Prayer is a powerful tool that allows us to communicate with God, especially when we face overwhelming challenges. In this post, we’ll delve into 10 uplifting Bible verses about prayer, praying for the impossible, offering hope and strength in moments of doubt.
1. MATTHEW 21:22
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
2. PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
3. 1 JOHN 5:14-15
“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”
4. JAMES 5:16
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
5. MARK 11:24
“Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”*
6. JEREMIAH 29:12-13
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
7. ROMANS 8:26
“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
8. COLOSSIANS 4:2
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
9. PSALM 145:18
“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”
10. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
These bible verses about prayer offer a beacon of hope for those facing situations that appear impossible to overcome. They remind us that with unwavering faith, persistent prayer, and reliance on God’s infinite power, what seems unattainable to us becomes achievable through His grace.
When you’re confronted with challenges that test your limits, let these verses guide you in boldly presenting your requests to God and trusting that His answers will transcend what you thought was impossible.
IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE COUNTRIES LIKE NORTH KOREA OR SOMALIA CHANGING AS A RESULT OF PRAYER. HOWEVER, HISTORY SHOWS US THAT ‘NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD’, AND THAT PRAYER CAN CHANGE EVEN THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE NATIONS. HAVE YOU HEARD THESE STORIES ABOUT HOW PRAYER CHANGED THE WORLD?
SEVEN YEARS OF PRAYER
In the 1980s, Open Doors launched a seven-year long global prayer campaign, where believers around the world committed to praying for the church in Communist Eastern Europe.
At the time, the prospect of the Soviet Union opening up to the gospel felt impossible. And yet, at the end of seven years, the Berlin Wall fell, and Eastern Europe was opened to the gospel. This incredible story gives us faith to pray big prayer for those countries that seem the most impossible to us.
On a visit to Berlin, an Open Doors member told his taxi driver that people in the West had prayed for years for the Berlin Wall to fall. The driver stopped the car and said with tears in his eyes: “On behalf of the Germans of Berlin, I want to thank you for your prayers; God answered your prayers!” He continues, “Now I am praying for North Korea. There are two Koreas, but God can make it one. I pray that He will open prison doors! He did it in Berlin and the wall came down. He can do it also in Korea!”
FOLLOWING JESUS IN EASTERN EUROPE FELT IMPOSSIBLE
The communist regime in Eastern Europe was based on rigid control. The church was isolated and under threat. An Open Doors worker in the region explains, “Back then, the Communists did not tolerate Christians at all. Christians felt totally forsaken. One pastor in Hungary said, ‘No one knows where I am, not even my family. Thank you for coming.’ Then he cried and cried. The police had closed his church and put him under house arrest.”
PRAYER CHANGED THE WORLD
In 1982, Open Doors focused on the Soviet Union – delivering Bibles to tens of millions of believers who did not have a Bible. This was backed all by a global seven-year prayer campaign.
And things began to change. From 1987, large numbers of religious prisoners were released from labour camps and prison cells. There in 1985 there were 340 imprisoned Christian believers. By March 1990 just 17.
In the same year, changed postal regulations allowed tens of thousands of New Testaments to be sent to believers and churches across the Soviet Union, and the gospel was spreading.
So, by November 1989, seven years after the prayer campaign began, it was clear that change was here. But the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, while the border guards looked on, was a dramatic sign that things would not be the same again. An Open Doors team member recalls that day: “My colleague and I got straight in the car and drove to Berlin to be part of that historic occasion. What a joy, what an answer to prayer!”
Which region will be the next miracle story?
China’s surveillance technology bleeds out from their borders, as other countries follow suit – Myanmar’s government are now using the same technological monitoring tools to track Christians in their country… Christians like Koh Aung.
IN MYANMAR, KO AUNG RISKS EVERYTHING FOR JESUS.
Ko Aung* is an Open Doors partner from Myanmar—and he has seen the persecution firsthand. Ko Aung first realised that things had grown more dangerous when some of the tools he used to serve believers stopped working. “One day, I realised that one of my mobile banking apps had been blocked,” he says. “After about a month, another mobile banking app was also blocked. I could not do any money transactions via those apps, nor was I able to take out money or receive money from my bank.”
This led to a frightening consequence. “Soon, my mobile banking was blocked,” he says. “I then tried to open a new bank account; however, the bank staff told me that it was not possible, since my National Registration Card had been flagged.”
