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Praying for the persecuted
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer
October 01, 2010

Praying for the persecuted

Praying for the persecuted
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer
October 01, 2010

We are blessed in this
country with a religious freedom that people in other parts of the world cannot
even begin to imagine. Every week you and I can worship wherever we choose and
with any group of people we choose.

We can carry our Bibles in public and say
we are Christians without fear that the government will put us in prison or
kill us.

Every day Christians around
the world suffer persecution.
Open Doors, an organization
serving persecuted Christians, includes a list on its web site of the latest
news about persecuted Christians and churches. Nearly every day this group has
a report of some kind of persecution — or martyrdom — happening around the
world. They report that about 100 million Christians face persecution because
of their faith in Jesus Christ, with millions more facing alienation and
discrimination.

I can hardly bear to read
the personal stories on the Open Doors web site about Christians dying for
their faith. In the Middle East, a mom and her two children waited for dad to
come home from work, but he never did because five men stormed the Christian
publishing company where he worked and tortured and then killed him.
A bomb exploded in a church
in Southeast Asia and a man watched as the fire consumed his wife. The man and
his wife had only just been married.

North Carolina Baptists, are
we praying for the persecuted church? Are we regularly falling on our faces
before God and pleading with Him on behalf of our brothers and sisters around
the globe?

Prayer is so important in
the life of a Christian. Through prayer we get to know the heart of God.
God has invited us into His
presence at any time. We can approach His throne of grace with confidence,
knowing our prayers are heard and are treasured by God.
If we believe all that to be
true, I challenge you and I challenge myself to get more serious when it comes
to intercessory prayer, especially for the persecuted church.

Nov. 14, 2010, has been
designated as an international day of prayer for the persecuted church. We may
not be able to go overseas and minister to these Christians, but we can each
pray for them. They need our prayers more than anything else.

I encourage you to mark Nov.
14 as the beginning of a new commitment for your church to boldly pray for
persecuted Christians. Pray for those who are being sent away from their homes
and their families because of their faith. Please pray for those who will ultimately
give their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If your church would like
materials to help promote this important day of prayer, visit
www.opendoorsusa.org.

“Lord, thou hast heard the
desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear
to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth
may no more oppress.” Psalm 10:17-18