ISIS is an acronym that has become synonymous with terrorism in the recent past. It stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” though its fighters would prefer to simply call themselves “Islamic State.”

When ISIS erupted with a series of recorded tortures and beheadings in 2014, videos and articles went viral in social media. Many shared and expressed shock as to how horrible and terrifying these people are and how it must be the end of the world. The terror lasted for some time but like all other viral videos, the outcry within social media rapidly vanished, being replaced by other viral content.

In a rapid-sharing world of information, ISIS updates have become a regular fare in news outlets, appearing sporadically, but doesn’t hold much of the public’s attention anymore as it did when it initially erupted. At first everyone cared and prayed, but the fervor faded. This made me wonder about prayer.

It made me wonder how vastly different our prayers must be from the believers who are lined up to be executed. When we pray for the persecuted, do we simply utter words of “Lord, please save them?” Or do we take the time to see ourselves in their place and know the terror they must feel as they go through the pain and severe suffering?

It’s easy to say that we can be bold in prayer while comfortably reading a devotional and sipping a cup of coffee. But if you find yourself in a line, witnessing how heads before you are severed from their bodies, will you truly have the joy and boldness to say, “May Your will be done; may You be glorified in this”?

Do we take joy at the thought of dying? Does it excite us to be in danger for our faith in Jesus? Because if we do, I think that’s boldness in prayer. Boldness arises in times of risk, rarely in times of comfort. If there are people who clearly understand what boldness in prayer is like, it’s the persecuted believers. They get it. They have peace in dying because after their heads fall off, they are sure that they will find themselves in the presence of Jesus Christ. They take joy their sufferings because they know that it’s nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in them after death.

I’m embarrassed of how trivial and petty my prayers must be compared to theirs. We proclaim to desire faith like the heroes in the Bible and yet we probably wouldn’t dream of living their lives. Hebrews 11 describes the faith of our fathers and how their lives were not always smooth sailing. Should we naively put ourselves in danger just to experience boldness in prayer? Not at all. But let us deeply desire the same joy and boldness as our persecuted brethren have whenever we come to God in prayer.


Writer’s Bio:
Christin Alvarez enjoys getting lost in books and the myriad worlds they contain. She likes people but is too shy to talk to them so she just watches and writes about them in her head. You can sometimes find her in