Over the last year I have had the privilege of spending Sunday mornings before church praying with my college students. A former student had challenged us to be in prayer more consistently for our group and church. Her devotion and passion was convicting to both myself and the college pastor. While it took some time, our prayer meetings have become a staple in our college ministry with as many as 15 students joining us an hour before service each week.
Every Sunday I am blessed to hear our students share their hearts and cry out to the Lord to move in our college group, our church, their college campuses, our city, and the nation. But what has been an absolute blessing is to see the students hearts grow for our persecuted brothers and sisters as each week I share about believers in one of the countries on the World Watch List. I have seen their eyes opened to the circumstances our brothers and sisters face and in contrast the freedoms we have in our own country.
One of the results of our Sunday morning prayer time is that our students have not only become aware but they are engaging with the persecuted Church. I will often have one of them come up to me and mention something they read on the Open Doors website or information they heard about a country we had prayed for in the news. I have also seen them take their own faith more seriously and begin to recognize the opportunities to share their faith with the people in their daily lives.
As we anticipate the release of the 2017 World Watch List on January 11, I invite you to think about how you and the students in your life can join us in praying for our brothers and sisters who share our faith but not our freedom.
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