Colossians 4.3
Pray for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.

Though primarily associated with flash-points in history, religious intolerance and persecution still run rampant in our world today. Pew Research Center’s most recent study, released last year, opened by stating, “Religious hostilities increased in every major region of the world except the Americas.”

You now live in a position of privilege if you can read scripture without threat to freedom, worship without worry of attack, or be identified as a Christian without threat to life and family.

This privilege shouldn’t bring guilt, nor should it breed fondness of its luxury. The words of martyrs quickly rebuke such self-absorption and idleness. Polycarp, in final prayer before his martyrdom c.156 C.E., said this:

I bless you because you have thought me worthy of this day and hour, worthy to be numbered among the martyrs and to drink out of the cup your Anointed has drunk from, so to rise and live forever, body and soul, in the incorruptibility that is the Holy Spirit’s.

May I be admitted with them in your presence today, a satisfying welcome sacrifice. You have made my life a preparation for this; you showed me that this was to be and now you have brought it about, like the veracious and truthful God that you are. For this and all your blessings I praise you and give you glory, through the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ the heavenly, your dear Child.

He is with you and the Holy Spirit. Through him may glory be given you now and in the ages to come. Amen.
Paul asks for prayer at the end of Colossians because the persecuted cherish the prayers of the church. We can raise awareness of global persecution, and prompt our government to action — but we should not forget the power of our prayers.
Prayer is the most necessary action, the greatest gift, the hardest spiritual labor, as well the simplest cry of a loving heart. The time that you spend in prayer has an eternal impact on the lives of men and women throughout our world. Through prayer our world is changed, closed doors are opened, resistant people are made receptive, leaders are put down and raised up, and the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is extended. — Voice of the Martyr’s prayer guide for persecuted Christians
Today’s Reading
1 Kings 17 (Listen – 3:14)
Colossians 4 (Listen – 2:21)