We kicked off a new series in 1 Peter in our first evening service of Trinity term. Peter introduced us to the book by painting us a picture of Christians waiting for a heavenly home - indeed, a journey that humanity has been on from the moment Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden.
We are using the series as an opportunity to reflect on brothers and sisters around the world who truly experience what it means to be exiles in this world - suffering persecution for owning the name of Christ. Each week, together we will pray the following prayer for the church around the world:
As one Church, united under your hold headship, and knowing that we are all one family in Christ;
We pray for those who suffer in your name all over the world, our brothers and sisters, who share in that same great gift of salvation through your Son, but who face injustice, oppression and even death because of their faith in you.
We want to walk with them as they journey through the valley of darkness, and we pray knowing that you are a God of compassion, comfort and justice; who always hears their prayers, never leaves them and will forever be their fortress and shield, whatever they face.
We pray that you will grant them strength, courage, and protection from those who seek to harm them because they follow you; Guidance and wisdom for when their path seems impossible to tread, And hope for a future where they have the freedom to worship you without fear.
In the name of Jesus, Amen