Halloween is in a few days. Many churches are preparing to host trunk-or-treat events. After Halloween passes, they will devote themselves entirely to preparing for Christmas.
We put more time and energy into the Christmas season than any other. We offer special services on Christmas Eve. Some churches even offer a “walk to Bethlehem” experience! And we are more deliberate about inviting others to church.
Unfortunately, we tend to give Christmas a first-world meaning. Sermons are directed at self-inflicted problems. We talk about how stressful the holidays are because we buy too many presents or attend too many parties.
The significance of the incarnation is lost in the shuffle of first-world ministry. Rather than caring for the poor or sharing the gospel, we entertain ourselves with the birth of Jesus.
To counteract this, we ought to kick off the holiday season remembering those less fortunate – specifically, our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Voice of the Martyrs facilitates an International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church the first Sunday of November. They offer resources (including a free video) to direct our thoughts and prayers toward those who suffer for Jesus’ sake.
The timing is appropriate. Our enemies strategically target churches during the holidays. They attack on major holidays such as Christmas or Easter to deter others from converting to Christianity.
This year’s video features believers in Pakistan. Why not start the holidays by remembering them in prayer? Can we expect Jesus to bless our busiest season of ministry if we neglect the plight of His suffering saints?
Your church can easily observe this Day of Prayer! Just follow these steps: