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Father, we stand with our brothers and sisters around the world who are undergoing persecution today for their faith.  We remember them before you, and plead for your mercy on them and your intervention in their circumstances.

Strengthen the faith of those who are suffering in various ways for their faith, Lord.  Draw near to them, and draw them near to you in prayer.  As they seek you in prayer, grant them your peace and a sense of your presence and provision.  Protect them from discouragement and renew their hope in you.  Protect them also from bitterness and give them consistently forgiving spirits.

Intervene on behalf of persecuted believers, Father.  Bless them both spiritually and physically, so that it will be obvious that your hand is on them.  May your hand of blessing on your people testify to your goodness and grace so that those who are far from you come to see you and to seek you. 

Change the hearts of those who are persecuting your people and thereby persecuting you.  Reveal yourself through dreams, visions, miracles, and through the grace and forgiveness of your people.  Change the paths of the persecutors as you once did for Paul.

Give wisdom to believers facing difficult decisions in the midst of persecution - whether to leave or stay, how to live out their faith, how to relate to their families and neighbors.  Through the witness of these believers, draw entire households to yourself.

Change the times in lands where your children are persecuted.  Change the hearts of government leaders, or raise up new leaders in their stead - leaders who will value human rights and freedom of religion. 

Reverse the trend in many of the Middle Eastern countries toward increasing imposition of Sharia law. Change the perspective in these countries, so that women will be valued and treated with respect and so that people will be free to worship you.

Use the violence and hatred of extremist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram to cause Muslims around the world to question their faith.  Cause them to desire not a prophet of war but a Prince of Peace.

Break down every barrier in the way of the Gospel going to every nation, tribe, language, and people.  Reap a rich harvest for your kingdom among all the peoples of the world.  And please raise up your church around the world to continue to remember those who are persecuted - both for the sake of your mercy on them and for the sake of the advancement of your kingdom.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

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