This is my 75th November. It is, for me, probably the most significant November in my life. I am deeply moved emotionally. I think of dear friends who minister twenty kilometres from the Syrian border and who, for the first time in all the years I have known them, speak of being afraid.
They speak of the tension they experience as they admit to their fears, and seek to commit themselves and their fellow believers to God’s protection. They ask us to pray that they might remain strong. I think of the families of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and wonder what they are experiencing on Remembrance Day. How can I pray for them?
During past Novembers, I have joined with many of you and with millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ world-wide to pray for the persecuted church. November is set aside to remember and pray for those who pay so much for being followers of Jesus.
Today, we will reflect deeply on those who have given their lives to protect and ensure the freedoms we enjoy. This year we have been reminded in a very dramatic way of that sacrifice. I was moved to tears as I watched some of the coverage surrounding the deaths of Corporal Cirillo and Warrant Officer Vincent, and reflected on our country, our freedoms and our blessings.
So, as I approached the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church and Remembrance Day, how should I pray? How should we pray? This November, they seem more personal, more emotional, more entwined together. I am fully assured that our God is in control. I know His kingdom will come and that justice will prevail. In the meantime, I want to pray as I ought. I want to join heart and soul together with the millions in the family of God who lift up those who suffer so much for the cause of Christ. I want to pray for those who protect our freedoms and for their families.
Pastor Phil Delsaut, President of the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada (EMCC), the denomination Bethany belongs to, has composed a Prayer for Our Nation. We would encourage you to read and ponder.
I would encourage all of us to incorporate Pastor Phil’s prayer and the needs of the persecuted church into our individual and collective prayers this November. Please pray. Our world needs it! Remember what James says, “Pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” (MSG)
– Pastor Bob Baddeley