Pray for the Suffering Parts of the Body of Christ
Part of our calling as Christians is to intercede for this world in prayer. We lift up those who suffer to the Almighty and ask for His help. But how do we know who to pray for?
Of course, we pray for our family, friends, and other people whose needs we know about firsthand. Many of us also pray for the victims of faraway catastrophes – wars, famines, natural disasters – that we learn about in the secular media.
Unfortunately, if our prayers are informed only by what we hear about in the news, we risk neglecting to pray for those who should be closest to us – the thousands around the world who are killed, beaten, raped, imprisoned, and discriminated against because of their identification with our Christian faith.
The Bible tells us that these victims of religious persecution are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are parts of the worldwide Body of Christ to which we belong. “When one part suffers” the Apostle Paul tells us, “all parts suffer with it”. (I Cor. 12-26)
You can make a difference – by encouraging prayer for the world’s persecuted Christians in your weekly worship services and prayer meetings.
CSI can help. Every month we publish the names and details of Christians who suffer for their faith. These cases are intended to be used in prayers of intercession. They can help direct our hearts and minds to specific individuals and many others that suffer similarly for their faith.
We will also share the good news of the liberation of Christian prisoners, slaves, bonded labor, and victims of human trafficking, so that you can life up prayers of praise and thanksgiving as well as intercession.
The monthly prayer calendar can be found on the “Prayer Initiative” page of the CSI website.
Wishing you the Almighty’s blessing,
Dr. John Eibner
Mehak Afzal was just 12 years old when she was abducted by a Muslim man who forced her to marry him and convert to Islam. Last December, two and a half years after the kidnapping, Mehak managed to escape. She has now been reunited with her family.
We thank God that Mehak is free and pray for the hundreds of non-Muslim girls who are victims of kidnapping and forced marriage every year in Pakistan.
Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa was released from prison in January and expelled from the country along with 18 other clergymen. He had spent 500 days behind bars. Bishop Álvarez was serving a 26-year jail term for “conspiracy” after voicing criticism of the Nicaraguan government.
We pray for Bishop Álvarez, now in exile, and for all members of the clergy in Nicaragua who dare to challenge the government.
In August 2023, Manisha, an 11-year-old Christian, was sold by her mother and Hindu stepfather to human traffickers in Delhi. Thankfully, due to the rapid intervention of the local police, Manisha was rescued before she could be trafficked. The young girl now lives with her grandparents, where she is safe.
Let us thank God that Manisha was spared a miserable fate, and pray for all child victims of human trafficking in India.
Viktor Pivovarov, an 87-year-old Russian priest, is under investigation by the authorities for opposing Russia’s war against Ukraine on religious grounds. Pivovarov, who belongs to an independent Orthodox church, faces five years in jail if convicted. Members of his church are said to be afraid to attend services.
We pray for Archbishop Viktor and for all those whose beliefs are bringing them into conflict with the Russian government.
Mina Khajavi, a 60-year-old Iranian Christian convert, was summoned in January to begin her six-year prison sentence for “acting against national security by promoting Zionist Christianity”. Mina, who led a house church, was sentenced in 2022. She was considered unfit to begin her sentence initially after she was hit by a car. Mina is still recovering from her injuries.
We pray for strength for Mina, and for all Iranian Christian converts who are experiencing persecution.