NOWHERE TO HIDE
Ko Aung recalls those days as a time when he started living with constant fear. “I could not sleep well at night,” he says. “I woke up frightened every time a car passed by or stopped near my house. There were so many sleepless nights, and my health was deteriorating day by day. I lost a lot of weight and also lost so much of my hair. Whenever the military came and camped near our village, I would run and hide in the jungle.”
The situation became so risky for Ko Aung that other Open Doors partners in Myanmar had to help him escape to another, safer country. Even on his way out, he was terrified he’d be detained at the airport. But eventually, he mustered up his courage and was able to escape. “Because of God’s protection, I was not asked many questions in the immigration,” Ko Aung says softly.
A CREEPING TECHNOLOGICAL CONTROL
And now, Ko Aung tries to make a new life in a new country. “Open Doors partners helped me get here and have been supporting me since I got here,” he says. “They are always in touch with me and make sure I am OK. They also pray for me; I want to thank them for all the help they have given me and for all the prayers they have prayed for me.”
Though Ko Aung has left the country, he has been able to keep in touch with family and friends in Myanmar. But because of the increasing technological monitoring abilities of the military junta, even basic methods of communication can be dangerous.
“In Myanmar, people are afraid to comment on political issues over the phone,” Ko Aung says. “They are afraid that military might be eavesdropping their phone calls. We also don’t normally use Facebook Messenger because the military checks Facebook messaging apps and phone call lists whenever they check phones.”
ALL THINGS HAPPEN FOR GOOD
Though safer in another country, Ko Aung still struggled to forgive the people who have persecuted him and other Christians in Myanmar. But he felt God at work in his heart. “At first, it was very hard for me to forgive them, but now I can say that I can forgive them,” he says, “God taught me through His Word that all things happen for good. Since I have experienced persecution, I can now better understand the pain experienced by Christians suffering for their faith.”
“Please do pray for me, that I am able to hold God’s hand in all my difficult times; pray for my safety in this new place. Also pray for the fellow Christians in our country. There are several places in Myanmar where churches are being burned down, and believers have to run and hide in the jungles. So many people have also been killed. Please continue pray for the safety of Christians in the country who are so vulnerable.”
CHOOSE TO LOSE
The gifts and prayers of Open Doors supporters helped Ko Aung escape and find safety in a nearby country. We continue to support Ko Aung (even though he is not in Myanmar) through practical aid, presence ministry, and prayer support. But many more are facing restrictions and persecution.
Could you get sponsored to Choose to Lose your phone for a weekend this Autumn to raise money and prayer for Christians like Ko Anung? Find out more here and get a free fundraising pack too…
Since day one, those who have chosen to follow Jesus have suffered as a result of their choice. There are good reasons to believe that Jesus was a pacifist, so it’s sometimes hard to believe that his Church has faced nearly two thousand years of beatings, abuse, ridicule and social shame.
But then, with a history like ours, maybe that is something we shouldn’t be so surprised about. Just think about it. The basis of Christianity is the cross; the death and resurrection of Jesus. Even if we ignore Jesus’ warnings about the cost of following him, we can’t ignore that his death indicates he was a pretty controversial character.
Killed by those who saw him as a challenge to their power base and theological understanding, Jesus’ death was brutal. And since then, there’s been a relentless, unstoppable flow of abuse against those who’ve called themselves Christians.
Here’s some of the lowlights:
AD 30-33: Jesus’ crucifixion
AD 33: Stephen stoned to death (Acts 7)
AD 67-68: Paul and Peter martyred under the reign of Roman Emperor Nero
AD 150: The Persecution in Lyon indicates a wider trend with mob violence, assaults, robberies and stonings directed at Christians.
AD 173 onwards: Emporer Maximinus Thrax targets Christian leaders across the empire
AD 284 onwards:: Emporer Diocletian starts the ‘Great Persecution’ where up to 20,000 Christians are thought to have been killed.
AD 341: Zoroastrian Shapur II orders the massacre of all Christians in the Persian Sassanid Empire, condemining 1,150 Assyrian Christians to death.
AD: 614: Jewish/Persian wars saw up to 60,000 Christians killed in Jerusalem and across the empire as Christians became caught between various sides.
