RIO RANCHO (BNM) - Celebration Baptist Church, Rio Rancho, hosted its first prayer tea in May. Over 50 women gathered in Rio Rancho to intercede for the persecuted church around the world.
The idea grew from a ladies' spring Bible study through 1 and 2 Thessalonians. The apostle Paul, in both of the Thessalonian books, wrote to encourage churches suffering for their faith. He noted that persecution was one thing the Thessalonian and Jerusalem churches had in common. They both faced civil and social backlash for their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Eight countries with persecuted Christians were represented at themed tables: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had a special table in memory of the church and hotel bombings on Easter, which took 263 lives.
Along with food representing some of the eight countries, the event included a time of fellowship and worship. The ladies heard about the persecuted church through video clips and personal stories about missions in Bangladesh and Nepal. The event also offered opportunities for individuals to intercede for and write letters (through prisonalert.com) to Christians who are currently suffering imprisonment.
A corporate time of prayer for Christian brothers and sisters suffering for Jesus' name concluded the tea. Each attendee received a small gift token to remind them to continue praying for God’s glory, the expansion of His Kingdom, encouragement, comfort and endurance for those in jail and experiencing harassment, and for persecutors’ hearts to turn toward Jesus through the testimony of the saints.