Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Martyrs Monday

1 Thessalonians 5:17

The brass shackle is called, in Arabic, a bacle. Peter held it out as if it were a sacred object. It was a reminder of his family’s past and of Peter’s great blessing.

His grandfather had made the bacle, but it was not a craft project. In fact, he was forced to wear it by his Islamic masters. Peter’s grandfather had been captured in Southern Sudan and taken to Northern Sudan, where he was bought and sold as a slave.
Peter’s grandfather, though harassed and tormented by his Muslim masters, would not join their faith. He held fast to his faith in Christ, and his body bore the scars of his refusal. Because he was not a Muslim, he was seen as nothing more than an animal.

Shortly before he died, Peter’s grandfather had the bacle removed and gave it to Peter’s father. “Our family will not always be slaves,” he said, “but we must never forget.”

Later Peter’s father gave it to him, and he carried it with him when he escaped from his Muslim owner and fled to freedom. Today, it is no longer a sign of ownership, but a sign of God’s overcoming power. It is a symbol of God’s hand on a family, working through three generations to bring them to freedom.

“Never forget my people,” he urged. “Never stop praying for persecuted Christians in Sudan.”

Forgetfulness. It is the number one enemy of prayerfulness. We are quick to offer our prayers of support. Unfortunately, our good intentions are rarely good enough to help us carry through on our commitments to pray for those in need. What can remind you to pray for those who are persecuted around the world? Perhaps a small sticker on the face of your watch will remind you. Each time you look at your watch throughout the day can be an opportunity for you to remember a people group who live under religious persecution. Whatever method you choose to be more mindful of the missed opportunities for prayer, follow through on it. Reading stories about extreme believers will not change anything. Praying for extreme believers can change everything—maybe even today.

Readings taken from
Extreme Devotion: The Voice of the Martyrs


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