This week, Thursday in fact, not only marks American Pastor Saeed Abedini's 35th birthday, but the National Day of Prayer as well.
Pastor Saeed—a U.S. citizen—will spend his third birthday wrongfully imprisoned for his Christian faith. Yet as that day approaches, he wanted to express his encouragement for the Christian Church in America: "Remember my chains in your freedom and chain together in unity for our beloved America."
As a family member visited him last week, he was able to deliver an open letter (available in Farsi here) that he would like to see read by Christians all across America as we approach the National Day of Prayer.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I have been made aware that the National Day of Prayer (May 7) falls on my birthday this year! As an American and as a prisoner for Christ I have spent many hours praying and crying out to God for revival for this great nation. We all hope for the success of our nation and for America to be blessed, but without revival there can be no true success or blessing. As Ezra's cried out to God in repentance and the Israelites joined him in weeping bitterly and turning from their sin, I would like to ask you to join me in repenting and praying for revival. Me from inside of these prison walls and you on the outside.
"Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly."
Ezra re-built the spiritual walls of Jerusalem while Nehemiah re-built the physical walls. Therefore, please join me in rebuilding the spiritual wall of our beloved country.
In times of need we see how much government and authorities can influence our everyday life, and when we see that their decisions do not match with our beliefs and standards, our initial reaction is to blame the leadership or the situations surrounding us for our hardships. But the truth is that change has to start with us, just as a wave has power to lead it's surfer so by revival we, as the people, can help or push our leaders to follow their callings.
Change starts with us. Revival starts with us. The first step to revival is praying together in unity as a nation. The National Day of Prayer is a great opportunity for us to come out and use the freedom that we have been given. So many Christians around the world are imprisoned and martyred for their faith in Jesus. You have the freedom to gather across the United States at your state capitol to pray. Please use this opportunity. Please use your freedom for the kingdom of God.
We see in Ezra chapter 10 that despite the heavy rain and their shivering the people still gathered together. People should stand under any pressures to pray for their nation, for the Lord to bring revival, and to stand under the rain of the Holy Spirit to be filled by His manifestation.
Remember my chains in your freedom and chain together in unity for our beloved America. Know that I am chained with you in prayer on that day in seeking God for America.
There is no other way but to be crucified with Christ so that we may experience the power of His resurrection in our beloved country.
So much love to America,
His powerful words are a reminder of his faith—a faith he holds to as Iran holds him hostage.
Pastor Saeed was charged and convicted with undermining the national security of Iran by peacefully gathering with fellow believers. To the Iranian regime, assembling with fellow Christians in the privacy of their own homes—something that was perfectly legal in Iran at the time—poses a threat to Iran's national security.
For this "crime" Pastor Saeed has endured more than 2 1/2 years in one of the worst prisons in the world. That's more than 950 days. You can read what Pastor Saeed endures in just one typical day here.
He continues to suffer for his faith in Christ, daily battling chronic pain from prison beatings.
It's time for America to come together not only in prayer but action for Pastor Saeed and the persecuted church globally.
Pastor Saeed is not silent in the face of horrendous circumstances. We must not be silent either.
As we continue fighting around the world for Pastor Saeed's freedom, please pray for him and other persecuted Christians this week. And speak out; be their voice. Demand their freedom.
Pockets of true revival are breaking out across America. Want to know more about the next great move of God? Click here to see Jennifer LeClaire's new book, featuring Dutch Sheets, Reinhard Bonnke, Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham and others.
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