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Building Bridges

Friday, November 9, 2018

There are many teachings in Islam that believers in Christ can use as bridges to help Muslims enter the Kingdom of God. The Quran states that God created Adam and Eve, that he sent the flood but rescued Noah, that he spoke to Abraham, that he gave the Torah (Pentateuch) to Moses, that he sent Jesus who was born of a virgin.

All these narratives, common to both Muslims and Christians, can be used as bridges to bring Muslims closer to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not all the details of these stories in Islam fully agree with the biblical accounts, but they can work as starting points.

It is also worthwhile to establish friendships with Muslims as you seek to share the Good News of Christ with them. Friends trust each other, depend on each other and desire each other’s well-being. Building bridges of common narratives and friendship pays dividends.

Prayer

Great God in heaven, because of your mercy and grace we come into your presence. We bow down in awe and reverence before you, our Creator and Redeemer. We present our needs to you. Anoint me and my fellow prayer warriors with your Spirit of wisdom and understanding (Isaiah 11:1-2).

Muslims need to come to Jesus, know his person and work, and receive his grace. Help me declare the message of the cross with love, clarity and effectiveness. Give me courage to tell Muslims about the measureless love of God at Calvary. Touch their hearts with your grace. Fill their minds with your Word.

Open my eyes to see and understand your plans and purposes for Muslims. Help me follow the example of Jesus who went about teaching, preaching and healing (Matthew 9:35).

In his mighty name, I pray. Amen.

Promise

Foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him… these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer (Isaiah 56:6-7, NIV).

Persecuted Church

Friday, November 2, 2018

This Sunday is designated as a day of prayer for the persecuted Church worldwide. Christians are undergoing severe persecution in many parts of the world. It is estimated that during the 20th century, more Christians were martyred than in the prior 19 centuries combined! In Muslim countries, the followers of Christ are often mistreated, imprisoned and murdered.

The Islamic system does not allow freedom of religion. Religious, political and social authorities serve as guardians to protect that system. They have a long arm through the government and police, the mosque and sheikhs, work and family, friends and neighbors, and so forth. The Islamic system persecutes and disposes of people who leave Islam. Today untold numbers of our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering persecution.

Prayer

Sovereign God, just as Herod, Pilate and other leaders made plans against Jesus (Acts 4: 27), rulers and common people in today’s world are persecuting your children!

Brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering persecution do not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11). I may not know them personally, but I intercede for them. You taught us to “bear one another’s burdens,” so I want to stand alongside them. They are members of the Body of Christ; when one member suffers, the rest of the body suffers.

O God Almighty, be with those who are enduring a nightmare of mistreatment, beatings and abuse. I bring their plight to your attention, merciful Father. Visit them. Soothe their pain. Comfort their souls. Encourage their hearts. May your face shine upon them.

In prayer I ask you to wake up the Church around the world to pray for persecuted believers and come to their assistance. May Christians who occupy influential positions act to alleviate the pain of our suffering brothers and sisters. Help them, Father, not to remain silent. Move them to respond to the tragedy of the persecuted Church.

Promise

Your healing will quickly appear… the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. …you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. …your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD… will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail (Isaiah 58:8-11, NIV).