- Them that are in bonds / in prison…
- Them that suffer adversity / those who are mistreated…
- As bound with them / as if chained with them / as though in prison with them.
- As being yourselves also in the body / since you also are in the body.
We are to identify with / be thoughtful of / be prayerful for those who are suffering for the name of Christ. Wherever they are, we are to consider what they are going through and bear this burden with them. This mutual care means that when one member of the body suffers, we are to all to suffer with them. Also, when they rejoice, we can rejoice with them (I Corinthians 12:25-26).
What should our prayers be like?
Psalm 140:1-4 cp. II Thessalonians 3:1-3
We should pray for deliverance from the ways and purposes of evil men. We are not just praying for mere survival, but for help and strength to advance the gospel and the kingdom of Christ (Ephesians 6:18-20). See Psalm 140:12 cp. II Timothy 4:18.
We should pray for God's mercy and grace on those who are doing wickedly. Pray for them to repent and believe our gospel. Our prayer is not for the destruction of evil men, but for the defeat of the Satanic work that controls men to do evil (Ephesians 6:10-12 cp II Timothy 2:24-26).
Many wicked people have power on earth to do harm to Christ's people. Some even have the power to destroy and kill. If we can somehow speak up for them and try to make an earthly appeal against what is being done to them, we should. But more importantly, we must continually speak to God for them (Romans 15:30-33).
Testimony of Dr. Pat - Missionary to persecuted Christians