Praying for the persecuted church, using the seven words of Jesus on the cross.
Length of the prayer time : about 45 minutes in total
Light seven large candles and arrange them on a table. By each of the seven words pick up a candle, and when you have spoken the words, blow the candle out and put it back on the table. You start with seven lit candles and finish with seven candles that have been blown out.
The ‘seven words of Jesus’ are the seven sentences that Jesus spoke while on the cross.
7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Pick up the seventh candle, speak these words, blow the candle out and put it back in its place on the table.
“I’m going to give each of you a pebble. Please hold it in your hand so that it can warm up. A stone or a pebble takes on the temperature of its surroundings. If you put it in the freezer, it will become freezing cold. If you put it in boiling water, it will get really hot. Feel if your pebble is smooth, round, or perhaps sharp.
This pebble stands for the troubles of the persecuted church. You can put it in your pocket and discover it in a few days’ time and think: “Oh yes, that’s true, the troubles of the persecuted church.” Then you’ll put it back in your pocket and discover it again in a week. This is what often happens in our prayers for the persecuted church.
But if you were to put the pebble in your shoe it would be a different story. You would feel it with every step you took. There are Christians who carry their cares and fears with them day and night. They wake up with them and go to bed with them.
Paul writes in his letter 1 Peter 5:7 - “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. We can cast our cares on him, and also those of our brothers and sisters who follow Christ, for he cares for us and for them.
On the table there’s a Bible open at the text of 1 Peter 5:7. I want to invite you to come forward and put your stone on this passage as a prayer and a promise for the persecuted church, that they can cast all their cares on Him.”
Each participant is given a pebble. They can come forward in silence and lay their pebble on the Bible that is opened at 1 Peter 5:7.
- a Bible
All seven ideas:
Idea 301. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34)
Idea 302. "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Idea 303. “Here is your son”. “This is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Idea 304. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Idea 305. “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Idea 306. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Idea 307. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Idea 308. Download the complete liturgy as a PDF file
You could use this liturgy during a night of prayer for Open Doors. You could do all seven ideas one after another, or you could use one at the start of each hour throughout the night.