Current Events

3 Ways to Pray for Iran

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The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to dominate  the US news cycles again. A couple weeks ago in our #GreatCommission Recap, we shared about some of the current turmoil in Iran and how it is affecting Christians. For reasons beyond what the news shares, Iran has also been a topic of conversation here at Southeastern over the past year.

The first-ever Southern Baptist missionaries to Iran, Dr. George and Joanne Braswell were students on our campus and later came back to teach missions. Southern Baptists appointed George and Joanne in 1967 and sent them into Iran where they worked until the time of the Islamic Revolution. The book To Ride a Magic Carpet is a fascinating memoir of their time. The Braswells continue to be friends of the seminary and of our Center for Great Commission Studies. (To learn more about Dr. Braswell and his ministry in Iran, you can watch a full interview and read more here.)

As we read the news and listen to people talk about Iran, we thought it would be good to challenge Great Commission Christians to commit to pray for Iran over the next several weeks.

Here are three specific ways you can pray:

1. Pray for the Gospel to Expand

We do not know how many Iranians believe in Jesus. The statistics vary. However, we do know that God seems to be doing a mighty work among these people. Many are hearing about Jesus and putting their trust in him.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:1, the Apostle Paul asks the believers to pray that the word of the Lord would “speed ahead.” The image here is of an unencumbered runner reaching his maximum potential. Let’s pray this for Iran. Pray that, despite the restrictions and political wrangling, the Lord’s message will reach its maximum potential among these people.

“In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus shows us that the true neighbor is the one who looks beyond racial and religious distinctions and extends love. ”

2. Pray for the People of Iran

There is an ancient proverb: “When the elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.”

The people of Iran are some of the most fun-loving, gregarious people on the planet. They dance, laugh, make music, write poetry, and cook fantastic food. But in seasons of political tension, they are the ones who suffer. If political sanctions are rolled out, the people will feel it. If governments retaliate, the people will receive the brunt of the pain.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus shows us that the true neighbor is the one who looks beyond racial and religious distinctions and extends love. Most of us cannot physically care for the people of Iran. But we do serve a God who can bind their wounds, administer the healing balm, place people under his protection, and pay all the expenses.

Pray for the people of Iran and ask the Lord to both care for them and comfort them in their afflictions.

3. Pray for the Leadership of Iran

Two men head the different leadership structures of Iran. The President of Iran is Hassan Rouhani. The Supreme Leader of Iran is Ali Khamenei. 1 Timothy 2 calls us to pray for “kings and all who are in high positions, that we may live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

Please add these two men to your prayer list:

  • Ask the Lord to guide them.

  • Ask the Lord to give them wisdom, grace, and courage to lead.

  • Ask the Lord to draw them to himself.

  • Ask the Lord to use them to achieve His purposes and accomplish His mission.

Featured photo courtesy of IMB.

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Scott Hildreth

Director of the CGCS

Dr. Scott Hildreth is the Associate Professor of Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks on issues related to missions, spiritual formation, contextualization, and theology.

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