I have a challenge for Christians:
Will you #pray&takethiscup for our persecuted Christians everywhere?
As Christians in northern Iraq are forced to deny Christ or lose everything, including their lives, we as believers should be asking the Lord what we can do, not just for them, but for persecuted Christians in any nation where following Christ might cost your children, life, livelihood, family, home, job, and anything else you hold dear.
These men, women, and children are drinking the cup of suffering and even death for their Savior, Jesus. They are giving it all and laying down their lives, and there is relatively little public awareness and outrage.
We might not be able to change how the media reports the news, but we can change how we respond to the knowledge of God’s people’s suffering.
That’s what this challenge is all about.
So here it is:
First and foremost, will you commit to pray at least once a day for 30 days? To help, I’ve written 30 Ways to Pray Scripture Once a Day for Persecuted Christians featuring a one-sentence prayer for every day in 140 characters or less so you can cut and paste them on social media to get others praying with us! (See my Pinterest board for sharable graphics for each day’s prayer!) Use these or your own, but pray, just as believers did for Peter in Acts chapter twelve when he was imprisoned for preaching the gospel and “constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (verse 5).
Praying is the absolute most important and powerful way we can support our brethren, but we must #pray&, which leads to the second part of the challenge.
As in Acts 11:29, each of us according to our ability can determine to send relief.
Will you #pray&takethiscup by laying down something you enjoy for a short time in order to help raise awareness and send relief to persecuted Christians who are suffering in Jesus’ name?
I don’t know what your “and” will be; only the Holy Spirit can direct the specific action He would have you take for Him. So pray, and ask the Lord to show you what He would have you do, specifically.
Will you accept the challenge?
If you answer “Yes!”, within 24 hours, start your 30 days of prayer, begin your #pray&takethiscup commitment, and nominate several of your friends to take the challenge, too.
Here’s what to say:
I accept the #pray&takethiscup challenge to raise awareness of Christian persecution around the world and to help my brothers and sisters in Christ. I will pray once a day for 30 days AND I will (name what you will give up in order to send relief). I challenge (name your peeps) to #pray&takethiscup with me. For 30 Ways to Pray Scripture for Persecuted Christians and ways to send relief, go to shaunawallace.com/prayandtakethiscup.
If you’re going to spread the word electronically, film yourself accepting and issuing the challenge and include your video with your text, email, or social media post. If you post on social media, cut and paste the above script with your post, tag the people you challenge, and be sure to use the hashtags #pray&takethiscup for #persecutedChristians #inJesusname.
Since I’m issuing the challenge, I’ll be the first to accept it. For the next 10 days, my family is going to #pray&takethiscup by spending money only on what is required to sustain life and business. No eating out for pleasure, no movies, no shopping, no hair and nail appointments. We are going to take what we normally would spend on these types of things in a 10-day period and donate it to efforts to help persecuted Christians.
Here’s a sample video:
Your #pray&takethiscup might be financial, but it can also be giving your time and/or talent to start an effort or come alongside your church, a community campaign, or a national organization already dedicated to bringing relief to #persecutedChristians everywhere, like these:
- Open Doors
- Voice of the Martyrs
- Somebody Cares in partnership with Global Hope Network International, Crisis Response International, and others unnamed due to security concerns
Following Jesus will cost us. What would we have our brethren do if one day it cost us our lives?
Together, let’s #pray&takethiscup.
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