The Iranian saints of God are currently under a huge amount of pressure from the government. There is a college student who is going to trial shortly, there is a pastor in Karaj who in prison for another 5 months, of course, you all know about brother Youcef under the death sentence and awaiting re-examination of his case and there are other pastors who are being threatened by the secret police. Many others are being interviewed and pressured by various other means because of their faith.
This persecution is not happening by mistake. It is pre-planned and ordained by God for a purpose. It is there for the furtherance of his kingdom and the message of God. Satan is angered by the word and people of God increasing in his territory so he is plotting against them. However, God was not out of control when this began to take place. He plans to harness these difficulties and use them for his own purpose.
Something quite similar to this took place in Acts 4. Let’s read about it.
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.[b]’[c]
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
In Acts 4 after a persecution arose in Jerusalem by the Sanhedrin council they quoted a scripture in Psalm 2. When governments conspire against Holy Spirit filled Christians they are conspiring and plotting against God and our Lord Jesus Christ. They said that this was the divine purpose of God.
Of course we pray for the release of brother Behnam and brother Yocuef, but more than anything we need to pray that they would receive power from on High and speak the word with boldness and that God would stretch forth his hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Jesus.
They did not seek an attorney, they did not petition the government, (all things that are not wrong to do) but they prayed and asked God to give them boldness and that he would stretch forth his hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Jesus. They did not asked to be delivered out of the circumstances, but they asked for boldness to speak the word of God and for miracles to be done to vindicate the message they had.
I ask each of you to pray for God to move this way in Iran and even beyond the borders of Iran with believers in the rest of the Middle East. With great persecution the word of God will go into countries dominated by Islam, superstition and totalitarian governments. Pray that God would prove that these brothers are his servants and that the mouths and plans of their persecutors to stop the movement of the message of God in these lands would be stopped.
Pray for a revival in their souls, that they would have boldness and that they would not give in to fear.