Week of Prayer, Dec. 2-9
Believers in persecution: Day 5
IMB workers Nik and Ruth Ripken* have served in some of the toughest Muslim areas of Africa. They’ve known believers who have been martyred for Christ. They’ve interviewed hundreds of other persecuted Christians in more than 70 countries.
After all that, they’ve learned something about persecution: “The most persecuted person is a lost person who has no access to Jesus,” Nik says. “Satan wants to keep people from hearing about Jesus. If he can’t do that, he wants to shut you up, to silence your witness.”
Most American Christians fall into that second category. They experience no persecution because they tell no one about Jesus. Yet persecution of Jesus’ true followers has been normal from New Testament times to our day. The primary cause? People coming to know Jesus. The key is how to make persecution count for God’s glory as the early Christians did.
Everywhere the Ripkens go in the world, they meet Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others hungry to know about God. “Every time we send a missionary through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we’re saying, ‘We will not stop until every man, woman, boy and girl on earth has access to Jesus,’” Nik says. “Being His heart, His hands and His voice means we’re representing Jesus among all the nations.”
Pray for boldness for believers in persecution as they proclaim Christ.
Pray that the worst persecution — no access to Christ — will end in our generation as missionaries take the Gospel to all peoples.
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A book about the Ripkens, The Insanity of God, is their true story of faith persecuted in the midst of war, opposing religions and personal loss. It will be available at major outlets beginning Jan. 1.
To learn more about the Ripkens and their ministry, visit nikripken.com.