2015-08-20 - Pray for the Martyrs
Rev 6:9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
Someone who refuses to deny Christ in order to save their lives or is killed because they are Christians is a martyr. It is the ultimate denial of self in following Jesus as Lord. In the world today there are many who suffer this fate far too often. International outcry has made a difference in some cases. At other times it barely breaks the news and is so far away that it is difficult to grasp.
We are instructed to pray for our persecutors (Matt 5:44). Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him (Luke 23:34). Persecution can be far less severe than martyrdom, but the instruction still applies. They are also people Christ died to save.
We need to pray for each other, including those far away, who name the name of Jesus as Savior and Lord for strength and wisdom. And we need to pray for those who persecute them and those who assail us as well. It is not always easy to do for many obvious reasons. Yet we are to be reflections of God's love to others.
As the fifth seal is broken in Heaven as the Revelation of John unfolds those who were martyred come into sharp focus. They have a special place in Heaven while awaiting God to "judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth" (Rev 6:10). Few overall will have the honor of dying for their Lord as a witness but they will be recognized for their faithfulness.
Lord - for our brothers and sisters in You we ask that You strengthen them in their ordeal and give them courage to be an unflinching witness of Your love that they night touch the hearts and lives of those who afflict them. Keep us mindful of their situation so we will remember to support them any way we can. Thank You for Your provision and protection that gives us this opportunity to server. Amen
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.