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).

Hisbah

Friday, July 9, 2021

Have you wondered why some Muslim fathers, brothers or cousins are ready to kill a woman in their own family? Here is the answer: The concept of hisbah in Islam teaches that God has appointed Muslim men to be judges over their family, friends and neighbors in order to insure that everyone adheres to the religion of Islam and complies with all its requirements (Quran 9:70; also 3:103). It is the duty of an entire Islamic community as well as its individual members to live out this assignment.

Hisbah is an Arabic word that relates to accountability and reckoning. In hisbah, a person interferes in another individual’s personal life and forces him or her to adopt certain beliefs and behavior under penalty of death. Muhammad said: “Whoever sees an evil must change it with his hand [by using force]. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue [through teaching]. If he still cannot do so, then with his heart [through love and compassion], which is the weakest form of faith” (Hadith).

There are four elements in hisbah: the person who errs, the error, the person who performs the judgment, and the act of judgment. The many components of this procedure include the use of advice, harsh words, threats, isolation, beatings, physical violence, torture and finally killing (compare Romans 2:1).

Prayer

Merciful and compassionate Father, you are long-suffering and full of love and grace. We are sinners. Without your grace, we would all be condemned and lost. Without the cross of Jesus, we would all be miserable and wretched!

Your Word tells us: “God alone… is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12, NLT).

So today, I am bringing to you a people who see themselves as judges over others. Help them realize how you see them, and may they experience your free grace. Forgive them for their sin. Open their eyes so they can see and their ears so they can hear that God has come in Christ. He has visited us to redeem us and help us all.

Shower your blessings upon Muslims of every walk, of every conviction, and in every society. Show them your face. Bring them to the cross. Fill them with your Holy Spirit. O Great Shepherd of the sheep, make them lie down in green pastures, lead them beside quiet waters and guide them in paths of righteousness. For your name’s sake, amen.

Promise

The LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us (Isaiah 33: 22, NIV).

“Highway” for Muslims

Friday, July 2, 2021

Isaiah, prompted by the Holy Spirit, told his people to prepare for a great ingathering of nations to come and be part of God’s own possession. He said, “Go out… build a highway, remove the stones, raise a banner for the nations” (Isaiah 62:10). We want to use this verse to appeal to Christians to prepare the way for Muslims to come to Christ.

A few decades ago people were saying it was impossible to win Muslims to Christ. Now, in almost every country, we are seeing Muslims come to the Lord, one by one and two by two. Often this is the “Nicodemus” church, the secret church, the persecuted church. But one day, and I believe it will be very soon, Muslim converts will come in large numbers—by the tens of thousands, to take their place in the Kingdom.

Prayer

Lord God, our Maker, Savior and Father, I thank You for giving me this privilege to intercede on behalf of Muslims. We have been praying for them for many years. I believe you are about to answer our prayers and do something in our midst that will be amazing beyond all imagination. You will help us plant churches in every Muslim group and society around the world. By faith, I am full of hope and anticipation that you will do great things among Muslims.

Help us prepare the “highway” for them to come, Lord God Almighty. Give us the wisdom to be ready. May we never squander great opportunities to receive and disciple Muslims. Remove the veil from our eyes to see doors you are opening for us. Energize us to take up this challenge and be prepared to receive Muslims into the fold. Protect us from wasting this great harvest of precious souls. And as a prayer-warrior of old prayed: “Through door, through window, or through roof, let us, breaking through all impediments, labor to bring poor souls to Jesus. O Lord, make us quick to suggest methods of reaching thy poor sin-sick ones, and bold to carry them out at all hazards.”[1] In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Promise

The right hand of the Lord does works of power. The right hand of the Lord is lifted up… The days are coming, declares the LORD, when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills (Psalm 118:16; Amos 9:13).

Footnotes

[1] C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Daily Readings, September 7.