Photo credit: AP Images/Mehr News Agency, Mohammad Hadi Khosravi
Lord, today we pray for Iran and the several types of Christian groups who face persecution there. First, Lord, we pray for the historically Christian Armenian and Assyrian Christians. We are thankful they are protected by law, but grieved they are treated as second class citizens. May their identity as your treasured children far outweigh any second-class treatment they receive as they go about their daily lives. Next, we pray for communities comprised of Asian and Western Christian expatriates. Please protect them and their churches. May the government feel no desire to interfere with these non-citizens as they seek to follow Jesus in Iran. Third, we pray for Protestant Christian communities that attempt to share you with their Muslim friends and coworkers. Please bless them for their courage, Lord. They know they risk their safety and well-being, but their desire to share the hope of eternity with others compels them. May people come to you through them. Please protect them from the perils of persecution. Fourth, Heavenly Father, we pray for the largest segment of the Christian population in Iran: those who have turned away from Islam to follow you. Lord, you see the severe mistreatment and abuse they experience. You see what is taken from them, including family, other loved ones, and sometimes their very lives. Please protect them, shore up their courage, and give them supernatural strength to endure and radiate your light even in their darkest hours. Finally, Lord, we pray for a fundamental shift in Iranians' outlook. May they observe and believe that Christianity is not a threat, but rather a great benefit to their land. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.