IDOP 2015: prayer matters

By October 30, 2015
(Photo courtesy of VOM USA)

(Photo courtesy of VOM USA)

International (MNN) — ISIS atrocities continue in Syria. According to, the Islamic State is sending hit men into refugee camps to wipe out the Christians.

In Nigeria, survivors feel forgotten as the world ignores Boko Haram’s reign of terror.

Thousands of believers are being held captive in metal shipping containers in Eritrea. Members of Nepal’s radical Hindu factions are blaming Christians for “corrupting” the nation.

Prayer may seem like a powerless response to headlines like these, but Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs USA begs to differ.

“God is at work; our prayers are being answered, and this Sunday–the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church–is really a key part,” Nettleton says.

Each year on the first Sunday in November, believers stand united with their persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ through prayer.

Also known as IDOP, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is more than just an “observed” day on the calendar.

hindu mob

Jaya was attacked by a Hindu mob because she isn’t afraid to share the Good News.
(Image courtesy VOM)

“When one part of the Body suffers, we’re ALL supposed to feel that,” says Nettleton.

“We’re supposed to be connected enough that we feel the pain of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, or in China, or in Nigeria.”

As believers intercede–throughout the year but especially on IDOP Sunday, God works in the lives of those who follow Him in regions of high persecution.

“What we would consider the darkest, most dangerous, most desperate places, God is still working,” Nettleton shares.

“Even in the areas controlled by ISIS…He is helping Christians to stand firm in their faith; He is also bringing the persecutors to faith in Christ.”

It may seem hard to believe, but some Islamic State fighters are turning to Christ because of their victims’ witness and refusal to deny the Lord. Keep that in mind heading into IDOP Sunday.

“We all know the story of Saul, who became Paul: the guy [Saul] who was hunting for Christians ran headlong into Jesus Christ and became Paul, the great apostle, the great missionary.”

Hear “Suta,” a former Hindu radical, talk about his own Saul-to-Paul experience here.

(Photo courtesy VOM USA via Facebook)

(Photo courtesy VOM USA via Facebook)

“The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is a part of connecting the Body of Christ so that those of us in free countries, who don’t suffer for our faith, can be connected and follow [the Scriptures’] instruction,” says Nettleton.

“When others suffer, when one part of the Body suffers, we’re all supposed to feel that.”

Visit VOM’s website to find more IDOP resources.


  • Roberta M says:

    Praying daily for the persecuted Christians. They have been called to the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. We will rejoice with them when they receive their reward!

  • I pray the allowed may allow us to share your burdens and bare up with many, that Jesus may be magnified and exalted on high as he communes with the humble and lowly in heart. We ask that you will humble our enemies and make believers out of them. In Jesus most powerful, most holy, most loving name we pray.

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