A wonderful Thanksgiving!
It was a great Thanksgiving this year. Our youngest granddaughter spent the night before with us – and slept all snuggled up next to me. The morning brought her mother and father and while I made the scalloped potatoes and banana pudding that my family love, my daughter fixed all the rest of the food. Afterwards, my husband and son-in-law cleaned up.
The family gathered around the table was not as many as in years past as our children and grandchildren are scattered all around the USA, but I was thankful for the calls and texts from many of them.
So much to be thankful for:
- While we have aches and pains, none of my family have any life-threatening illnesses.
- My children all have jobs/homes.
- I have a terrific husband.
But what about the rest of the world?
As we all rush out to find great bargains on this “black Friday” I think of those who did not sit down yesterday to a table loaded with delicious food. Those who did not lay their body down last night on a soft, comfortable bed with warm blankets.
My thoughts last night were especially of my Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. For them, there was no big meal with family and friends all gathered around. Many are in prison and have not seen their families in weeks, months, even years. For them, there was not a big shopping day.
But what can I do about it?
Many times we feel like there is nothing we can do about people suffering on the other side of the world. We do not have enough money, enough political power, no army. What can we do?
There is much we can do!
Start with prayer.
We often say to someone who shares a need that we cannot fix, “All I can do is pray.” But never under-estimate the power of prayer.
Samuel M. Zwemer, a missionary and Christian scholar on Islam, said: “The history of missions is the history of answered prayer…it is the key to the whole missionary problem. All human means are secondary.” J. Oswald Sanders said: “[Prayer] is fundamental, not supplementary…. All progress can be clearly traced back to prevailing prayer.”
How can we pray?
- Pray for God to move in the hearts of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, so that they may know Christ (1 Timothy 2:4).
- Pray for God to change the hearts of governmental authorities (Proverbs 21:1).
Pastor Wurmbrand (founder of Voice of the Martyrs) writes how God used him while he was in prison. He credits having the courage and strength to be a witness and survive the harsh treatment of prison to the prayers of God’s people.
This is part of his story!
In Romania, Pastor Wurmbrand was interrogated many times during his 14 years in prison. One of his interrogators, Lieutenant Grecu, questioned Pastor Wurmbrand about his activities with the underground church. Wurmbrand described Grecu as “a tough young man… indoctrinated with the belief that he was making a better world.”
After accusing Pastor Wurmbrand of lying about his contacts, Grecu ordered him to write out all the rules that Pastor broke in prison. Pastor Wurmbrand willingly sat at the table to write out his “declaration.” It had been two years since he had held a pen, so it was difficult to write. He persisted in writing all the rules he had broken, ending his “confession” with: “I have never spoken against the Communists. I am a disciple of Christ, who had given us love for our enemies. I understand them and pray for their conversion so that they will become my brothers in the Faith….”
When Grecu read the “declaration,” he was overwhelmed that Pastor could write of his love for a government that had put him in prison and tortured him. Grecu said, “This is one of your Christian commandments that no one can keep.” To that, Pastor lovingly responded: “It’s not a matter of keeping a commandment. When I became a Christian, it was as if I had been reborn, with a new character full of love. Just as only water can flow from a spring, so only love can come from a loving heart.”
Over time, Pastor had more opportunities to talk about Christ with Lieutenant Grecu. One day he had the wonderful privilege, in his own prison cell, to see Grecu come to Christ.
Don’t let them suffer alone!
Pray. Write letters. Educate yourself about the persecution in the world. Check out http://www.persecution.com/