International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
This year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, marked by churches on November 3 or 10, will focus on the persecution and witness of the church in North Korea.
This year, we are praying for the North Korean church using the words of Psalm 30:8-12. May the Lord turn their wailing into dancing!
Dear God, thank you for faithful missionaries who brought the Gospel to the Republic of Korea centuries ago. Their earnest dedication and their vision for holistic ministry flourished because of your faithfulness. Thank you for not giving up on the work of leaders past, both known and unknown, who suffered so that the Gospel could be made alive for the people of North Korea.
Dear God, empower the Christians who worship you in hidden places and behind closed doors. Strengthen those who lift up your name in plain sight and are persecuted for their faith. May the evil one not have the last word. When families are subjected to unlawful arrests, ridicule, and imprisonment, we pray for resilience. Protect your people as they read your word under the flickering lights of night. Remind them that their persecution does not escape the eyes and ears of the Sovereign Lord. May they gain strength knowing that prayers are going up on their behalf every day.
Dear God, reunite the families separated by decades of injustice. Separation has left anguish and sorrow for those on either side of the 38th parallel. Yet people have not lost hope that a unified Korea is still a part of your plan. We pray for the nudging of the Spirit to increase opportunities for family members to connect and renew relationships. We pray for the release of family members being held in North Korean prisons and work camps. We pray for freedom for these captives, and unification with their loved ones….
A Litany to Remember the Persecuted Church
based on Psalm 30
In need of your mercy, we offer today our prayer for the suffering of people of faith around the world. As we name the suffering of Christians in North Korea, we are mindful also of the suffering of so many others, named and unnamed.
The psalmist says, “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?”
Hear, LORD, and be merciful to us; LORD, be our help.
Around the world, people of faith live where governments have outlawed worship, oppressed believers, and even killed people who belong to minority religious groups. Today we bear witness to the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters in North Korea, who live in concentration camps and endure torture and abuse, or who lose their lives by execution or from being worked to death.
Hear, LORD, and be merciful to us; LORD, be our help….
Sermon Notes (Psalm 30)
In this Psalm we read that where our strength fails, God’s grace and mercy rise. Out of his painful experience, the psalmist writes with the assurance that God has a plan for his life.
Sometimes we say, “God will never give us more than we can handle.” But we read in the Bible that this statement is far from the truth. While God does not give us trouble, frequently we find ourselves in situations where the trouble we are experiencing takes us to the end of our abilities and strength. Yet, like the psalmist, we can find hope in this: while life will most certainly gives us more than we can handle, we will never receive more than God can handle.
God is the one who turns our wailing into dancing, our sackcloth into garments of praise, and our silence into singing. God is always at work. In our suffering, we can call on God to save. In our pain, we can cling to God’s promises of hope and a future. In the darkness, we can testify to God’s faithfulness. These are God’s promises to the people of God in North Korea, in Canada, in the United States, and around the world—yesterday, today, and forever.
Free Bulletin Inserts
Religious Persecution Powerpoint
- Come Now, O Prince of Peace (LUYH 905)
- I Worship You, O Lord (LUYH 668)
- The Steadfast Love of the Lord (LUYH 347)
- To My Precious Lord (LUYH 136)
- Your Love Never Fails (Jesus Culture)
More Information on Religious Persecution
Visit our religious persecution webpages for more educational resources and ways to get involved.
Header image: Flickr user Beautiful Faces of Berlin.