The writer to the Hebrew Christians reminds us to remember and “Identify with those who are in prison as though you were there suffering with them, and those who are mistreated as if you could feel their pain.” (Heb. 13:3 TPT). The Aramaic can be translated “as if you were people who wear their bodies” (and are vulnerable to their pain). What a powerful concept.
A few years ago a judgement was made in Tehran that permitted Christian pastors to be sent to prison for “spreading propaganda against the regime.” In an ominous move, it was written into the verdict that it can be perceived as an attack against Islam for Christians to claim that Jesus is Lord, and that the Bible is their final authority.
Praise God that the word of God continues to spread powerfully in Iran through the courageous witness of believers, but the cost remains very high, there and in so many other parts of the world.
So this is a prayer for all who are currently detained for their faith, or who are being pursued by people with violence and vengeance in their hearts for no ‘crime’ other than that of loving the Saviour of the world, who gives freedom in this world and the next.
Join in this prayer that Ros and I recorded a few years ago at a time when ISIS was taking the lives of so many believers in the Middle East, for the power of God to surround and strengthen each one by the power of His Spirit.
I wrote the first piece of music for Corinne Frost, who also plays it,. When Sally Mowbray first heard it she felt that it spoke of deep mourning – but that the light was still able to shine through. For that reason the picture she chose to accompany this is of darker clouds but with the sun shining through, bringing a sheen to the pebbles below.
Be with every single person who is currently detained for their faith today, Lord Jesus, some of whom will be being interrogated even as we pray. May they remain clear headed and strong under the pressure.
Be too with those who are being interrogated pursued by people with a spirit of ill will and vengeance in their hearts.
By the power of Your outstretched hand grant strength, dispel fear and bring Your focused power, and through their love yet win many to You we pray.
Do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say when you are delivered into the hands of persecutors – for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it will not be You speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (From Matthew 10)
Grant supernatural wisdom as well as strength. Protect others by Your mercy as a result of information extracted during interrogations.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next,(Matt. 10:23) Let people know when that moment comes that they must depart in haste, even as You were with Mary and Joseph in Egypt and rescued Saul from Damascus.
Surround those who have been detained in the past and who are suffering in mind as well as in their bodies as a result of the stresses and strains they endured during their incarceration. Deliver them in body mind and spirit – especially those who are well aware that they could well be rearrested at a moment’s notice.
Let the power of Your mercy brood this day over those in extreme need: whether in Iran India; Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, North Korea or China, or wherever else the Spirit of God leads you now in prayer.