The 5 P,P,P,P,P’s
“And some women, through faith, received their loved ones back again from death. But others trusted God and were beaten to death, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free—trusting that they would rise to a better life afterwards. Some were laughed at and their backs cut open with whips, and others were chained in dungeons. Some died by stoning and some by being sawed in two; others were promised freedom if they would renounce their faith, then were killed with the sword. Some went about in skins of sheep and goats, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in dens and caves. They were hungry and sick and ill treated—too good for this world.”
Hebrews 11:35-38 (The Living Bible)
To us, in our comparatively rich western world, the 5Ps might not mean a lot. But to many of our brothers and sisters in more difficult areas of the world they may well be part of their daily existence. Our hearts go out to the thousands of refugees and migrants seeking refuge and asylum.
So what are they? Pressure is the first one and applies to them all. Persecution is the second one, Poverty is the third, Pain is the fourth and Prison is the fifth. For many Christians face the daily Pressure of Persecution, the daily Pressure of Poverty, the daily Pressure of Pain and the daily Pressure of Prison.
Only God knows the exact number who suffer in one or more of these ways because of their faith and their belief. It’s true also to say that Christians have always suffered these pressures at different times down through the ages. But the question is what can we do to help those who are suffering now?
Christians under these pressures often feel isolated and alone. One way to help them is to support the charities that very specifically focus on helping Christians who are living with the 5 Ps daily. Many of us have tight budgets and already support some charities when we can, so may not be able to help in that way.
But there is a way in which we can all join in supporting our brothers and sisters in their time of trial and trouble. How? By using the sixth P, which I did not list above. The sixth P is Prayer which is the most Powerful and Practical way we can all help, whatever our personal situation.
We know that we may not see an immediate result from our prayers but we also know that God hears them. We don’t know how God responds to them but I am confident he does. Perhaps God eases the pressure for a time, strengthens their faith, provides their daily needs, heals their pain or delivers them from prison, becomes a God of Presence so they feel his help in enabling them to come through the trial.
We have to have faith ourselves that God hears and responds to our prayers even though we can not see exactly how or where. Today we can give a little of our time to help these suffering brothers and sisters whom we don’t know and can’t see. We cannot see the future but maybe one day we will need the prayers of others as we too face the 5Ps at some time in our life.
Father, in Christ’s name we pray for relief and deliverance for our brothers and sisters who are facing severe trials in their daily lives now.
Study by Keith Hartrick
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Local Congregational Contact: