With permission we again bring extracts from Spiral Magazine (December 2017 issue) published by the Parish of South Gillingham.
THE CHILDREN OF THE SUFFERING CHURCH
Many adults say that Christmas is just a time for children. Well it is true that they bring great joy to the occasion but the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of the world, is a reason for great celebration by all ages everywhere.
Sadly, for tens of thousands of Christian children and teenagers, Christmas will also be mixed with much sadness and pain because they continue to suffer the immense consequences of war and persecution.
So let us therefore remember and pray for the many thousands who are:-
– now orphaned and needing a loving home
– injured by the violence and needing ongoing medical treatment
– still traumatised by the atrocities they have witnessed, often to their family or friends.
– living as refugees, without education or job prospects when they get older
– facing enormous family pressure to recant their faith in Jesus
– still trapped and under the control of IS or other Islamic fundamentalist groups
– bewildered and still living in fear of violence
– children missing an imprisoned parent(s)
– deliberately denied education and medical care by the authorities
But how should we pray for such great needs and awful circumstances?
Why not use the following to help you determine to pray each day for their needs:
MONDAY – that each one would know they are loved by God and not forgotten by their church family around the world – for strength to endure their hardships and rescue for those trapped or abducted, especially remembering the 113 Chibok school girls from Nigeria still held captive by Boko Haram.
TUESDAY – that they will be cared for and protected and receive full healing for the wounds to their body, mind and spirit.
WEDNESDAY – that God will provide for their families practical and financial needs and for fair access to education and medical care.
THURSDAY – that they would grow up to faithfully love Jesus and follow Him, deepen their relationship with God and so shine as lights in their communities.
FRIDAY – for world leaders to know how best to deal with and end all violent conflicts and to be generous in providing for the needs of displaced and refugee families; especially the Rohingya people.
SATURDAY – missing their imprisoned parents, often held hundreds of miles away making visiting extremely difficult and infrequent.
SUNDAY – for safety for all individuals, churches and charity workers seeking to provide material relief, education medical help and spiritual comfort to children and their families.