Fast forward 1500 years and the last century hasn’t been any more peaceful. Persecution of Christians has been on the rise, so much so that it sparked Brother Andrew to respond to God’s call and begin the work of Open Doors.
Thousands of Christians are thought to be killed every year because of their belief in Jesus. One in every seven of the world’s Christians live in places where they face at leats very high levels of discrimination, pressure and intimidation. It’s easy to see why Christians are considered the most persecuted group on earth.
Just check out the top ten countries on the World Watch List for details on how to pray specifically for Christians facing persecution today.
Ming has to be really careful when he uses his phone. He often communicates in code. He’s worried he’s being watched, and that his messages are monitored. He should worry too. In China, the authorities are increasingly using technology to keep an eye on people. And it’s people like Ming they are trying to find.
You see, Ming has been smuggling Bibles for a few years. He’s trying to share God’s Word with others. It doesn’t sound dangerous to us, but his efforts have already seen him get arrested. That time he was lucky, he was freed, but some of his friends weren’t so fortunate: they are still in prison.
After sending his message, Ming turns off his phone and removes the sim card so he can’t be tracked. It’s dark as he sets off, hoping the night makes it harder for anyone to follow him to the location of ‘the old place’.
Persecution from all angles
It’s not just his phone that Ming’s worried about. There are one billion surveillance cameras in the world, and half of them are found in China. They are everywhere – in shops, on streetcorners, even in churches. The use of software to track someone’s movements and behaviour is increasingly common, so you can see why Ming is nervous when transporting Bibles in his car.
And whilst technology is a problem, Ming knows there are other dangers too. He became a Christian as a student, but when his dad found out, he reported Ming to the police. His dad even stopped him from going to college so he couldn’t mix with other Christians.
Birth of a smuggler
So Ming moved. In a less restrictive town, he found support and encouragement from underground churches. His love and understanding of Jesus grew, but after a while he heard God speaking to him, saying: “Go back to your hometown. Tell people about Me there.”
Ming knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he moved anyway. He set up a business with friends and used that to cover up his Bible smuggling activities.
The authorities are looking to supress the church, and believers like Ming, who are part of an underground church network, are seen to be especially dangerous. There are even spies who pretend to be Christians so they can uncover these networks and report influential Christians to the police.
Since his arrest, Ming’s house is searched regularly by the police. It’s likely he’s being watched and that his phone is being monitored which makes it hard for him to trust anyone.
But Ming isn’t giving up. Despite the tight restrictions he’s desperate that others can read God’s Word and grow closer to Jesus in their own faith. He knows this is what God has called him to, and as Ming says: “No matter what happens… We listen and follow. He will guide our paths.”
Pray this for yourself and Ming now…
Father God, watch over and guide Ming. Keep him safe help him get your Word into the hands of many Chinese Cristians. Watch over and guide me. Help me see where you are leading me, and help me bravely follow you. Amen.
CHOOSE TO LOSE YOUR PHONE
As you’ve seen from Ming’s story, Christians in China have to be careful when using their phones. In March 2022 a new law came into effect banning ‘unapproved’ Christian content online. That means the majority of Christian websites, podcasts, videos and even social media accounts posting stuff to help people grow with Jesus, have been removed. That even includes Bible apps.
We’d love you to join us standing with our persecuted Christians like Ming, and choose to lose your phone for a whole weekend. We’d love you to shut down your device just like Ming, to go silent online and to raise money and prayer.
Could you get sponsored to put down your phone, along with your social media, voice and video chat, instant messaging and all other online time for 48 hours to raise money for Christians facing all kinds of restrictions, monitoring and surveillance? Find out more and sign up to get a free fundraising pack here…
A few years ago Baher, a Christian from Egypt, had turned 20 and was trying to run a small business to support his family, since his parents were too ill to work. “I began to transport gravel, sand and other light building supplies,” he says. “Yet no one wanted to hire me, and I was rejected.” Baher felt shunned, overlooked and despised.
There are two reasons for that rejection. The first? Because he is a Christian.
“Christians here suffer humiliation and oppression.” It was clear that people in Baher’s community didn’t want to hire him because he has chosen to follow Jesus.
The persecution that believers face in his village is sometimes quite subtle, like this refusal to use Christian-owned small businesses. At other times it is much more overt. The homes of Christians have been looted and burned down. A local church leader received death threats when he decided to renovate the church building. The victims of persecution have no legal rights, and they live in a climate of fear. Across Egypt and Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, this is a common story. Christians can be victims of violent attacks – but they can also be ground down by everyday discrimination.
