CHRISTIAN PRISONER ENCOURAGEMENT
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:7
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 can’t 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.”
Visit the Open Doors USA website for names and addresses of Christians who are suffering for their faith whom you can write to and pray for.
RESPONSE: Today I will pray for and send letters to Christians suffering for their faith.
PRAYER: Pray for hope and encouragement for Christian prisoners—especially those in solitary confinement—in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM (SSTS) -A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission
“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25
Right now millions of Christians face persecution because of their faith in Christ. Register to receive the Open Doors USA Weekly Prayer Alert email. Join alongside thousands of others praying for our brothers and sisters worldwide to stand strong in the midst of their struggles. Also learn more about countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe by visiting the Open Doors website today.