People of the Cross, by Jennie Lee Riddle, Todd Smith and Jordan Merritt. Performed by Selah.

CCLI Song #7040175  Available on SongSelect

This blog post was originally published on CCLI.com June 2, 2015.


Here at CCLI we recently received an email from Jennie Lee Riddle, one of our favorite songwriters and a good friend. In it she said,

“I wanted to let you know about this song, 'People Of The Cross' that we wrote the day ISIS executed the 21 martyrs. We also wrote the attached prayer. Would you please consider sharing this with the Church? I believe we need to begin instilling a new level of courage in these days. It was written by myself, Todd Smith, and Jordan Merritt, and recorded by Selah as a means to garner the prayer of the Church for the persecuted and the persecutors.”

Jennie, we’d be honored to. Here it is:

Jesus said “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” Jn 15:20 (ESV) So many Christians have given their lives for their faith in Jesus. So many more will. Let’s stand with them and pray that they stand strong as they glorify God through their suffering. We are The People Of The Cross.

We pray with the families whose loved ones have been abducted or martyredGod we ask that You would strengthen, comfort, and embolden them in this hour. Please surround them with Your saints to help lift and carry their burdens. Give them faith-filled intercessions and hear them according to 1 John 5: 14-15.

Give them the grace to forgive, so that they may be free from carrying the bondage of hatred. We stand with them and acknowledge You, Jesus, as the One to whom every knee shall one day bow. We rejoice with them in the knowledge that this world is not our home and that there will come a day when every tear is wiped away. We look forward to that day along with them. Psalm 147:3Matt 5:4Matt 6:14-15Luke 23:33-34Acts 7:59-601 Cor. 13:4-7Phil 2:5-11Heb 13:14Rev. 21:4,

God, we hold up the persecutors before You now and ask that You would remember the persecutor, Saul. Your mercy overcame Him and as You converted Him, You gave us Paul – a great gift to the Church. We pray that those like Saul will come to know You, God, through the suffering of those they are persecuting. We pray that complete transformation would occur by Your Spirit, and that they would be made willing to suffer for the name of Jesus as laborers of Your Kingdom. Matt 5:43-48Luke 6:27-28,Luke 23:33-34Acts 7:59-60

We pray for our brothers and sisters facing persecution. We know that You number our days. We remember the way You opened prison doors for Your saints. We remember their song in the night. We ask for Your mighty and full deliverance until the time of Your return. We remember the way You walked through angry crowds until Your time had come. Like You, Jesus, when the time comes, we ask for Your strength and courage to not give in or waver even if facing brutality or imprisonment. We pray that their spirit would not be broken, their faith would stand strong, and that Your Holy Spirit would rise up in them.


Give them joy in their homegoing with no fear or shrinking back. Give them grace to finish well.

We ask for Your light to shine forth; and that Your name, Jesus, would be ever on the lips of Your saints. We pray that the life they sow would yield a great harvest and reward. We praise You as The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Matt 5:10-12, Matt 26:38-39Luke 4:28-30Luke 22:15Jn 8:48-59Jn 14:6Jn 15:20-21Jn 16:33Jn 21:15-19,Acts 6:8-7:60Acts 12:1-19Acts 16:16-40Eph 6:19-20Col 4:2-4Heb 10:32-34Heb 11:35-401 Peter 4:13

We pray for the Church in America and around the world. We ask for faithfulness and resolve to stand with those in persecution. We pray for revival. We confess our sin and ask You to forgive us. We acknowledge that we have not been mindful of the hour in which we live. We have been selfish and blind. Where we have claimed our lives are Yours, we have nevertheless lived them as our own. We humble ourselves at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. We ask for Your healing, power, and grace to obey. We ask for unity. We stand with You, Jesus, and give our lives to You all over again. We ask for grace to live well and die well, and that from the rising of the sun to it’s going down, we would be found faithful and You would be ever praised. 2 Chronicles 7:14,Psalm 51:10James 4:6-102 Tim 3:1-51 John 1:9

We pray for those in places of authority and government and ask that You would embolden them to protect innocent lives. That they would not be afraid to carry out holy and swift judgment to rout out evil. We ask that You would give them clear eyes, super-natural wisdom, discernment, understanding, and knowledge. Help them to embrace responsibility and act. We pray that the fear of You, the One True God would keep them moving to decree, promote, and work righteousness. Psalm 146:5-7,Romans 13:1-4Hebrews 11:32-341 Peter 2:13-14