By Justin Rossow

In a post-Christian era, it can be easy to feel alone. We also know of and hear news reports about other Christians around the world who are under direct attack and even killed for their faith. Perhaps they feel like Elijah did; perhaps they feel they are the only faithful ones left, and now their lives are also threatened.

Our stories, however different in time, place, or culture, are tied directly to theirs, because we also have been chosen by grace and made part of the bigger story of Jesus on a mission for the sake of His world.

So we take time out to remember those who feel alone, to pray for them, to hurt for them, to join our hearts with theirs as we look for God to make His Kingdom come.

We shared the following prayers in worship this week; use these words or your own, but please join us in prayer this week.

For all the baptized, that by the power of the Holy Spirit they would remain steadfast in the faith, clinging to Christ alone for their salvation as long as they dwell in the wilderness of this vale of tears, let us pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, have mercy.

For the nations of the world and their leaders, that all who receive the sword as Your servants may bear it according to Your command, and that war, hate and bloodshed may be overcome by peace, justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, have mercy.

For our Christian brothers and sisters around the world facing persecution and martyrdom [especially in __________], that they may, by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, confess the saving name of Jesus Christ in the face of their persecutors, remembering that He will confess them before His Father in heaven, let us pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, have mercy.

For our brothers and sisters who have already been slain for bearing the name of Jesus [including ___________], let us offer God our praise and thanks for their faithfulness, asking our gracious God that their witness would be remembered in His church and serve to encourage and strengthen our own faith, let us pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, have mercy.

For compassionate, gracious, and humble hearts, that all Christians would keep their persecuted brothers around the world in their prayers, remembering also our Lord’s commands to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us, so that petitions would also rise for our enemies to be led to repentance and faith in the One who has overcome the world, even Jesus Christ, our Savior, let us pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, have mercy.


For more information, you could check out this (Voice of the Martyrs) or

We also received these thoughts recently from one of our members:

We in this country are incredibly blessed. We live in a free country, under the rule of law. Admittedly, TV and radio do have a lot of reports of shootings, and violence in this country.

But according to Amnesty International, 62 out of 160 countries lock up prisoners of conscience–people who were simply exercising their rights and freedoms. In 131 out of 160 countries, people are tortured or ill-treated. In 93  out of 160 countries, unfair trials are the norm.  

Many millions of people are refugees from war and violence. These must surely grieve the very heart of God.   

I think we are called to be “Watchmen on the Wall.” What can we do?? Scripture is full of admonitions to “pray constantly.” Each of us can do that. 

Amnesty International has a long track record of reporting and trying to correct these behaviors. I have supported them for years.

I also find the the twice-monthly World magazine an informative, if sobering, source of information. Pastor Zehnder recommended it to me years ago. Thus informed, we can pray more specifically. 

These prayers were shared as part of the sermon on Elijah and the question of identity in the sermon, below.