Christians are, and always have been, resurrection people. In the words of Augustine: ‘We are Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.’
But Easter is often a dangerous time for Christians.
The photo above shows worshippers celebrating in an Easter service in the Masosi IDP camp, near Oicha in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While these Christians were celebrating a group of young men kept watch outside in case there was an attack by Islamic militants. And in nearby towns their Easter service started at 7:15 am and lasted just 35 minutes such was the fear and tension at the time.
Holy Week is high risk. As recently as 2021, suicide bombers attacked worshippers on their way home from a Palm Sunday service in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. In 2019 more than 250 Christians lost their lives, and thousands more were injured in suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. There have also been Easter attacks in Pakistan in 2016 and on Palm Sunday, 2017 in Egypt.
So, every Holy Week, as many of us look forward to celebrating, please remember to pray for protection for Christians everywhere.
“We could close our churches to protect ourselves... Or we can hold all the celebrations and maybe we will receive some bombs or attacks. We try to stay here and love like Jesus Christ. We try to give this meaning of Christianity: that love and life are better than death and killing.”
Church leader from Mosul, Iraq
We pray for all those around the world who are celebrating your resurrection today.
We pray for those who are still living in the shadow of death:
Those shattered by loss, and shaken by violence.
All who walk a road of fear and confusion today
May your risen presence walk with them and comfort them, we pray, As you walked on the road with your first followers.
We pray for all those who are anxious about meeting together,
Those who live in places where your followers are hated and despised. May Your risen presence be with them today,
As you appeared in the rooms where your disciples gathered.
Keep them safe, Lord, we pray.
And for all of us who celebrate your resurrection today, Fill us with joy and hope,
May Your resurrection power fill Your church this Easter.
Because we know that no tomb could hold you, and that no stone is ever too heavy for your power to roll away.
Thank you Lord for giving us a day to celebrate your victory
Thank you Lord for helping us to understand that our life doesn’t end here, but that we have a great hope with you.
Father, I pray for those who cannot celebrate this Easter because they lost their beloved family members.
Lord I am praying that they will be encouraged by knowing that one day they will see them because of our hope in Easter.
Lord, bless all those people who cannot celebrate this Easter as we celebrate. Comfort them, and remind them of the hope we have in you, Father.
I also thank you Lord for your salvation,
Thank you Lord for your victory,
Thank you Lord for the hope you have given us,
Thank you Lord for helping us to testify to the world that the empty tomb has given us the hope that one day we will see you face to face.
We pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
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