"Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill treated, since you yourselves are also in the body." Hebrews 13:3
I read this verse today in my time with the Lord. How appropriate, for there are a countless number of brothers and sisters behind bars because they name the name of Jesus. Just how can I remember them?
Looking up the word "remember" in the Blue Letter Bible (blueletterbible.org) it is from the Greek word #3415 mimnēskomai, and here are the meanings:
to be recalled or to return to one's mind, to remind one's self of, to remember
to be recalled to mind, to be remembered, had in remembrance
to remember a thing
be mindful of
Thinking about those who are in prison for their faith is not a pleasant thing to think about, at least from my worldly standpoint. Who wants to consider that there are those who are enduring beatings and torture for the name of Jesus? But Jesus had another viewpoint about those who suffer, totally different than the worldly way I naturally see it.
In the Beatitudes recorded in Matthew's gospel, Jesus says: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5: 10-12)
Now that is not the natural way of looking at persecution. If you go to the Voice of the Martyrs website, (persecution.com) you can read about increasing amounts of persecution growing around the world as the love of men grows cold. It is not something that is comfortable to do, but it is reality for thousands and thousands of people across this planet.
One of the most simple ways to "remember the prisoners" is to lift them up in prayer to the Lord. I spoke with a representative from Voice of the Martyrs, and she told me that this is their number one request. Prayer is our one offensive weapon to use against the kingdom of darkness. We can pray not only that the prisoners will have food to eat but that the Holy Spirit would recall to their minds spiritual food as well. We can ask for God to surround them with His peace, even for His angels to minister to them. There are so many ways we can pray for the prisoners. I think one of the best ways is to find appropriate Scriptures and pray them to God, because He ultimately honors His Word.
John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
We may not be able to physically go to their prisons to visit them that are in bonds, but we can visit them by communing with God in prayer for them. These are members of our very own Body!
Romans 12:5: "so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." and also I Cor. 12:12 "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ."
It is hard to understand why this amount of suffering is going on, and why so many are being martyred at this time. But we must trust that the Lord is in control of all things, and know that if we pray for the persecuted, it is as we are doing it unto the Lord.
Matthew 25: 34-40
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’