I have felt the Lord urging me recently to round up prayer for those who are imprisoned for their faith. Why leave all such praying to ‘Suffering Church Sunday’ in November? Our brothers and sisters in the Lord are held in prison all year round.
This is a project has been gathering momentum for some considerable time. I was originally inspired to write the music as the result of a book by two young Iranian women who had endured imprisonment in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.
I subsequently had the privilege of meeting and praying with these remarkable women. They have reached many across the nations in ways they could never have dreamed of during the dark days of their imprisonment.
Justin Coldstream provided enormous support by orchestrating the different sections, as well as composing the saxophone solo. The oboe music at the start is taken from a concerto by Vivaldi, and we have also woven in a well-known Czech folk song ‘Dobru Noc,’ which Justin arranged for string quartet. We recorded it at the New Year 2014 in St Cecilia’s church Kidderminster while Rosalind was in Australia.
The New Testament Greek word for prison is phulake, which means ‘a keeping watch’ as well as a literal prison where captives are kept. This is our offering to help us keep watch in prayer. I have based the presentation around the story of another believer from Iran, but it is an offering on behalf of all who are experiencing persecution for their faith.
Do share it with your friends and prayer networks.
Those taking part were:
Flute – Nicola Gerard
Oboe – Vanessa Hanson
Clarinet and Sax – Mike Halliday
Violins – Shirley Richards and Teresa Brasier
Viola – Nick Evans Pugh
Cellos – Jo Garcia and Anna Frazier
French Horn – Peter Richards
Keyboard – Justin Coldstream
Percussion – Keith Entwistle
Vocals – Janey Peterson, Harmony Greenwood
Text Narration – Colin Owen, Robert Weston, Elizabeth Hume, Rosalind Weston
Sound Engineer – Colin Owen
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
‘Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.
‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – along with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’ (Mark 10:29-31)
Copyright 2014 and 2016 Ruach Breath of Life
This presentation may be freely played without specific permission, provided no monetary gain is involved.
The story the presentation is based around can be found at http://www.opendoorsuk.org/news/stories/iran_160420.php
Pray for all the excellent work that organisations such as Open Doors do on behalf of Christians experiencing persecution.
In naming a few of the many countries where Christians are persecuted in the presentation, I inadvertently said Azerbaijan instead of Uzbekistan. There is indeed intimidation of believers reported in that country, but less so than in Uzbekistan. See http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/country_profiles.php