If you don’t already know, prayer is a huge deal at Open Doors. In just about every article or social media post you read from us, we ask you to pray.
In fact, one of Open Doors’ seven core values affirms this focus: “We are a people of prayer.”
The reason for this official statement is twofold:
No Closed Doors When We Pray
First, there is power in prayer! Through our prayers, we are able to call on the name of Jesus to bring change in places we cannot go, places that are absolutely desperate for the hope of Christ.
We often quote Open Doors Founder Brother Andrew saying, “Our prayers can go where we cannot … There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed when we pray.”
While it’s a powerful thing to have the opportunity to meet our brothers and sisters in person, an overseas trip is not always possible. (That’s why we partner with indigenous churches in more than 60 countries—to have a physical, on-the-ground presence). But we can be with our brothers and sisters when we pray—petitioning our Lord and Savior to meet them right where they are. We can intercede, asking that Christ would protect and strengthen them to stand strong in the eye of their storms.
Joining With Believers Through Prayer
Second, our persecuted brothers and sisters ask for our prayers more than any other form of support.
We continue to hear from our field reps who meet with our brothers and sisters facing dire situations that their first request is, “pray with me.” Notice I said, “with me.” These believers want us to pray with them—not necessarily for them.
They have a front-row seat to watch what God is doing through persecution and trials. In many countries, His gospel is spreading like wildfire in the midst of violence and abuse. They ask us to join them in praying that they will not deny Christ and that his gospel will go forth. Listen to house-church leaders Vang Atu (Vietnam) and Vipur’s (India) requests:
- Vang Atu*, a 28-year-old father to two kids, was the first Christian convert in his village in Vietnam. Through his passion to share the gospel, four families in his village came to Christ. As a result, his house (where his family and others met for worship) was destroyed. He and his family were forced to leave their village. Vang’s request: “Pray that I will never give up in believing in Jesus until I meet Him in Heaven.” Read his story and watch raw footage.
- Vipur, a house church leader in India, faces consistent persecution, including a recent attack that left him fighting for his life. He begs for Christians to pray with him: “Please pray for me,” he says. “Pray that I will recover fully; that’s my deepest wish. I want to be able to do what I did before the attack and even more.” Read Vipur’s story.
Praying for India
This month, we invite to join us in praying with the Church in India—a nation that has seen persecution grow at an alarming rate. The world’s second-most-populous country went from #25 on the 2015 World Watch List to #11 on the 2018 WWL.
Just last Sunday (March 11, 2018), a Hindu mob of 50 extremists raided five churches–brutally attacking and abusing Christians as they worshipped. They told one pastor: “If you want to serve Jesus Christ, go to Bethlehem or the Vatican. Worship Him there. Why do you want to make India impure?”
To help you connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ, Open Doors has created a 30-Day India Prayer Journal. In it, we introduce you to some of our brothers and sisters living in India. They have graciously shared their stories—and even their prayers:
- Savita has been following Jesus for almost 17 years. She is a nurse, a Sunday school teacher and is also involved in worship at her church. Despite the discrimination and persecution that she faces as a Christian, Savita is passionate about sharing the gospel and praying for others who are hurting. She prays, “Lord, I pray for the people who suffer persecution that they might be able to stand strong in their faith. I pray that you would help me pray with dedication.”
- Manku and his family came to Christ when his wife was delivered from an evil spirit through prayer. The whole family was socially ostracized, and Manku was denied work in the village. Life is difficult for him, but he remains strong in his faith. He prays, “Lord, I pray for the protection of my family – we face constant opposition in my village. Help us to continue with our faith. I pray for the salvation of my village. Please help all the people in our village to know your faith.”
‘Lord, Increase Our Faith’
Our prayer is that as you begin to learn about and pray fervently for these brothers and sisters—asking God to move over this nation—your own personal prayer life will deepen and grow. Through prayer, we tap into God’s heart for His people—and for our own lives.
Scripture is clear that the Lord hears our petitions and answers.
In Luke 17:6, Jesus says to His apostles, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
Let’s join with the apostles, saying,“Oh Lord increase our faith!”
I pray that we will each go before the Lord, believing He will work in India to bring our brothers and sisters through their persecution. And that through this adversity, the Lord would continue to advance the growing Church in India and draw more people to Him!