In Luke chapter six, Jesus defines persecution with four verbs:hatred, exclusion, insult and rejection (Luke 6:22). But later in thechapter Jesus gives much more emphasis on how you and I are to respondto persecution that comes our way.One of the great lessons from the persecuted church is praying forthose who persecute you. This is a parallel principle with loving yourenemies. Multiple examples can be shared how God has honored thisprinciple of prayer...Noskie was a former Imam in the southern part of the Philippines. Hewas a devout Muslim and one who generated respect from that littlecommunity in which he lived. Coming home from a fishing expedition oneday, he was shocked to discover that his two daughters had convertedto Christianity. He was well aware of the shame that this would bringto the whole community.In his anger, he mercilessly beat them hoping that they would renouncetheir new faith. But the daughters remained faithful. They loved theirfather and knew that nothing was impossible with God so they startedpraying for their fathers conversion.Sometime later, while fishing, Noskie felt a sudden piercing pain inhis stomach. As the pain intensified, his belly began to balloon. Hewrithed in unbearable pain. He prayed but nothing happened. Indesperation he cried out to the God of his daughters, Jesus Christ,and was instantly healed.Noskie emerged from the experience a new person. He submitted hisheart and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Today hefaithfully serves the Lord as a lay pastor. His daughters help in theministry.RESPONSEI am committed to respond to persecutionwith non-violence as Jesus taught.PRAYERLord, I realize today that when I pray for myenemy and love my enemy, he or she is nolonger my enemy. Help me to alwaysrespond this way.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon