By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: Christians belonging to various denominations in India will observe September 30 as a day of prayer for the persecuted Church.
This is the second year such a countrywide prayer service is being organized, Shibu Thomas, founder president of Persecution Relief, told Matters India on September 27. “Prayer is the need of the hour and the only resource we have,” he added.
Thomas also said Christians desperately need to resort to “ongoing, ardent, consistent, faith-filled prayer” for the persecuted Church as “the days become increasingly dark” in the country.
He has suggested 12 intentions to pray such as divine protection for all denominations who serve the country so that they maintain within the community while opposing “rulers of the darkness” and “spiritual hosts of wickedness.”
Christians will also pray for the release of those held in prisons for preaching Christ’s message and the perseverance of others who face persecution in various parts of the country and that they remain faithful to Christ until death.
“Pray for scores of Christians being falsely booked under “Freedom of Religion Act,” Thomas urged.
Indian Christians will also pray for the protection of the families of missionaries who face persecution and the new converts to Christ, who face rejection and persecution from family, friends and the communities.
Another intention is for the grace to forgive the persecutors. “Pray that all persecuted Christians will pray like Daniel prayed when he was persecuted. He did not hate his persecutors but humbled himself and sought God’s mercy for not give proper testimony.
Persecution Relief has ‘served’ more than 1,200 cases of persecution since inception and “have witnessed the power and miracle of prayers, first hand,” Thomas claimed.
He said the prayer is normally held on October 1, the day Pastor Philip George was released from prison two years ago.
Pastor George, who ran an orphanage, was imprisoned on false charges of child molestation and rape and was booked under the The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, a serious offense. In spite of the police not being able to prove the charges, he was imprisoned for 666 days as part of a huge conspiracy, Thomas explained.
The pastor’s wife fasted 21 days over three months as the family prayed for him daily. She was all alone with not enough prayer support but never lost faith in Jesus Christ. She believed that every trial was conquerable through prayer.
As many as 32 false witnesses were produced against the pastor but the court rejected their evidence and acquitted him.
Thomas regretted that hundreds of Christian orphanages, children’s homes, old age homes and mission organizations have been arbitrarily shut down; men and women imprisoned under the law.