I’m sure many of you are aware of the news of Boise, Idaho pastor, Saeed Abedini. Since September, 2012 he has been in an Iranian prison. He has an an eight year sentence for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of ways you can be involved in spreading the news of his situation. I’ll share some of them below.
But First thing that I exhort you to do as you consider the situation. This kind of action against a faithful preacher is not unusual and the church must not be in shock over the treatment. It is difficult to understand how a world bent against Christ will treat a bold follower of Christ. It’s difficult to understand this because we usually don’t experience this. But understand those outside of the western world, especially the United States, get this. If you read your bible with any consistency at all, you get this.
What is a right way for a faithful people, in a free state, to respond?
- First: Trust the Lord. This has not happened without the Lord’s permission. This kind of activity never catches God off guard. Where details may be difficult to understand, trust the Lord.
- Second: Pray as though you are in prison too. Our western church experience knows so little of how to pray as though in prison too. We are naturally driven to think about their “American” rights. We forget that we are sojourners. This doesn’t mean our earthly citizenship is of no use, Paul used his Roman citizenship to his good. But resist your patriotic spirit of expecting all peoples everywhere to honor your American citizenship. “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” (Heb 13:3 NASB)
- Third: There are ways to engage your earthly government, but don’t put your trust in “horses or chariots”. Pray to the end that if release comes there will be moments afforded to Saeed, his family, and his church will have no one other than the Lord to give witness and testimony about. Pray to the end that if release does not come there will be moments afforded to Saeed, his family, and his church will have no one other than the Lord to give witness and testimony about.
- Fourth: Discover as much as you can about the situation and pray specifically. I don’t know what an Iranian jail is like. There are ways to know how to discover this so you can know how to pray. from all indications from resources like ‘the Voice of the Martyrs’ we should be in fervent prayer. Pray for his release. Pray for his well being. Pray for his family. Pray for the guards. Pray for the other inmates. Pray that the Lord will strengthen Saeed to endure and persevere. Pray for his wife, Naghmeh. Pray for their children. Pray for their church. Pray that the Lord with strengthen Saeed with boldness with the gospel.
Church, when you gather to pray, petition the Lord, the LORD GOD, for Saeed and Naghmeh.