But that wasn’t the only reason that Baher’s business was scorned: the other was his disability. And even this links back to his faith.
No choice but to work in a dangerous quarry
Baher was only 13 when he started working in the local quarry. Almost all the young Christian men in the village end up working there – since, because of their faith, they aren’t offered any better, safer work. He hadn’t been working at the quarry for very long when a tragic incident happened.
“We work with old and badly maintained machinery, without safety precautions,” says Baher. “It is common for a worker in the quarry to lose a limb.” One day, Baher’s arm was severed by the quarry’s cutting machine. He passed out from the pain, and woke up later in hospital with the prospect of a very different future.
The family faced even worse a few years later. Tragically, Baher’s brother was killed at work in the quarry.
“My brother had an electric shock,” remembers Baher. “His employer did not want to let him leave the job. But my brother was not able to stand the pain, and his heartbeat accelerated; he could not take a breath. His lungs were filled with the fine dust.
“We tried to save him and rushed him to the closest medical centre. However, the closest hospital was not equipped to deal with emergencies. The doctor brought the stethoscope to examine him but realised that my brother had died. We were unable to determine the exact cause of his death. My heart was torn apart, and I lost all hope in life.”
So many things in Baher’s life came together to make him feel hopeless. The loss of his brother. His disability. The pressure of being sole breadwinner to support his parents, his sisters (who aren’t allowed to work in their strict Islamic culture), and his brother’s wife and children. The way that he saw Christians being treated all around him. And his story is one that is repeated by many young Christians throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
“Most young people here don’t have a bright future and they know that,” says Thomas*, Open Doors director for the region. “Most of those who remained have no option. They stay because Europe closed the borders, because they have no money to travel, or they have responsibilities to their parents. We need to invest in those who stay. They need to grow in their faith, to survive hopelessness. The youth is the church of today and the future. If the youth leaves, the church will, humanly speaking, diminish to almost zero.”
Baher didn’t just feel hopeless in the wake of all these sad events. He felt angry – with God: “I hated myself and I hated God because I thought He was the reason of all that happened to me,” he says. “I blamed God. ‘Why did you do that to me? I did not do anything wrong! I just wanted to help my family!’”
Meeting an Open Doors partner
Baher was despairing when Fady* visited him. Fady – a local Open Doors partner – remembers that day well.
“Baher looked miserable and anxious,” Fady says. “His heart was full of resentment and bitterness towards God. When I entered the room, Baher didn’t want to talk with me at first, and it was really challenging to start building a conversation with him.
“Suddenly, Baher exploded with anger, bombarding us with questions: ‘Does God exist? Where is God in my life? If God is in control, as you say, and works everything for the good, why has He forsaken me?’”
“That’s really horrible,” Fady replied. “I understand your feelings, but please, don’t lose hope. God is not far away from our troubles. Believe me, God never leaves us because He is our Heavenly Father and the Father never forsakes His children.”
Fady also shared the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, praying that God would use the verse to speak to Baher’s troubled heart: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12).
How a microloan project changed Baher’s life
This visit was just the first step in the relationship that Fady and his team have with Baher. They are keen to show Baher that he is part of a wider community of Christians who will stand with and support vulnerable believers like him.
“I have seen God’s practical love through your love, care and presence.”
“We are showing our heavenly Father’s love to him and his family in a practical way,” shares Fady. “First, we helped him to set up a microproject to start sheep breeding, so that he can have a regular source of income for his family.”
Having researched the area, they knew this small business would have a better chance of success – and a microloan from Open Doors partners made it a possibility. Last year, these partners provided 969 microloans in Egypt, each one often supporting entire families of Christians. Baher’s sheep business is pictured (right).
“I am blessed with the microproject the ministry provided me,” says Baher. “It is now working very well, and I can provide for my parents and for my brother’s wife and children. If you had not helped me with it, I would not have had any income.”
Alongside this, Fady helped Baher enrol in a local discipleship group where he is deepening his faith and learning more about God, particularly His presence amidst troubles. Last year, almost 270,000 Christians in Egypt were able to enrol on discipleship programmes run by Open Doors partners, thanks to the gifts and prayers of Open Doors supporters.
