SUFFERING IN NORTH KOREA FOR CHRIST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
" The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel." Thomas Watson
There are about 300,000 Christians in North Korea, from a population of 25.7 million. From that 300,000, Open Doors estimates that 50,000-70,000 Christians are currently imprisoned in terrible labor camps for their faith. Sisters in Christ suffer rape and induced labors where their newborns would be taken from them immediately to be suffocated by plastic sheets while brothers in Christ are forced into a metal cage measuring 3ft high by 4ft wide that is heated with electricity until they die inside this confined space. All because they profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, a threat to the country's propagated ideology of self reliance and self development.
We must pray persistently for this nation even when we may be tempted to think that our prayers may not change anything considering the dire situation North Korea has always been in, because it is only God who changes things and He can be moved by your sincere cries to Him for help as He was moved by King Hezekiah and healed him. God desires that we pray persistently like the parable He told of the persistent widow, who never gave up in seeking justice for herself until the judge who neither cared for people nor God, finally helped her just so he could get rid of her being a nuisance to him. If this unprincipled judge would vindicate the widow, “will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?” (Lk. 18:1-8).
God and Eternal Father,
Teach us to draw near to you with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us, and that we should pray with and for others (Rom 8:15, Lk. 11:13; Acts 13:5; 1 Tim 21:1-2). Enable us to glorify you, Lord, in all circumstances that you make yourself known. Destroy Satan’s kingdom in this world, advance Your mighty Kingdom of grace, bringing many into your sanctuary, keep them there, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened, O Lord. Hear us, as we come before your holy presence and your mercy seat, with contrite hearts and broken spirits.
When our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering in many concentration camps throughout North Korea, cry aloud to you, God, we implore that you should be so compassionate and will hear them. In the days of their trouble, when the spirit faints because of the sheer intensity of their searing pain, overcoming them and stealing their joy, please help them to seek you. When the enemy whispers lies to them that you have forgotten to be gracious to them, and that your promises are at an end for all time, that your steadfast love has ceased, we appeal to you, Lord, that your Spirit would fill their whole horizon and hold fast to their faith. Your reminders to them of who and what they are - the dual blessings of their adoption and regeneration is invaluable, Lord. More precious than any fine rubies or jewels that this world offers. Oh, how the enemy longs to bring us to despair in making us doubt who we are in Christ! Help them never to forget that nothing will ever separate them from the love of Christ. We trust in your supreme power over the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Everything is ordained by you and through you, so that your name be glorified through all the earth!
Like the Psalmist prays in Psalms 77, though embattled by life’s circumstances, we know they you will be able to help stabilize themselves. Help them to meditate with stubborn persistence on the mighty works of you and so gain strength and get steady again. As they grasp tight onto your promises and all the power of you, raise their minds above their present pain and renew their hope for the future – an eternal future with you. You are our Almighty righteous God who will give justice to your elect, who cry to you day and night. We know that petitioning to you diligently glorifies you, so help us Lord. Thank you, Lord, for being our sole pillar of strength, hope, and joy.
We praise you, our Lord and our God, for those tortured but survived, who waited patiently for you, and you inclined to them and heard them, drew them up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set their feet on the rock, making their steps secure (Ps. 40:1-2). Give courage and protection to those Christians who are leaving the safe houses of Open Doors in China to re-enter North Korea to do your work. Grant them safe passageways into the country and hide them under the shadow of your wings. You are their shield, their mighty fortress, their refuge, their never-failing bulwark. Nothing should beset their journey but if you should allow the tempest to antagonize your standard bearers, please hold fast to their faith lest they lose all hope, Lord. Like how Nehemiah asked of you Lord, we ask the same, that you would grant success to your servants in North Korea and grant them mercy in the sight of their enemies (Neh. 1:11).
When helplessness and hopelessness visit our inner thoughts over how unrepented iniquities have blanketed North Korea, banish these thoughts away and help us draw strength and hope from you, our God of Comfort who is merciful and kind, and do not wish for anyone to perish but to come to repentance. So Lord, please shine forth your incredible light of truth into this nation, release them from the dominion of Satan into the Kingdom of God that they may turn from sin and follow you. It is only in your divine power and sovereignty that we have complete faith, that you alone will bring about your plans in your time. While we wait for you, give us prayerful hearts to pray confidently for our brothers and sisters suffering in North Korea for they are our family too. It is with great joy and comfort to know our Great God attends to our prayers so give us faith to trust in you, Lord. May your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Praise be to you forever, Mighty God. Amen.
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