come clean

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

1 John 1:9 NKJV

Those whom we serve on your behalf, who are persecuted for professing and practising their faith in Jesus Christ, increasingly remind us of the power of "prayer," and their utter dependency upon this vital means of accessing God’s limitless power. They pray fervently for their families and ministries, and they covet our prayers for them. But these dear souls, who endure the agony of horrific abuse, are not only the willing recipients of prayer, they are also some of the most effective "prayer warriors" among the global Christian body of our day. We should all, therefore, learn what we can from their experiences in and through their "faith walk," encompassing a deeply enriched prayer life combined with their meditation upon the Lord and His Word.

The mystery, however, remains that they actually pray diligently for us...the Canadian church. One could assume that they would need our prayers more than the reverse. And though I have no evidence to support such a thesis, it’s as if they sense our faith experience is encumbered by an encrusted excess of materialism that is safely hidden within our societal strata, and thereby remains generally untested in the globally prevalent fires of persecution.

As the book of First John expresses in the Bible (quoted above), we can know the power of the forgiveness of our own sin by confessing such to those whom we have offended. Or as it is written in James:

"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray
for one another, that you may be healed. The effective,
fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

James 5:16 NKJV

Here then, may lie the key to the effectiveness and, in this case, the directionality of prayer. Remember that "the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." There seems to be a direct link between holiness (righteousness) and the fruitfulness of our prayers.

Through repentance, and a purification that can only be administered by the Holy Spirit, we (and our persecuted counterparts) are afforded access to God’s Throne of Grace. It is by such righteous requests, unfettered by the accoutrements of a faith practised in a nation of lavish historical freedoms, we are granted miraculous spiritual gifts to empower us on our journey, and/or shield us as we stand against the darkest strongholds of our world.

These are the truths that our persecuted brothers and sisters have had impressed upon them almost every day, by which conviction they pray for the welfare and vibrancy of our Canadian church.

In Christ,

Doug J. McKenzie
Chief Executive Officer
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada