Monday, September 1, 2008

Missions Monday

John Piper recently posted about praying for the suffering church in Orissa, India, where Christians are being blamed--and killed--by Hindus for the murder of a Hindu leader. Even though a communist revolutionary group has claimed responsibility for the murder, the Hindus insist the murder was part of a Christian missionary plot.

Piper cited Hebrews 13:3 as an example of why to pray for the suffering church.
“Remember those...who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

I'd also like to add Matthew 25:34-40 (ESV):
Then the King will say those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

Father, your word says that Christians are being killed daily. "Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered." Yet your word also tells us, "in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us." Because of you, those of us who have been adopted into your family cannot be put to shame. We cannot lose our inheritance. We will be victorious when all things are made known.

Father, bring comfort to those in your church who are suffering through this persecution. Let them know that you are in control. Let them know that all things work for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purposes.

And I pray that in this time of trial, you will use your people in India to show your love and glory. May the Christians of that nation encourage one another and show forgiveness to those who seek to take their lives. May they be like Stephen, who as he was being stoned, saw your glory and sought his killers' salvation.

May those trapped in the evil of Hinduism see that there is a God of the universe and see their inability to warrant your favor. Call out from among them people who will become part of your family, people who will know what it means to find freedom from the seemingly endless cycle of sin and suffering.

And may those of us living in safer nations remember that we have received a blessing, like the Corinthian church, so that we can use our resources to help those in need. And may we be inspired to take on that missionary spirit among our own people, even to the point of risking our own lives to bring your good news to those who are dying apart from you.

In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

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