election, but it’s a very tight race that depends on about 10 key races. Let’s pray that men and women will be elected to office who will closely follow godly principles.

Verse: “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” Proverbs 29:2

Prayer: Lord, we pray for a good voter turnout this year. We ask that people will make wise, informed choices. We pray for a clean race and a vote free of controversy and fraud. We pray that men and women will be elected who follow you and your principles. Amen.

3. Veterans Day — November 11 is the day set aside to honor our veterans. Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices and courage of all the men and women who have served in the United States military. Let’s pray for those veterans who are suffering from PTSD as well as physical injuries. We can pray that veterans will be able to find gainful employment and particularly pray that veterans will be able to find the health care they need, given the state of the VA hospitals. Be sure to thank a veteran you know for their service. Information: http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/.

Verse: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4

Prayer: Dear Lord, we ask for the care and comfort of our veterans. We pray for healing of minds, bodies, and spirits. May they have the support they need, and the jobs/education to provide for themselves and their families. Amen.

4. National Bible Week — I had not heard of this before, but thought that this week (November 23-29) is definitely worth praying about. National Bible Week is promoted by the National Bible Association and is a week devoted to encouraging people to read the Bible, in the belief that it will have a spiritual influence on our problem-filled world. During that week, November 24 (Monday) is designated at International Day of the Bible.

Verse: “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

Prayer: Lord, we pray that during this week your word will spread far and wide. We ask that even those people who normally don’t read the Bible will be drawn to it. We ask that you give them understanding and that many will be saved this week. We also remember those countries that aren’t allowed to have your word and pray that it will miraculously be proclaimed there. Amen.

5. Thanksgiving — This year of 2014, Thanksgiving falls on November 27. On this day let’s be sure to take the time to count our blessings and remember all of the things we have to be thankful for. List both spiritual and physical blessings. Why not have each member of your family name something he or she is grateful for? Start a list and post it where everyone can add to it throughout the month of November.

Verse: “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalm 7:17.

Prayer: Lord, we praise and thank you for the many blessings you give us. You tell us that you have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. May we never forget the sacrifice that Jesus made to give us the biggest blessing of all, our salvation. Thank you for the tangible blessings we see around us: families, friends, food, shelter, and health; so many things that we haven’t even listed. We overflow with your goodness. Amen.

Feel free to share what’s on your prayer list this November in the comment section below, or add a prayer for any of the causes above as well.

Pray on!




Voice of the Martyrs Interview with Todd Nettleton

ID-100131433For over 40 years, Voice of the Martyrs has worked tirelessly to help the cause of persecuted Christians around the world. Sunday, November 3, is recognized as IDOP, the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church. While it is important to pray everyday for those suffering for their faith, VOM is hoping to unite many churches and people to pray in unity.

In this videocast, Jane VanOsdol of OnlyByPrayer.com and Todd Nettleton, director of media development at Voice of the Martyrs (Persecution.com), discuss how VOM’s resources can help you pray for the persecuted church on IDOP as well as all through the year.  This short, 20-minute discussion is available in both video and as an MP3 so that you can download and listen to it at your convenience. Todd outlines several resources that will help you pray effectively and take action on behalf of those who are suffering for their faith.

Prayer and Action Resources:

Here is the videocast of the interview:

 

Here is the podcast of the IDOP interview:

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“Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.




The Persecuted Church with Todd Daniels of International Christian Concern

On today’s podcast I (Jane VanOsdol ) welcome Todd Daniels, the regional manager for the Middle East for International Christian Concern. With the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) coming up on November 3, 2013, we wanted to draw attention to this issue. Be sure to see the link below for your IDOP kit. The kit includes several resources to use for yourself, with a small group, or your church. You will even find a lesson for children in it.

In this podcast’s session, we discuss several issues concerning the persecuted church, including the following topics:

    • The scope of the problem of persecution
    • Steps to take to make a difference to suffering Christians around the world
    • How to pray for persecuted Christians
    • Relevant scriptures
    • Parts of the world where persecution exists

Resources

www.persecution.org

IDOP kit: http://info.persecution.org/IDOP2013

Save Our Sisters: http://www.persecution.org/assistance/save-our-sisters/

Suffering Wives and Children: http://www.persecution.org/assistance/suffering-wives-and-children/

https://www.facebook.com/persecuted

https://twitter.com/persecutionnews

The following organization is working with resettled Christians. It is a need, but a really challenging task:

http://www.iraqichristianrelief.org/our-projects/