International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

prayer persecuted church idopHopefully, you will be attending an International Day of Prayer (IDOP) event for the persecuted church.  I have been part of the IDOP movement for 13 years now, and it provides encouragement for me year after year.

Specifically, I am always encouraged in two ways. First, I am encouraged by the joy of the persecuted. Like the Apostle Paul says in Romans 5, Christians exult in their tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance. Perseverance brings about proven character, and proven character brings about hope, which can never disappoint.  The expectation going into one of these events for the persecuted church is that it will be a somber, dour time of hearing about suffering and oppression. The reality is that victory is more pronounced than defeat!

Second, I am always encouraged by the unity of the body of Christ. Christians from many different churches (1/2 million different churches!) will gather for the one body of Christ still suffering on earth.  That is glorious. We frequently referred to our IDOP event back in Kentucky as “One Night for the World.” The idea was that our differences would not divide us, but bring us together for one night to proclaim to the world that we are the body of Christ, and our identity is ultimately bound up in our Head, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I hope you will be encouraged by your attendance at the International Day of Prayer. I am speaking in Van Dyne Gym on the campus of California Baptist University at 6:30pm, Sunday, November 10.


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