There are two prayers in the Bible that come to mind whenever I am asked, or need to pray for someone in distressful or oppressive situations. They always remind me of the help we have from our heavenly Father to defend and deliver us from evil and evil intent. They are Psalm 43:
Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people,
From the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
Why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;
Let them bring me to your holy hill
And to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy,
And I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Why are you downcast, O my soul,
And why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
My salvation and my God.
And the seventh petition of the Lord’s prayer;
…and deliver us from evil
I am not speaking of the evil without or the evil run rampant in our world, but that which many face in their homes and in the very relationships they should expect kindness and favor.
If you are well loved, supported, and respected in your home and by family the thought of being persecuted, disrespected, oppressed, derailed, resented, or tormented by loved ones would sound ridiculous and foreign (as so it should!) yet there are many who endure this very attitude and treatment in their own homes, among their own family members day after day. Many who are oppressed in their own home and the home is not a place of peace or refuge but battle ground and they are in need of our prayers; in need of support from God’s Word and from heaven to rescue and defend them. Those who need a banquet prepared just for them in the presence of their familial enemy.
When you are praying for such, the Holy Spirit will give you an arsenal of Bible prayers to use and Psalm 43 and the seventh petition of the Lord’s prayer are excellent places to begin such prayers.
The hope is, as soon as the unkind and ungodly recognize their error, they will change their ways and repent instead of experience the wrath of God. Ideally they will repent and experience blessing from the hand of God instead of chastisement. We never give up praying for them even while we pray for help, mercy, and deliverance for those who are persecuted in such a special way.
Even if you cannot identify with such a need, or are enjoying peace in your home and relationships be mindful to pray for those who experience otherwise. Ignoring the persecuted and neglecting to pray for them is like being well fed and forgetting to pray for the hungry!
As you pray for the persecuted are their particular people who come to mind? Women in their homes, children, even men who are undergoing oppressive and tormenting situations; Living in environments that are anything but loving, balanced and peaceful?
Write out their names so you do not forget to pray for them often, if not daily. Place them in your notebook, Bible or prominent place where you are reminded of your obligation and commitment to pray.
- Pray for their strength, their well being, their deliverance, their peace of mind, and their courage…
- Pray for their safety, their emotional balance, and ask God to send help from heaven…
- Ask God to prepare a banquet for them in the presence of their enemy and put their enemy to shame…
- Ask God to be their refuge and to vindicate them…
- Pray God quiet and change the heart of the tormenter…
- Pray for a new heart of love for the persecutor…
A sample prayer you might pray might be:
O Lord, God of the afflicted and of all who are suffering wrongfully, have compassion upon those who are targeted by Satan and persecuted, not only by the world, but by partners and loved ones. Comfort and strengthen both us and them by your Word and by Your Holy Spirit. Uphold us, I pray, and deliver us and them from all forms of evil. Remind the downcast, persecuted, and helpless that You see and hear and know their circumstances and will not leave them alone at this or any other time. Bind up the evil and destructive words of the persecutor, and bind them to a new heart of love. We pray you will pour out a special blessing upon all who are in need; in whatever way they have need of You in this hour. Turn their sorrow and distress into joy and praise. Keep them and us until you bring us safely home to be with you for all eternity. Amen