“My whole family shifted our focus from blaming God to praising Him and now we go to church on a regular basis,” says Baher. “I have seen God’s practical love through your love, care and presence.”
“He is not far away; He is very near to me”
Most of all, Baher knows that God has not abandoned him: “I believe in God’s sovereignty, and that He is not far away in the sky, but He is very near to me. When I was searching for my own solutions, God was preparing and making a way to reach out to me through your ministry team.”
It’s clear that Baher’s life is being transformed. He is able to raise money for his family through a much safer job, he knows he is not alone, and he knows God’s closeness. “If you had not backed me, I would not have changed,” he says. “You lifted my morale and helped me to restore my relationship with God.
The Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a dangerous place for Christians. Stephanie* was 18 years old when members of the ADF, an Islamist extremist group, targeted her town. After five months in captivity, she escaped and walked to freedom. Although she is still recovering from her ordeal, she can still see God’s provision in her life.
Blessed are the risk-takers,
The rebels and the rule-breakers.
Blessed are the grieving and the broken,
Blessed are the brave and the outspoken.
One of the riskiest things you can do is to choose to follow Jesus. You might have heard that in a talk – and it’s true. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves, to lay down our self-interest, to serve and bless others, showing them God’s love and hope.
That’s risky. But there’s another level to the risks – following Jesus can truly cost everything.
Today, 360 million Christians around the world are risking it all, simply for choosing Jesus: brave risk-takers who face violence, exclusion, rejection, insults, prison – and sometimes even death – just because they believe in Him.
Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the persecuted’ (Matthew 5:10).
Watch this new spoken word film with Joshua Luke Smith (words by Nick Page) to be inspired to take more risks in your walk with Jesus.
This film contains footage of real persecution and re-enacted scenes of persecution based on true stories that some may find distressing.
DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ONCE ILLEGAL TO READ THE BIBLE IN ENGLISH?
William Tyndale was a linguist who believed that everyone should be able to read the Bible in their own language. However, under a 1408 law, translating the Bible into English was illegal.
Tyndale escaped to Germany where he translated the first ever copy of the English New Testament. He smuggled 1800 English Bibles across the channel into England, and believers held secret meetings in their homes to read the Bible in their own language for the first time.
Tyndale was arrested, but after a year of torture, he refused to recant. He was burnt at the stake. His final words were a prayer, ‘God, open the eyes of the king of England.’
His prayer was answered. Several years later, the king recanted. Henry the Eighth allowed the Bible to be translated into English for the first time in history.
What is it about this library of Scripture that meant some of the greatest luminaries of history, across culture and time, were willing to suffer and die to ensure you had access?
THE WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE AND ACTIVE
It is a light in the darkness and hope for generations. It challenges the authority of kings and upends the empires of the world. It brings hope to the hopeless and good news to the poor.
Today, while we open English Bibles in many translations, on our phones, in church, on our bedside table, or audio-Bibles, there are thousands of believers still on the other side of history, where possessing a Bible in their own language could lead to severe persecution. This means they face harassment, abuse, imprisonment, torture, or even death, simply for their decision to follow Jesus.
THE BIBLE IS STILL ON THE BANNED BOOK LIST IN 52 COUNTRIES.
Where is the Bible illegal? For believers in countries like North Korea, Afghanistan, or Somalia, just possessing a copy of the Bible could be a death sentence.
These believers may share one Bible between a whole church community, travel great distances to find a copy, or sit huddled in underground meetings, whispering passages of the Bible in the secret of their homes.
At Open Doors, we, like William Tyndale, believe that every believer should have access to the word of God. Open Doors started with smuggling Bibles into Communist Eastern Europe, and we continue to distribute Bibles today.
A Q&A with Brother Simon
Brother Simon has been Open Doors’ coordinator for North Korea ministry for almost 30 years. We cannot reveal his real name because of the huge risks involved in his work – in fact, secret agents have even attempted to capture him. We sat down with Brother Simon to discuss developments in the country that’s once again number one on the World Watch List.
Due to the pandemic, North Korea shut its borders, making it even harder to get information from the country. What’s the situation been in the country between 2020 and now?
It’s been very difficult for the people. One major change was that, in early 2020, North Korea announced a new law, called the ‘DPRK Law on rejecting reactionary ideology and culture’. This basically punishes the possession and use of foreign propaganda and materials that are anti-North Korean culture. Think of South Korean pop music and dramas.
