Tuesday, November 1, 2022

RLPB 669. International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church; Sunday 6 Nov 2022

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 669 | Wed 02 Nov 2022
RLPB is published weekly to facilitate strategic intercessory prayer.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church
Sunday 6 November 2022
By Elizabeth Kendal

After a decade of freedom (2005-2015)
- which enabled phenomenal Church growth
the Nepali parliament, under pressure
from Hindu nationalists,
had anti-conversion laws enshrined
in the Constitution. 
 

In 1960, around 70 percent of Church was white, Western and middle class. Today, around 80 percent of the Church is coloured, non-Western and poor. This is not because the Western Church is collapsing – for it isn't. Rather, it is because the Church in the non-Western world is exploding. The result has been the creation of a truly global Christianity – something unique among the world's religions. God is fulfilling his promises; Jesus Christ is building his Church [see www.ElizabethKendal.com ]

Persecution is first and foremost a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). It does not cause Church growth – at least, not directly. Rather, persecution is the devil's vain counter-offensive through which he resists his inexorable demise! What matters then, is our response to persecution. When our brothers and sisters are persecuted, will we desert them, leaving them to struggle on the 'front line' alone? Will we leave those wounded on the 'battlefield', bleeding, grieving, traumatised and confused? Will we despair and turn away, or get on board, play our part, and SPEAK, PRAY, GIVE [see www.ElizabethKendal.com / ACTION].

Speak: shatter the silence that renders persecuted Christians invisible (Proverbs 31:8,9; Micah 6:8).
Pray: because intercessory prayer is advocacy to the highest authority (2 Corinthians 10:3,4; Ephesians 6:12-18).
Give: sacrificially, generously, as unto Christ; for faith without works is dead (Matt 25:35-46; James 2:15-17).

Thanks to today's globalised networks and information systems, satellites and digital communication technologies, the Church can now know about and respond to a Christian crisis – even on the other side of the world, even as it is unfolding, sometimes even before it unfolds – for the saving of many lives. This is new; this is unprecedented.

A serious and passionate response from the Church will:

(1) enable the saving of many lives and ensure Christian communities are preserved and restored to bless the nations as intended (Genesis 12:3b).

(2) facilitate the sanctification of the Church, as the Church becomes (in practice) what the Church is (in reality): that is, the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6).

(3) present the watching world with a vision of sacrificial Christian love; a love that reflects the image and sacrificial love of Christ, that the world might believe (John 17:20-23).

Next Sunday and throughout the following week, millions of churches, small groups and individuals around the world will commit and re-commit to praying for the persecuted Church.

An abundance of information can be accessed on and through the following website:

Critical Prayer Requests (CPR)
...for states where Christians are persecuted and/or religious liberty is threatened. 

The CPR site covers dozens of countries and includes the names of their presidents and prime ministers for the purpose of strategic and obedient intercessory prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-4). It also includes a link to A Prayer for the Persecuted Church by Elizabeth Kendal, which may be used as is, or adapted for use, in private prayer or corporate worship.

Father, we pray that the 21 Century will go down in Christian history as the century in which God knitted together a global Church using cords of love forged in the flames of persecution.

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Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate for the persecuted Church. The Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin (RLPB) ministry is donor-funded. To support this ministry visit www.ElizabethKendal.com

Elizabeth has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016). She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.

For more information visit: www.ElizabethKendal.com