Dear Father, I don’t know anything about persecution. All my life, at every turn, I have known favor, the blessing of Your hand on behalf of a godly and praying grandmother. I have never been cast out, never scourged, never held against my will. I have not even suffered much mockery that I could not answer with reason. How do I witness with so much comfort around me? I find that question harder to answer than how do they witness with so much pain. Your Word promises the latter as a reward for righteousness, not the former. Lord, I pray that in Your love and sovereignty, for they are united in Your person, that You would strengthen Your people in Iraq, that they would not lose heart or grow feint and weary, but would grow in their love for You and for Your Word and Your will. I pray that their trials would encourage them rather than discourage them, would give them a stronger witness and testimony by which to overcome the power of the enemy and to encourage others. I pray that You would stir up in them a holy thankfulness for the persecution that is arising all around them, and that You would guide them into all truth in the midst of their suffering. In Jesus’ name, Amen.