Prayer for the Persecuted

Eternal and Compassionate God, We thank you, Lord, for visiting us when we are afflicted and suffer unjustly. For you are a God who cares, who understands our grief, our wounds, our sorrows, our diseases. We lay our afflictions before you for we cannot bear them alone. Heal our wounds, comfort us in our griefs, […]

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36. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Eternal and Compassionate God, We thank you, Lord, for visiting us when we are afflicted and suffer unjustly. For you are a God who cares and understands our wounds, our sorrows, our diseases. We lay our afflictions before you for we cannot bear them alone. Heal our wounds, comfort us in our griefs, purge us of disease. Restore us; […]

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35. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty Father, We give thanks for the many blessings that you have given us. Among these gifts are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May we likewise bless others with these gifts. Sanctify us in your righteousness that we might be fit stewards of your grace. And if our sanctification includes persecution, grant us to bear it with […]

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Kodak Prays for the Persecuted

Betsey Kodat. 2015. Arise, LORD! Scriptural Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Herndon, Virginia: CreateSpace. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra The annual number of Christian martyrs in 2015 has been estimated to have been 90,000 people. This estimate is a decline from 377,000 in 1970s in the heyday of world communism,[1] but it is still about […]

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Persecution Can Be Transformative

“And Saul approved of his [Stephen’s] execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1 ESV) By Stephen W. Hiemstra In my grandparents’ home, every meal began with prayer and ended with […]

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Persecution Gets Personal

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matt 5:11 ESV) By Stephen W. Hiemstra The ninth beatitude is the capstone beatitude and it repeats beatitude eight emphatically. The parallel in Luke’s Gospel is even more explicit. The ninth beatitude also […]

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Blessing Those that Persecute

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” (Romans 12:14 ESV) By Stephen W. Hiemstra Increasingly even in America, Christians find themselves the target of isolation, persecution, and even murder. During 2015 alone, a woman was jailed for publically espousing Biblical views on marriage [1], a church was the site of a […]

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Prosecute Righteousness

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:10 ESV) By Stephen W. Hiemstra The eighth beatitude continues our look at tension with others. Persecution is probably the most obvious form of interpersonal tension. Yet, it is sometimes more obvious to third parties than it is […]

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Tension with Others

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:43-45 ESV) By Stephen W. Hiemstra We depend on other people; they […]

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