Intercession: Blessing the Persecuted

This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free, compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Sister Maria from Mozambique (She had been imprisoned under severe circumstances and because of current danger, uses a pseudonym), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say falsely all kinds of evil against you because of me. (Matthew 5:11)

Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance . . . for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. (Matthew 25:34-35)

In these scriptures, I see an inseparable bond. Blessed are the persecuted and . . . blessed are those who are persecuted.

Although there were times, when in prison, that I doubted God's love, many opportunities arose when my faith was strengthened again and again through the support of other people. Their good deeds came spontaneously, because they loved the Lord... and me.

It reminded me of Paul's words: 'If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. If your leg is injured, you are supplied with a crutch. Without that crutch you cannot walk. In our walk with the Lord, one may be persecuted, but another supports and strengthens.

We need one another, and thus we fulfill the law of Christ. In doing so we all will be blessed, because,: 'he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.'"

A moment of introspection: We who are blessed to know the needs of family members around the world, in turn bless the persecuted. We do so through prayer--ardent, striving, well-thought out, constant, vital, real-time, as the Spirit leads--but all through prayer.

We intercede for those whose names the Lord Himself reminds us of. We are part of the worldwide "crutch" that allows our fallen comrades to walk; we strengthen and support through our effort and through our calling. We strengthen and support through telling others the particular needs and concerns of our own family. In so doing, we refresh those who rely on us.

We hold them up before the mighty throne of Him whose Son knew insult and pain, torture and hard-heartedness. But we do so because this Son rose from the grave; we do so because the Holy Scriptures adjure us to (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) 16 Rejoice always! 17 Pray constantly . 18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. We intercede for we can feel the suffering of our brothers and sisters, can we not?!

Then let us persevere in prayer. It is a joyful duty, and it is ours!

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