Article written by Pastor Tan Kok Beng

23 April, 2023


(Christian Living 21)

Writing to the Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire, the Apostle wrote: “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb.13:3). There are millions of faithful believers being persecuted for the sake of Christ, and many are in prisons unjustly and others are martyred. A lot of them are found also in the countries where our missionaries are serving. Many of these are discriminated against and deprived of their rights just because they are Christians. Some of these countries where Christians are mistreated or persecuted are right at our doorstep. It is a fact that some, under terrible torture, died a painful death.

The above Writer reminds us to “remember” these disciples of Christ. This means firstly to hold them in our hearts and then pray for them, as they are our family in Christ. It also means that we are not to ever forget about them, as our prayers may keep them alive and sustain them spiritually. Many are likely to be tortured and forced to recant their faith in Christ. Refusal to do so means more frequent and severe torture – and some may succumb to that. This happens when they are mentally deranged during severe torture.

Ps Shaukat told us that his ten leaders captured by extremists were tortured until they died because they remained faithful to Jesus. Then the seven Elders who were kidnapped were tortured daily and even injected with drugs to make them recant their faith. However, we managed to secure their release – by God’s Grace. But some have since died due to the injuries they received. The rest are still so sick that they cannot function normally. You will also remember the six young Christian girls who were kidnapped and raped for several weeks until they escaped but they have been inflicted with sexual diseases. Pray for them.

Can we imagine what went through their minds when they were captured or kidnapped? I do not believe we will ever understand or appreciate the traumas they went through. That is why praying for them is so important. Their mental, emotional and spiritual survival depend on our faithful prayers. Let us not forget to pray for them.

The Writer exhorted, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners…” That means we are to empathize and sympathize with them. That is agape love in action when we do that. We feel that way because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ’s Family. Do we feel that way about them? Unfortunately, we live so comfortably in religious freedom and take that for granted and not ever remember them. That is spiritual complacency!

May God forgive us for the lack of love and thought for His suffering saints. More imprisoned saints could be released and suffering saints comforted and healed if we pray more for them. Actually, the Apostle is giving a command to pray when he wrote “Remember” in the imperative mood. So, let us obey it by praying earnestly for them. 

Click HERE to return to Article Listing