Suggested time and date: 6.30am-7am, Monday 6th October
Wakey wakey! Tired yet? It’s week 4, so it’s understandable that you might be. Getting up early to pray is a sacrifice, but one which will not be overlooked. This week, it’s time to… Reflect.
Grab your Wake Up and Pray Guide and spend the next half hour reading through the material, thinking about the Bible passages and praying for change.
If you haven’t managed to get hold of the ‘Wake Up and Pray’ guide, you can download the full pdf session below to help you spend 30 minutes reflecting on the Bible, praying for change and learning more about life as a secret North Korean Christian.
Use the following stuff to help expand on the things that are in the Wake Up guide session.
Seeing Bibles is a regular occurrence here in the UK – shops sell them openly, and the many differing translations and designs you can get sometimes makes choosing a Bible a little overwhelming. In North Korea, however, few Christians have ever owned a Bible – to possess any religious writings is completely illegal, and the only ‘scriptures’ are information about the country’s leaders, who you are forced to worship as gods.
The government will stop at nothing to uncover and arrest believers who possess bibles, even tricking children into betraying their parents to the secret police. Bibles are hidden in various places in houses – below floorboards, in roofs and under mattresses. If a Bible is discovered in a house, it is a crime punishable by death. Without trial, Bible owners will be sent to forced labour camps and effectively left to die.
Open Doors is involved in secretly distributing Christian material inside North Korea – Christians there are desperate for even small portions of scripture, despite knowing that, were it to be discovered, they would almost definitely face death. The risk is so high for owners of Bibles that some people who have owned Bibles in the past have been forced to burn them in order to protect their families.
Scripture is so rare and precious to North Korean Christians that many will learn verses, chapters or even whole books of the Bible off by heart. Some may copy down chapters at a time, but for many even this is considered too dangerous, so instead they learn chunks off by heart. Do you know any Bible verses off by heart? What about a chapter? Or even a whole book? Imagine having to learn large chunks of the Bible off by heart because you might never get the chance to read Scripture again, and it is too dangerous to own your own copy. This is a reality for many Christians in North Korea.
As we’ve learnt today, many North Koreans will write out or learn chapters of the Bible by heart. Spend some time this morning writing out a chapter of the Bible by hand, thanking God for this portion of His Word, and asking Him to bless those for whom even writing down scripture means risking their lives.
Every time you see a Bible today and for the rest of the week, take a minute to thank God for His provision and protection in this country, and pray for those places in the world, especially North Korea, where Bibles are banned and people are killed for owning them. Similarly, when you see a Bible, snap a picture of it on your phone and tweet it along with #itstime2014 to remind others to pray for those without the blessing of Bibles in the open.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.