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Honor Killings

Friday, July 23, 2021

Thousands of women and girls are murdered every year in Islamic honor killings. If a woman or girl behaves in a scandalous way, or even if she is a victim of sexual assault or rape, her Muslim family often sees it as their responsibility to get rid of her. The family believes that in this way they can have their “honor” restored! Usually a male family member has the duty to carry out the killing.

Studies show that family members normally do not accept any other solution in their effort to remove the “stain on their honor.” They often see bloodshed as the only way out. However, if the indiscretion of the woman or girl is kept hidden, it can be tolerated. As long as her actions do not bring dishonor to the family, the situation is covered up and does not ordinarily necessitate the honor punishment!

Prayer

Great Messiah, you went to the cross for us! We are all sinners, fallen and full of imperfections. We all commit shameful acts.

Yet, in your mercy, you died to save us and give us new life. You took upon yourself all our sin, shame and stain! Thank you. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for this free redemption. It is free for us, but it cost you your life, your blood. Thank you for your mercy.

I pray for those who commit such atrocities. Stop them in their tracks. Visit them in your mercy, love and grace. Change their hearts. Bring them into your Kingdom. May they repent and mend their ways. May they be willing to leave all at the foot of the cross, even their staunchly-held and well-guarded traditions.

I entreat you, Almighty God, loving Father, to help Muslims who put their faith in Jesus understand the power of your forgiveness and grace. Fill them with compassion and love. In the mighty name of Christ, amen.

Promise

When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch (Ezekiel 20:41, NLT).

Sacrifice Celebration

Friday, July 16, 2021

During this season, Muslims the world over celebrate Id al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice (other names are used in different areas). This celebration commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (Ishmael, according to Islam) in obedience to God’s command. But God provided a ram for Abraham to offer instead.

For the celebration, each family or group of families kills an animal, usually a sheep. Wherever Muslims are, whether in Mecca taking part in the hajj (pilgrimage) or anywhere else in the world, their religion requires them to slaughter an animal.

Prayer

Merciful and redeeming God, I ask you to open Muslims’ eyes during this season to see the Lamb you provided for the atonement of the sin of the world. May they open their hearts to Christ, who was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7), who died on the cross, and who rose again to set us free from sin and condemnation.

Help Muslims realize that Jesus agonized, suffered, and died for them so that they could have joy, peace, and life in him.

May they accept your provision to redeem them “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Let them hear his cry on the cross declaring, “It is finished.” Then they will see how pointless it is to try to gain God’s favor through the millions of sacrifices they slaughter during this season.

Compassionate Father, reveal to Muslims the Lamb of God who now sits upon the throne in heaven. Draw them by your love to join saints and angels in singing the heavenly chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12).

Promise

Where is the lamb for the burnt offering? . . . God himself will provide the lamb (Genesis 22:7-8, NIV). There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, REB).