For Whom or What Are You Willing to Die?

“For whom or what are you willing to die?” A presenter posed that question as a tool to help us identify our calling and purpose in life. Two days later I received an email from Intercessors for America with a plea for prayer from Ukraine that included this line.

Everyone who can hold a weapon has risen to defend the capital, including students, school children, and even the retired.

As the tension in Ukraine built, faces I came to love decades ago during the three weeks Larry and I spent in communist Poland played across my mind like an old TV program. I remembered their kindness, singing, and generosity.

No one sings like those suffering in their faith. No one gives like those who know lack. And no one appreciates the smallest kindness like those who feel forgotten.

We stayed with believers and gathered with a larger community of faith for a day of worship. Larry and I sat on stone floors and listened to songs that came from the depths of souls. We didn’t need to understand their words to feel their emotions.

Eyes, long drained of tears, searched mine as their owners entrusted me with brief glimpses into their losses. I listened, too stunned to respond. They didn’t need my words. The fact I was there meant they weren’t forgotten.

Their lack of complaining—lack of everything—shook me. No bright flowers cut the monotonous gray of dirt playgrounds and drab high-rise housing. Food shelves and butcher cases stood empty. After I returned home, the color and bounty of my local grocery cut me like a knife.

How Can We Help?

Paul was no stranger to suffering when he wrote, “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephes. 6:18 NLT). Ask God to lead you as you pray for those suffering in Ukraine, China, Canada, Afghanistan, and around the world (1 Tim. 2:1-4). I used Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (NLT) to guide my prayers.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.” 

I praise You as our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.”

Thank You, that Your comfort precisely meets each need. Open hearts to receive Your supernatural comfort and share the comfort they receive from You.

 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”

… We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.” 

Lord Jesus, rescue Your people. Show Yourself mighty on their behalf. Rescue them again and again. May they place their confidence in You. May testimonies of your great power and love arise and bring many eternal life.

Prayer Boldly and Confidently

And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.”

Knowing You hear my prayers comforts me. Make me a faithful intercessor as I remember my prayers go places I can’t and accomplish more than a company of tanks. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I close with another line from Intercessors for Ukraine:

With tears in our eyes, we ask you … to spend … time fasting and praying to God. Pray that the Lord will protect us from the individuals who want to mock the faith and truth of God.”

For whom or what are you willing to die? Many in the persecuted church are answering that question today with their lives. The question for us, at least for today, is “For whom or what am I willing to pray?”

For whom or what are you willing to die? Many in the persecuted church are answering that question today with their lives. The question for us, at least for today, is “For whom or what am I willing to #pray?” Share on X

Opportunity

Sabina and Richard Wurmbrand’s faith and love will inspire you in the movie, “Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years.” This inspirational movie is free March 4-6, 2022.

 Prayer for Every Need 

Linda Evans Shepherd has a wonderful new book, Prayer for Every Need, that offers prayers for the demanding and everyday needs we have. While it does not name Ukraine by name, the topics apply!

Comment here.

Blessings,

 

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Earle

    Dear Debbie, a well stated perspective on suffering and very appropriate as my college sweetheart and wife of 64 years is finishing a well lived life FOR Jesus and will soon have the supreme joy of being WITH Jesus!!!

    God bless

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh Earle, may Jesus wrap you both tightly in his arms. Sending you both our love.

  2. Anita Ojeda

    I remember the silence in communist Yugoslavia when I visited in the 80s. It seemed as if you could hear snow fall in the cities. If we unite in prayer, we have power. Have you ever heard of the singing revolution in Estonia? Imagine what would happen if we gathered to sing and pray during a crisis?

    • Debbie Wilson

      Anita, I haven’t heard of the singing revolution, but maybe that is what Paul and Silas launched in prison! My first night in Poland marked the one year anniversary of a demonstration that had turned deadly when the militia turned on the peaceful demonstrators. That night the people silently carried candles. Like your picture, ” you could hear snow fall.”

  3. Dawn Wilson

    I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for the Persecuted Church for a long time (even before I became a real Christian). My husband has been to many of these countries, and I went with him to Romania. We saw firsthand the spiritual strength in the believers. When persecuted, they did not ask for things, they always asked for prayer and for us to praise God in the midst of crisis, believing “God inhabits the praise of His people.” Thank you for sharing this. Reposting on FB.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Dawn, it’s so moving to interact with these believers who have crystal clear understanding on what really matters. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Barbara Latta

    We are so blessed in our nation we can take for granted all the bounty we have. My heart hurts for those in Ukraine seeking shelter in subway tunnels where the cold must be unbearable. We can pray and we can give but we can also ask ourselves what is our priority here where we live. If we are ever faced with the same dilemma, will we still be praising the Lord? May our answer be yes.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Thank you, Barbara.

  5. J.D. Wininger

    Tough questions require soul-searching, prayer, and honest with ourselves Ms. Debbie. In the past, I would have said for my country. Today, I’m only certain of saying I would die for my family and my God. My perspective has changed since my days in the military. I now recognize that my freedom is in Christ and no nation, no law, or no person can ever take that away from me. Will I die to protect what God has placed in my care; my wife and family, my animals, this land, the home and property He has entrusted to me through His blessings? Absolutely. This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t fight for this country if it were being invaded; although I haven’t yet with the invasion happening at our borders for the past two decades or more. But my reason for doing so will not be to protect the American dream, but to protect what God has placed in my life to care for, protect, and bless others through. Great question ma’am.

    • Jan

      I so agree!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Well said, J.D. I totally agree.

  6. Jan

    Loved, “No one sings like those suffering in their faith,”-so very true

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jan, even true for Paul and Silas!

  7. Nancy E. Head

    The passage you quote from Corinthians is one of my favorites. God comforts us so we can comfort others. It gives purpose to any suffering we’ve endured.

    As we enter Lent today, let’s commit to praying for the faithful who are enduring discomfort beyond our imaginings.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, agreed. Thank you, Nancy.

  8. Jeanne Takenaka

    Beautiful post, Deb. Thank you for the reminder of the importance of prayer, especially right now for Ukraine. I love your practical ways to pray shared here.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I know this is heavy on so many hearts. Thank you, Jeanne.

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