CHRISTIAN PRISONER ENCOURAGEMENT

OCTOBER 2

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Philemon 1:7

 

CHRISTIAN PRISONER ENCOURAGEMENT

Twenty-nine-year old Maryam Rostampour and thirty-two-year old Marzieh Amirizadeh spent 259 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison in 2009 in Iran. They had to overcome the fear of life imprisonment and the possibility of execution because they loved and followed Jesus Christ. They had to remain strong through weeks in solitary confinement, and endless hours of interrogation by Iranian officials and religious leaders. They had to endure months of harsh living conditions and debilitating sickness. In their first interview (with Sam Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries), they shared what life was like in prison and how they survived.

Marzieh said, “I would like to thank them [prayer partners] for their prayers and support, and the letters they sent us. During this time it wasn’t just Maryam and Marzieh who were imprisoned, but all these prayer warriors. This was a great encouragement for us. We felt their presence alongside us. So please keep praying for those who are in prison for their faith, believers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Don’t think that your prayers are unimportant.”

She added, “We heard that people sent us letters in prison, but we didn’t get any of them. Just hearing that people sent us letters was a great encouragement to us. And what’s interesting is that the guards who opened our letters read the Bible verses and the prayers and were impacted. We know this because they told us and mentioned some of the verses from the gospel. I want to thank them [those who sent letters] with all that is in my heart. I can say ‘thank you,’ but this is not enough.”

Maryam concluded, “I thank them. It’s true we didn’t see the letters they sent, but we knew there was a large group supporting us. This was a huge encouragement to us and helped us to stand firm. We heard from our guards that forty to fifty letters were coming every day. They saw how Christians stood together to support their own. This was something that gave us hope.”

RESPONSE

Today I will pray for and send letters to Christians in prison for their faith to encourage them in their persecution.

PRAYER

Pray for hope and encouragement for Christian prisoners—especially those in solitary confinement—in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

You can find opportunities to write letters to persecuted Christians like Maryam and Marzieh on the Open Doors letter-writing page.

 

Standing Strong Through The Storm:
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International.
Used by permission

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