Prayer and The Snare

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 Joseph Ton (Romanian Christian writer), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:

We have escaped with our lives as a bird from a hunter's snare. The snare is broken and we are free! (Psalm 124:7)

When Joseph Ton was forced to leave his native country Romania because of his faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord encouraged him with this beautiful psalm.

If the Lord had not been on our side (let all Israel admit it), if the Lord had not been on our side, we would have been swallowed alive by our enemies, destroyed by their anger. We would have drowned beneath the flood of these men's fury and pride.

Blessed be Jehovah who has not let them devour us. We have escaped with our lives as a bird from a hunter's snare. The snare is broken and we are free!

Our help is from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

(Psalm 124 LB)

Let us pray that the truth of this psalm may be experienced by all who suffer for His Name.

God will help them out, and you.

A moment of introspection: Through this Psalm, the Lord encouraged Joseph Ton during his exile from Romania. In our intercession for those who suffer for the Name above all names, we offer prayers that God will provide hope, strength and courage to stand firm in one's faith. Our prayers for courage for those persecuted for their faith in Jesus, ask that God inspire those we pray for--with courage, with His Holy Spirit, and with confidence in God Himself. The apostle Paul wrote that God had encouraged him and those who traveled with him (2 Corinthians 4:7-12) as he described their "jars of clay":

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you."

To the members of the church in Rome, Paul wrote different words of encouragement (Romans 8:28-39). He wrote "(28) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (emphasis, mine) Paul understood that though the world hates Christians because we follow Jesus Christ, Jesus has overcome the world. In this, though Christians in many lands suffer at the hands of hateful, hurtful people, Paul said that we are more than conquerors. We do pray that the truth of Psalm 124 might be experienced by all who suffer for His Name. But many suffering Christians do not find escape a timely experience. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him. May our prayers comprise some of that good:

  • Let us pray that the truth of Psalm 124 may be experienced by all who suffer for His Name.

  • Let us pray that those whose suffering continues will experience the presence of God Himself. (Hebrews 13:5)

  • Let us pray that God will give them the hope and strength and courage to stand strong in their faith in the midst of their persecution. (1 Peter 5:8-10)

  • Let us pray that God would use them to be a light of the Gospel to reach those who stand in opposition. to the Christian faith, with the love of Jesus--as a light to shine into the darkest places.

  • Let us pray that God would keep them safe, and grant them strength to withstand even greater persecution. "Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge." (Psalm 16:1)

To encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters of the faith, we might:

  • Pray that they will not be fearful but trust God and take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 18:10)

  • Pray that they will be enabled to rejoice, even in suffering. (1 Peter 4:12-13; Acts 5:41)

  • Pray that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere, and not grow weary or lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

  • Pray that they will experience God's comfort when their family members are killed, injured, or imprisoned for their witness. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

  • Pray that they will be refreshed through God's Word and grow in their faith. (Ephesians 6:17)

  • Pray that authorities will release those imprisoned for their faith.

  • Pray that those who remain in prison would be granted release as well--from bitterness, anger, depression, hatred, vengeful intentions, hopelessness, and any thoughts of suicide.

  • Pray that they will be strengthened through the prayers of fellow believers. (Jude 20-25)

Yes, we pray--and pray diligently--to encourage those who suffer, to strengthen their faith and their hurting bodies, to give them hope:

  • We can pray for the release of Christians imprisoned for their faith, and for the Lord's sustenance of those who yet languish behind bars.

  • We can pray for the Lord to provide for those who are forced to flee from their homes in Syria, that He would protect, preserve, and provide for these precious believers.

  • We can pray for those who are refugees in Mexico and South America, Europe, much of Africa and the Middle East.

We prayed for Joseph Ton during his travail in Romania, and praised God for his release and exile to America. In America, Joseph continued serving God and the Romanian people via radio broadcasts and publications. He later returned to Romania after the death of Ceausescu, to resume his service to God in that country. God released brother Ton for a purpose, and Joseph Ton carried out that purpose. We continue to serve our Father through our intercession of encouragement. In this, we are part of the good that the persecuted Church experiences. Through our prayers, God helps us, and helps those for whom we pray. On behalf of these brothers and sisters of the faith, we join with prayer warriors across the globe, praying to our Father for the day when "The snare is broken and we are free!"

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