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     When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Ps. 56:3-4

Heavenly Father, as the reach of the internet keeps getting bigger, our world keeps getting smaller and a whole lot closer. More so than ever, I’ve realized I’ve got brothers and sisters all around the world who are clinging to you and to this Scripture in ways that deepen my compassion and fuel my prayers. Because of Jesus’ burden-bearing love for us, we now gladly bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2); and prayer is one of the primary ways we shoulder up and love well.

When King David offered this honest prayer of trust, he’d been seized by Philistines in Gath. As we pray, Father, here are some difficult, fear-producing storylines that are playing out in our world:

We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen, Vietnam, Laos, and China—the ten places in the world where Christians are most likely to be singled out for persecution. Father of mercies and God of all comfort, grant courage and protection, grace and joy to our faith family.

To quote King David, “What can mortals do to me?” Plenty, but in view of who you are and what really matters, very little—for “we have died, and our lives are now hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). As these Christians live out your redeeming story—in nations destined to be covered with the knowledge of your glory one Day, give them an overwhelming sense of your presence. May they be assured that their labors in the Lord are not in vain.

Father, we also pray for friends who wake up today with fear-producing medical reports; families with dwindling financial resources and employment challenges; parents, whose children who are living foolishly and destructively; women facing domestic and other types of abuse; children who are growing up in a world of trauma and terror…

Oh, Father, how we long, more than ever, for the Day when Jesus will return to finish making all things new. Until that Day, may your perfect love drive out our fears, and may we live and love to your glory. Show us how we might be, even today, a means by which you will answer our prayers for some of our friends with real fears. So very Amen we pray, Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.


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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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