Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week—which ultimately culminates in our remembrance of the crucifixion and resurrection. As believers rejoice in Jesus’ victory over sin and the grave, we should also take time to remember the persecuted Church. In perilous parts of the world, churches are sometimes attacked during Holy Week when attendance is extremely high. Here are three prayers for persecuted believers this Palm Sunday.
Pray they’ll continue to know God has a plan for their lives
In Matthew 21:2, Jesus says, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.” With this command, Jesus bolsters the faith of persecuted believers by fulfilling ancient prophecy from Zechariah 9:9: “… See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
His plan was divine then, and it continues to be divine today. Our persecuted family lives under extreme pressure and strain. For many, they’ve been beaten, accused and pushed aside. But God continues to have a plan for their lives.
Pray our persecuted family members will know they are not forgotten. There is a plan for them, no matter the chaos surrounding their lives. Pray they will hold Jeremiah’s words close when God says He has plans to give them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). They are not forgotten. They are dearly remembered by Him.
Pray they will feel the peace of Jesus in their lives
In Biblical times, when a king rode in on a donkey, it meant he came in peace; when a king rode in on a horse, it meant a time of war and conquering. Jesus came in peace.
For so many of our persecuted brothers and sisters, peace seems like a pipe dream. They live lives of great hardship, dealing with ridicule, harassment and worse. Family members have abandoned them. Some don’t even know another single Christian. From an outside perspective, peace is not a word that would sum up their lives.
But in John 16:33, we read, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What a promise. Pray our persecuted family will find peace in Jesus. Pray through their troubles—as serious and disruptive as they are—they will be able to come to the Prince of Peace and find a quietness for which their souls long. Even though their lives may seem out of control, pray they will be reminded that Jesus is in control, and He has overcome even their most severe circumstances.