Remember My Chains

November 6, 2016
by Lori Ciccanti

Colossians 4:18 – I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 4:11 – Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don't have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. (NLT)

Some years ago, I purchased a "martyr's cross" to remind myself and others about the price that many have paid for their faithfulness in following Jesus. The symbols depicted are striking: they include a spike, an ichthus (fish symbol) and a crown of thorns. Contrary to the beautiful design of a golden pendant, this cross does not portray a comfortable image. Its points are piercing with a message aimed to spur believers into action. Today, or on another Sunday in November, Christians around the world are taking action by observing an International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: they are remembering, praying, giving, and encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering persecution.

In anticipation of this important event, I came across some ideas for getting involved that caught my attention because they allow individuals to try to experience what life is actually like for members of the underground church. These creative suggestions were described on an IDOP website and a previously published Daily devotional:

  • Identify with the plight of the persecuted by turning out the lights and holding a "secret" Bible study by candlelight. Remember that many believers do not even have an entire Bible.
  • Turn off all church lights and use only candlelight during the worship service.
  • "Confiscate" Bibles at the door and challenge your congregation to rely on memorized Bible verses or read Scripture passages from crumpled pieces of paper.
  • Sing songs by memory, without songbooks or video projection.

Many Christians have been so persecuted that they needed to leave their country and become refugees. Someone raised this thought-provoking question: "Would you pray with the same earnestness if you had no house to live in, no pillow for your head, and no one to lead you into His presence?" What is our response?

Consider the cost of following Christ in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to the gospel. May we never think that it cannot happen to us. Instead, let us remember the millions in chains, and earnestly pray for them as if our own lives were at stake.

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, we pray for Your people in every place who are persecuted, in many cases, to the point of death. Give them the strength and courage to endure, as well as the hope of deliverance. We take comfort in Your promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against Your church. Still, we pray also for the oppressors and for persons of other faiths whose lives are affected by this evil. Move us to compassion for everyone involved, and allow us to enter their suffering, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose precious name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very thought provoking Lori. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you for your reminder to pray for the persecuted church.

    Thanks Lori for this reminder that we are very blessed to be free to worship God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Blessings.

    Thank you once again for a well-written and thought provoking devotional.
    I am praying still for you and Lou.

    Thank you for sharing this profound message. I would like to know where I can find a martyr’s cross.

    Thank you for your powerful and poignant devotional (as well as the others over the years). Your sharing is appreciated.

    We feel safe here in North America now, but the evil in this world is encroaching and we will have to hold increasingly fast to God’s promises for his people.
    Thank you for your devotional.

    Lori so nice to hear from you today. Message well received, this persecution is going on all around the world. We are suffering through this here in our country.

    Dear Lori,
    Beautiful, amazing, true words! With every ache and pain, I offer these to my Lord God as praise for His love, mercy and forgiveness.
    May His blessings endure forever.
    God bless you and Lou in the Godly work you do. I truly thank Him for you both.

    Dear Lori,
    Greetings! Thank you for this reminder.
    It’s in Jesus name that we pray and continue to thank him for all that we have and to bless and keep those in need in him name we pray. Amen!

    Thank you Lori for the stark reminder of what it means for so many around the world to follow Christ.
    We have so much here in North America yet the population still seems to find stuff to complain about…unfortunately at times I am one of the complainers.
    Years ago I took a trip with my church to a small community in Nigeria. The kids had so little (compared to kids in North America) yet were so happy.
    The children were so happy to receive the gift bags from the sponsors from my church. They didn’t complain at all about the contents or ask for something else. They were just so happy to receive educational materials, clothing, etc.
    (Ontario, Canada.)

    Lori – a very thought provoking devotional. Thanks for writing and may God continue to nourish you with themes about which to write. God Bless you.

    Lori – Thank you for bringing this very important subject to the fore.
    Your prayer for the persecuted is a good model for us to follow as we add the plight of the persecuted to our own personal prayer time.

    Dear Lori,
    Well put!
    And thank you.
    May we pray for many to become people of God, disciples with the power of God’s Holy Spirit guiding them.

    AMEN! A devotional worth noting.

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