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Martin Luther

By Elise Wixtrom, Kids of Courage Student Reviewer

Martin Luther was born in Germany on November 10, 1483. As an adult, Luther became a monk, a man dedicated to the service and study of God. He studied the Bible every day in Latin and subjected himself to punishments when he thought he wasn’t doing well enough. He believed that he could earn his way to heaven by doing good works and tearing himself down.

After many years of legalistic thinking, Luther finally began to understand that he had done it wrong. God wanted his heart, not just his words and actions. In a flash of realization, Luther decided that everyone in the church, not just those who could read the Bible, needed to hear the message of the true grace of God. As Martin Luther’s knowledge grew, he began to notice church practices that directly contradicted the teachings of the Bible. So he set out to fix the problems he saw.

The story is told that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a poster to the church door of Wittenberg that listed the 95 problems he had with church tradition. These problems included theological ones (like works above faith), as well as malpractice from clergymen (such as taking money from people, promising them that their gift assured that their loved ones would go to heaven). He knew these things were wrong and should be stopped, so he made a bold move and announced to everyone how destructive they really were.

As a consequence, the church kicked him out and would not let his books be published. They eventually brought him to stand trial for blasphemy at a city named Worms. He bravely said that he could only follow his conscience and God – and if the church came into conflict with the Bible, the church must be at fault. He eventually was freed, however, and he continued writing pamphlets, books, and sermons until the day he died.

We remember Martin Luther today because he, like William Tyndale and many others, was courageous enough to see that, no matter the consequences, he must be truthful and follow his conscience. Neither the church, nor any other establishment, could quiet his voice. He spoke up at his trial, because he knew what he was saying was true, and that the flame of truth, even if he went to prison, could not be extinguished.

Watch a trailer from the Torchlighters DVD, The Martin Luther Story,
Find instructions for making a Luther rose coaster here.


Hebrews 13:3 Around the World

(Image: Russian “Children of Courage” website)

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand founded The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967 to help persecuted Christians. Other ministries around the world also started as a result of the Wurmbrand’s mission.

Click on the country names below to see websites of some of the ministries in other countries.

Australia
Belgium
Canada
Chile
Czech Republic
Finland
Germany
The Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom

You can find a children’s website from the ministry in the Netherlands here, and one for Russian-speaking children here.

When you help and pray for persecuted Christians, you are joining Christians all over the world who obey Hebrews 13:3: “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.”


Iran: Pray for Lydia

(Source: icommittopray.com)

Sam and Maryam love their daughter, Lydia, very much. (See their photo above.) Lydia has a heart defect and other health problems, but thankfully Maryam is a nurse and can take excellent care of her.

But officials in Iran, where the family lives, want to take Lydia away from her parents. They plan to return her to the orphanage where Maryam and Sam adopted her when she was 3 months old.

Sam and Maryam are Christians, and the government considers Lydia to be a Muslim. When Lydia was almost 2 years old, a court said she was not eligible to be adopted by Christians. The court also said, “there is zero possibility of giving her away to another family” because of Lydia’s health conditions. But they said she should be taken away anyway.

The parents appealed to another court, but the new court agreed with the earlier court’s decision. Now they are waiting to hear if the court will order them to return Lydia to the orphanage.

Please pray for Sam, Maryam, and Lydia.


IDOP Prayer Reminders

Note: The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) will be observed on November 1st and throughout the month of November this year.

To make clothespin magnets that remind you to pray for persecuted Christians all year long, glue decorations on one side of a clothespin. (Or decorate it with colorful, patterned duct tape.) Attach a piece of peel-and-stick magnetic tape on the other side.

Create decorative labels that include the name of a country where Christians are persecuted. (Or cut out small photos of persecuted Christians from The Voice of the Martyrs newsletters or printed from this site.)

Fasten the labels or photos with the clothespins, and display the clothespins on a refrigerator or another magnetic surface. Change or add to the items as you learn of additional prayer needs. Pray for one of the countries or Christians  on the clothespins during mealtime prayers or at other times when you notice the prayer reminders.

Enter “IDOP” in the Search box to find more IDOP activities, or check the IDOP lesson plans in the Downloads section.


IDOP Will Be on November 1st

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) will be observed on November 1st this year. You can make plans now to join other Christians across the country in praying for persecuted Christians.

How can you prepare?

*Let your parents, teacher, or children’s/youth pastor know about IDOP, and ask if you can help them prepare to observe it with your class or group.

*Make a list of five to 10 countries where Christians are persecuted. Enter the name of each country in the Search box on this site to find information about some of the struggles faced by Christians in those countries. Or, make a list of persecuted Christians from stories on this site or on prisoneralert.com. List two or three prayer points for each country or Christian.

*Plan to start praying about the prayer points on November 1st and to continue praying after IDOP. Read below about a way that one family prays for persecuted Christians.

Tamara S. commented on VOM’s Facebook page about how her family prays for persecuted Christians at mealtime: “We have Popsicle sticks in a vase with the names of hostile and restricted nations on them, and some of them have names of imprisoned [Christians] on them,” she said. “We try to draw one every meal at which we sit down together.”

*Tell an adult about IDOP resources for adults available here. Teachers and parents can also find lesson plans for children and youth in the Downloads section of this site.