I came across this exhortation by Cyprian that he wrote during an early stage of the Decian persecution, but it has obvious relevance for the churches of North Africa, North Asia, and the Middle East today!
What we must do is beg the Lord with united and undivided hearts, without pause in our entreaty, with confidence that we shall receive, seeking to appease him with cries and tears as befits those who find themselves amidst the lamentations of the fallen and the trembling of the remnant still left, amidst the host of those who lie faint and savaged, and the tiny band of those who stand firm. We must petition that peace be promptly restored, that help be quickly brought to our places of concealment and peril, so that those things may be fulfilled which the Lord decided to reveal to his servants - the restoration of his church, the certitude of our salvation, bright skies after rain, light after darkness, a gentle calm after wild storms. We must beg that the Father sending his loving aid to his children, that God in his majesty perform as so often, his wondrous works, whereby the blaspheming of the persecutors may be confounded, the repentance of the fallen may be restored, and the courageous and unwavering faith of the persevering may be glorified.
Those last words, wow!
Cyprian, Epistles 11.8, cited in Burns and Jensen, Christianity in Roman Africa, 248.
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