Image: North Korean civilians working at border fence on the bank of the Yalu River, the border between China and North Korea.
Reading and possessing the Bible have been illegal for years, and punishment is very heavy.
But this was forbidden already, wasn’t it?
Yes, but before the law was published, the punishment was usually light. People could even escape punishment if they bribed officials. Now punishment is much harsher.
What’s the impact of this law on Christians?
Reading and possessing the Bible have been illegal for years, and punishment is very heavy. At the very least you’ll be tortured in prison for months. Then you’ll be sent to a re-education camp or camp for political prisoners. It’s possible to survive a re-education camp and be released after several years. Prisoners are never released from a political prison camp. Most Christians end up in the political camps.
What’s interesting about the law is that it makes explicit mention of the Bible. It’s called an illegal book, and possessing it is punishable with ten years correctional labour and even death if you import a lot of material. This illustrates Kim Jong-un’s aversion against Christians. The North Korean state sees them as a huge threat.
Image: Statues of the Kim family in North Korea
Why are Christians considered to be dangerous?
They are patriots who love their country. But they don’t see Kim Jong-un as a god. Anyone who doesn’t is a traitor in the eyes of the state. I cannot share details, but we have learned that a high number of Christians have been killed for the faith.
Since the Second World War, North Korea has fiercely persecuted Christians. This intensified after the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. How has the church survived?
It’s by God’s grace that the church has survived. The Christians also take a lot of measures to protect themselves. It’s rare that people meet with other Christians, except if it’s a family gathering. Even then, usually the children are sent outside to keep watch. They talk and sing softly. Bibles are usually hidden. In recent years, Christians also rely more on digital materials to give themselves spiritual food. If you read a book and you get close enough, you can see what someone’s reading. But if they see you with headphones, it’s impossible to tell what you’re listening to.
In the past, you’ve also said that Christian parents often don’t tell their children about their faith.
Indeed. It’s highly dangerous. If they quote a Bible verse or story at school, or hum a Christian song, the whole family could be in trouble. That’s why the parents usually wait until the children are old enough.
God does a lot of signs and wonders in North Korea. Especially healings, because so many people suffer from malnutrition and diseases.
Is there anything the parents can do before they are old enough to keep the family secret?
They can teach their children Christian values by sharing stories with them that don’t mention the Bible, Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit or any Christian terms. Or they talk about creation but, again, without mentioning God. Once the kids are old enough, the parents can teach them it was actually God who created the heavens and the earth. Then they can talk about how God came down, became human and saved us.
If it’s so dangerous to talk about faith, even to your children, how do people come to faith in North Korea?
God does a lot of signs and wonders in North Korea. Especially healings, because so many people suffer from malnutrition and diseases. The water supply in North Korea is usually filthy. Most people cannot afford to buy bottled water. A lot of people, and certainly children, fall seriously ill. Christians may help the sick people and pray for them. A lot are healed and, through their healing, experience the supernatural love of God. That means they are usually ready to hear the gospel. The Christians expose them to the good news and their faith grows gradually from that moment onwards. This isn’t just with adults; it happens with older children, too.
What do you expect of 2023?
We pray that the borders will open, and that more North Korean people can come to China, so that we can reach them through our networks. They are in dire need of food, medicines, clothes and spiritual materials.
Image: Propaganda in North Korea
How else are you going to help North Korean Christians?
We operate safe houses in China. In 2022, we were able to help more than a thousand people through them. We’ve also supported and trained about a hundred North Korean women who have forcibly been married to Chinese men. Some of them will be female leaders in the future North Korean church. Our radio ministry continues to grow. We have two programmes specifically for Christian parents to educate them how they can give their children Christian teachings without mentioning Christian terms. Our radio crew also produces programmes with sermons, Bible seminary materials and a programme where North Korean refugees discuss various topics.
How can we pray for your ministry?
Let’s start with thanking the Lord for His provision and blessings. It’s a miracle that we could support North Korean Christians last year. Then, please pray that God will open doors for us to stay connected with the North Korean underground church and that we can help them. Pray for protection of our team and contacts. Also ask the Lord that He will make seeing eyes blind. In other words, that Christians won’t be caught by the authorities. Pray also that the country will experience more freedom and prosperity in 2023, so that life will be less hard for the citizens.