"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)
The Church in Egypt has been going through one of the most intense times of persecution they’ve faced in decades. In the last twelve months alone, more than 102 Coptic Christians have been killed in attacks on churches and individuals. But this decade is also becoming one of the most profound, consistent expressions of the power of Christ in the Egyptian Church, as testimonies of forgiveness are being heard from every side, and public figures are beginning to take notice.
Will your church remember the persecuted Church in Egypt in your worship service on November 5 or 12, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church? We've worked with partners in the region to write a prayer that you can use at your church. You can also order free bulletin inserts from Faith Alive here (please order by October 1st to ensure that your inserts arrive on time) and visit crcna.org/DayOfPrayer to view other resources.
A Prayer for the Suffering Church in Egypt
Father God, grant. Grant protection to your church in Egypt. Over and over this year and this decade we have heard about the ways that Christians up and down the Nile, and throughout the Holy Lands, are being attacked for their faith. Grant them resilience in their faith. Grant them favor with their neighbors and with the authorities. Grant them patience to bear up under pain, and to await the justice that will clear their names when they are falsely accused and flagrantly attacked. Grant peace and healing in their broken hearts — one that is heavenly, passing understanding. Grant them open doors to keep on building your kingdom in the Middle East — and to be peacemakers in these lands fraught with war and terror. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father God, forgive. Forgive those who trouble and terrorize the Christians of Egypt. Forgive the angry enemies of your cross, and free them from their imprisonment in lies in the lands where your son was birthed, harbored, and died. But forgive us also. Forgive us for holding all the pains and problems of the Middle East at a distance, and for forgetting so quickly that parts of your earthly body are suffering. Forgive us, and forgive also the nominal parts of your church in the Middle East and in other parts of this dark world for being complacent, for being complicit in allowing Muslim extremists to isolate themselves and remain blind to your truths, and for compromising our faith in you, with worldly distractions, actions, words, and behaviors that cause those same religious extremists to recognize a real ungodliness in us. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father God, empower. You are the source of their strength and ours. Gird yourself with power, Lord Jesus, and gird us with the power of your own Holy Spirit. Let it be unleashed in our hearts and on the earth, in growing waves of Pentecost. Let your power be evident in the martyrs, and let the enemies of your name know your presence and your power and submit to you. Let your power bring hope, peace, and joy, to all the oppressed, with salvation even for their oppressors. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father God, thank you. Thank you for the resilience and profound strength that you have given to your church in Egypt and the Middle East. Thank you for the ways you are pouring out your spirit freely, empowering old believers with new courage to speak forgiveness, and anointing young servants with excitement to speak for their faith, to reach out to neighbors, to keep Jesus on their lips, to risk angering Muslim extremists, and to endure arrests, or lose possessions, because they are willing to follow Jesus. God, in your grace and goodness, hear our prayers.
Father God, honor. Bring honor to your name. More honor: true honor. Help us and our people in Egypt and the Middle East to bring you honor like Jesus brought you honor — honor that is not self-serving, or meant to build our kingdom, or our reputations, but rather, honor that is founded on humility, service, and a steadfast relationship with you — honor that hallows Your Name. Cause your kingdom to come. God, in your grace and goodness, hear our prayers.
Father God, glorify. Yours is all the glory, O Lord. Be glorified in your Church in Egypt, and in your Church throughout the world. Let those who suffer bring glory to your name. Let justice roll down in the places that have been left dry. Let us see your glory. Let your enemies see your glory. Let your children bask in the sun and rain of your glory, like a rainbow and a banner of love, and cause these deserts to become green, fruitful, plentiful places, and to bring you fame. Glorify Your Name, O God. God, in your grace and goodness, hear our prayers.
Father God, come. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
In Your perfect Name we pray.