Father, it is because of Jesus; His loving compassion toward us evident in His incarnation, His ministry, His death and resurrection, that we willingly and joyfully bow on our knees and confess with our tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord. We deny ourselves the world and all that it offers to make Jesus our Lord. For some of us it is a commitment without a great deal of fallout but for others it can ostracize them from their family, their village, or even cost them their lives. Whether in life or death we want to be among those who bear witness of the truth, and are willing to suffer death in the cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). We pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria and in others regions of this world who are undergoing persecution, many of them fleeing for their lives and others laying down their lives for the cause of Christ. How consoling to know that this is not the end but they have received the victor’s crown of eternal life where there will be no more hardship, no persecution, nor a trace of sin. Keep us faithful no matter what, in the name of Jesus we pray.