David Platt, teaching pastor at McLean Bible Church in Virginia, and former president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB), recently prayed for the persecuted Church while standing in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
Platt, best known for his book “Radical,” was standing near the remains of what used to be a church, where he said that murder and torture by communists had taken place inside.
“When Japan was ruling here and the pastor at this church refused to participate in shrine worship, the pastor was martyred,” he also explained, pointing back to an even earlier time. “And so, right behind me is a picture of faithful saints who over the last century worshipped Christ here and paid for it with their life.”
Platt said that there are churches throughout North Korea that have either been destroyed or are now used as communist training facilities, and so he felt compelled to pray that God would strengthen and embolden the persecuted Church in North Korea.
“God, we pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea. God, we pray that you would strengthen them, you would uphold them with Your righteous right hand, [and that] You would help them in every way,” Platt prayed, “as they are worshiping in secret, as some of them have been exposed—they’re in labor camps right now.”
“God, we pray please, please strengthen them, sustain them. Please help our brothers and sisters, Father, and know that they are loved, that we are with them, that we care for them,” he continued. “God, we pray that you would strengthen them in their faith, [that] You would help them to hold steadfast in their faith, that You would enable them to speak amidst the threats around them, to speak your gospel with boldness.”
Platt also prayed for the children of the persecuted, that they would come to understand that their parents’ suffering for Christ is worth it all.
“We pray for Your provision for their families. God, we pray for kids with parents in labor camps, that those kids would know Your love for them [and] the truth of Christ; it’s worth it—what’s happening in their mom or dad’s life,” he said.
“We pray … that Your Church would stand strong, the many thousands of believers that are there right now across that border, God, that You would enable them to stand strong and proclaim them the gospel even when it costs them everything. In Jesus name,” Platt prayed.
Platt also posted a video from inside an underground tunnel, explaining that it is believed that North Koreans had utilized it for potential “sneak attacks.”
He additionally recorded a second prayer for the spread of the gospel in North Korea, and that God would give wisdom to those seeking to reach the people for Christ.
“I pray for those who have never heard the good news of Christ, the peace of Christ, the love of Jesus, the hope that’s found in Jesus,” Platt prayed. “You desire the salvation of all people. You long for them to know Your love.”
“Use even the events in the political realm; whatever it takes, O God, we pray for the spread of the gospel,” he said.
Platt had been preaching for three days in South Korea, and one of his messages was on Christ’s words that the “gates of Hell shall not prevail” against His Church.
As previously reported, North Korea has been known as one of the most difficult places to live as a Christian, and has been listed at the top of Open Doors USA’s “World Watch List” for 16 years in a row.
“The North Korean regime reviles Christianity and considers it the biggest threat among religions; the regime associates Christianity with the West, particularly the United States,” a report recently released by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also outlined.
“Through robust surveillance, the regime actively tries to identify and seek out Christians practicing their faith in secret and imprisons those it apprehends, often along with their family members even if they are not similarly religious.”