Heavenly Father, we remember today those brothers and sisters of ours around this world whose safety and survival is in peril because of their faith in You, their commitment to Your Church and their dedication to your mission to save the world. So many have to worship You in utter secrecy, building up the Body of Christ while hiding from authorities who seek to arrest, imprison, torture and kill them for their love for You and those around them. We pray that You would today bring the comfort of Your presence, the peace and power of Your Holy Spirit within them. Give them courage to continue on in the mission to which You've called them.
For those who serve as pastors and leaders of Your underground church, give them wisdom and steadfastness as they seek to be instruments in Your hands for the advancement of Your kingdom. For those who are oppressed and ostracized in their communities because of their faith in Jesus, give them the comfort and courage that comes as they gather with other believers to lift each other up. For those who are imprisoned, give them a deep hope in You, that they might be able to endure whatever hardship befalls them behind bars. For those who are tortured, give their bodies strength to endure, a strength that comes only from You. We pray that they might even be a witness of Your love and redemption to the very people who torture and kill them.
And blessed is the death of Your saints who give their lives for Your sake, and thereby share in You sufferings, earning a glorious homecoming of ultimate relief, resolve and reward.
Challenge us, O God, who live in such comfort and ease, to stand strong in the struggles we face in our own lives. We stand proud today to be called the children of God, and thereby called the sisters and brothers of those across our world today whose hardships we can only imagine. Make them to lie down in green pastures and beside the still waters, and give them great courage as they walk though the valley of the shadow of death. In the strong name of Christ we pray, and for the sake of His Kingdom in power in our world, Amen.