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International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

This year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, marked by churches on November 5, 2023 will focus on the persecution  of the church in Afghanistan.

This year, we are praying for the Afghan church using various phrases from our confessions. 


(Downloadable Version)

Sovereign God, you are present everywhere on the earth. There is not a crevice of your creation that is not under your good governance. We thank you for your comfort and presence to people experiencing persecution throughout the world – and particularly in Afghanistan. We pray that you would increase the body of believers in Afghanistan. Encourage them in their faith in Christ and give them your peace and strength in every circumstance. We pray that both the oppressed and oppressors may experience your love through Christ. Only you can turn hearts from stone to flesh; only you can grant the grace of faith. We pray for your protection of both Christians and other religious minorities who are limited in their ability to worship. Grant your just order in Afghanistan and in our own communities as we seek peace with our neighbors. Guide us in the ways of peace; plant in us your good fruit of shalom so that we may work to care and cultivate it in our communities. In the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, Amen.

(Video Version)

Past Years

Learn about religious persecution from around the world through this powerpoint developed for our first International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  

Download Here

Bulletin Insert 



Here are three songs that come from the church in Egypt that can assist your congregation in faithful worship to the God that we share with Christians around the world.

  • Abana Alathi Fi Ssama (Abana in Heaven) Listen to Greg Scheer play it here.
  • Ha Hallelujah/Magdan Lik Watch Christians in Egypt worship with these two songs here.
  • Watch CRC Pastor Sandra Van Opstal lead worshipers in the song Magdan Lik at Urbana here.

Bulletin Insert

Powerpoint Presentation



Sermon Notes (Psalm 30)

In this Psalm we read that where our strength fails, God’s grace and mercy rise. Out of his painful experience, the psalmist writes with the assurance that God has a plan for his life.

Sometimes we say, “God will never give us more than we can handle.” But we read in the Bible that this statement is far from the truth. While God does not give us trouble, frequently we find ourselves in situations where the trouble we are experiencing takes us to the end of our abilities and strength. Yet, like the psalmist, we can find hope in this: while life will most certainly gives us more than we can handle, we will never receive more than God can handle.

God is the one who turns our wailing into dancing, our sackcloth into garments of praise, and our silence into singing. God is always at work. In our suffering, we can call on God to save. In our pain, we can cling to God’s promises of hope and a future. In the darkness, we can testify to God’s faithfulness. These are God’s promises to the people of God in North Korea, in Canada, in the United States, and around the world—yesterday, today, and forever.

Suggested Songs:

  • Come Now, O Prince of Peace (LUYH 905)
  • I Worship You, O Lord (LUYH 668)
  • The Steadfast Love of the Lord (LUYH 347)
  • To My Precious Lord (LUYH 136)
  • Your Love Never Fails (Jesus Culture)

Bulletin Insert

Downloadable version (you're welcome to print)

Visual Materials


Hong Kong

For prayers specifically related to unrest in Hong Kong please see this prayer on pro-democracy elections, this prayer on extradition legislation, and the prayer on protests during China's 70th birthday.  


(Downloadable Version)

God of love, of protection and providence, we pray for our brothers and sisters who live in China.

Empower the Christians who worship you in hidden places and behind closed doors. 

Strengthen those who lift up your name in plain sight and are persecuted for their faith.  

When people are arrested or harmed, imprisoned or tortured, ridiculed, locked out, shut down, we pray for resilience. 

Protect your people as they read your word under the flickering lights of night. 

Remind them that they are seen, known, and delighted in by the one who created them, who created the world. 

Strengthen them with the knowledge that they are prayed for. 

Powerful God, move the government leaders and powerful people of China. You are the one who changes hearts. You are the one who rules the nations. 

Father God, we join our hearts with the Apostle Paul who prayed, “for this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for the saints. I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (Ephesians 1:15-17).” 

We offer these prayers, for those you love in China. Come quickly, Lord. Amen.

Suggested Songs

  • May the Love of the Lord (LUYH 939)  Chinese Origin
  • May the Lord, Mighty God (LUYH 940) Chinese Origin
  • A Mighty Fortress is Our God (LUYH 776)
  • Faith of our Fathers 


Available on reverse side of the bulletin insert.