Day 0: Intro
Few places in the world are like North Korea.
Today, even though it seems cold, sterile, and isolated from the rest of the world, on the other side of the heavily armed borders hides a land of rich Christian history and flaming hot revivals. Deep inside the Hermit Kingdom lies the secret embers of a revival fire that once burned in the hearts of the people.
Revival fires burned so hot in North Korea that Pyongyang was literally nicknamed “The Jerusalem of the East.” Churches were filled, Bible schools were packed, and missionaries were on almost every corner handing out tracts to those passing by, but that scene is a far cry from the North Korea of today. The smell of revival smoke has long lifted from north of the 38th parallel.
When we think of North Korea, we don’t think of church meetings or street evangelism; we conjure up images of malnourished people having been beaten and bruised, held down and kicked. We think of North Koreans as prisoners, held captive by an evil mad dictator, but were they victims in the beginning, or is North Korea the result of what many people desired when they ushered in a new government?
To tell the truth, the cry of the Communists in the 1950’s struck excitement in the hearts of many North Korean people. Maybe they did not abandon their Christian faith and become Communists over night, but perhaps many lost their revival one small grievance at a time and searched for solutions – not in God, but in the writings of Karl Marx. Many North Koreans enthusiastically marched in the ranks of Kim Il Sung and rejoiced at the idea of a unified nation under the common banner of atheism. Some joyfully drank from the blood of the saints that were persecuted in the streets and laughed at the destruction of the churches. The North Korean revival was starved of oxygen in the Communist age, which at the time, much of the world thought was the highest achievement of independence from God.
Now it is abundantly obvious to the following generations that they made the wrong choice. They stepped out of freedom and are now living in hell.
If North Korea would like to see revival again it will take more than nostalgic stories of days gone by: it is going to take prayer and sacrifice. Not the kind of prayer that comes cheaply, but the kind of prayer that requires Christians around the world to stand in the spiritual trenches with their brothers and sisters and abandon their regular past time activities for the spirit of a warrior.
I am not going to lie to you. This is the kind of prayer that takes you outside of yourself and leaves you exhausted and drained. This prayer often renders us temporarily useless to the world around us. It can be poetic, jumbled, passionate, tired, rewarding, unrewarding, and raw unintelligible groans all at the same time.
But you don’t have time, right? You have a wife, husband, kids, soccer games, and one of the busiest jobs ever – right? Doesn’t matter.
Only prayer with absolute abandon will do. Abandonment of ambitions, health, and self-recognition will be the only kind of prayer to break the darkness that is currently strangling North Korea.
This 30 Days of Prayer for North Korea consists of stories and testimonies collected by Back to Jerusalem over the last fifteen years. To help strategically pray, this prayer guide is broken into three parts. First, we identify the parts of North Korean culture and history that the enemy has used to shackle the people with poverty and pain. Second, we will share amazing testimonies that will bring hope as you pray. Last, we will open up the secret doors of ministry that are currently taking place inside the Hermit Kingdom to practically tear down the strongholds of the enemy.
Each day of prayer will only take five minutes to read through, but your continuous prayer throughout the day for the entire 30 days is essential. North Korea is currently completely closed to the Gospel. It is considered to be one of the most unreached nations in the world. Many brave missionaries have recently tried to bring the Gospel to the nation, but it seems that their efforts have been repeatedly repelled over and over again.
We believe that the day is coming when the spiritual walls around North Korea will come tumbling down and the freedom of Christ will prevail in the hearts of the people, but in order to see that, the Body of Christ needs to pray; pray like never before.