1 Peter 4:16 … if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (NIV)

From the beginning of time the church has faced persecution, and it continues today. The church in America faces persecution and is very quick to point it out. Someone from half way across the country sues a small town for having a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn at Christmas. A principle threatens to not let a valedictorian attend her graduation if she does not remove references God and Jesus from her graduation speech. A homeowners association threatens a couple with a $250 a day fine if they don’t stop having Friday Night Bible study in their home. Hollywood constantly presents people of Christian faith in a negative light. And the list goes on.

But this past Sunday, as you sat in your centrally cool seat at church, where you constantly looking over your shoulder waiting for men to come in with clubs and start beating you or the pastor. Were you in fear that someone from the government would be waiting outside the doors to arrest one of your family members and take them away never to be seen again. Were you hoping that you would not return to home to find it and everything you owned burned to the ground or that while walking home you and your family would be attacked by men with machetes set on ending your life. No, like most American Christians you were probably thinking about where you were going for lunch, trying to remember if your favorite football team played the early game or the late game, or considering if you need to do laundry or a mow the lawn or could put it off until later in the week.

Today Pray and thank God that you live in a country where you are freely worship Him how you choose. That you can read this prayer break in public and not worry about life threatening consequences. Thank God for the men and women who serve in our military and protect our freedoms. And pray for the persecuted people in churches in places like Africa, Asia and the Middle East.