Martha

Friday, September 17, 2021

Martha was a loyal follower of Jesus (Luke 10:40; John 11:21-22, 27). When Jesus was in the area where Martha lived, she decided to throw a party for him and his disciples. She wanted to honor him. As she got busy with the preparations, she felt overwhelmed with the many chores that had to be done. So she rushed to the living room where Jesus and others were gathered and expressed her concern and frustration. She even blamed Jesus for not telling her sister Mary to have the courtesy to help in the kitchen. Jesus pointed out to Martha that she was concerned and troubled about many things. He added that Mary, by sitting at his feet to hear his words, had made the right choice. Martha was busy serving Jesus a meal, and that was good. But she had become distracted and troubled in her ministry to Jesus, and that was a problem. Read the story in Luke 10:38-42.

Prayer

Almighty God, our loving Heavenly Father, I pray for your church in Muslim societies. Give her men and women like Martha with a keen sense of responsibility and a readiness to serve Jesus and honor him.

Protect her leaders and members from being plagued with restless thoughts, worry and other distractions. Teach them, your servants who have come to Jesus from Islam, not to let anxiety and concern rule over them in what they are doing.

I know, Lord, that you value our service to you. At the same time, you do not want us to get troubled and distracted because of the ministry or other responsibilities. Protect us all from anxiety and agitation in our work for you. O Lord, may we have Mary’s attitude and the ability to sit quietly in your presence, read your Word, pray and hear you speak to us. Amen.

Promise

Come to me… and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Martyrs of the Cross

Friday, September 10, 2021

Fatima al-Mutairi lived in Buraydah, Saudi Arabia. Although she was raised in a Muslim family of influence and power, she was searching for meaning in life. She read the New Testament on the internet and gave her life to Christ. She started writing poetry to praise the Savior. When her brother found out, he beat her with intense cruelty, broke her bones, cut off her tongue, then dragged her outside the house and burned her alive. She was 26 years old.

Fatima’s story, with different details, is repeated multiple times each day. Every year, close to 100,000 people are martyred for being Christian.[1]

No price is too high to pay for the sake of him who gave his life to redeem and save us.

Prayer

Most high and majestic God over all the earth (Psalm 83:18), may you be exalted and praised for ever and ever. We thank you for people like Fatima. Only you can give such courage and determination. It is your Holy Spirit who worked in Fatima’s heart to bring her to you and sustain her in the face of horrific and ghastly abuse.

I pray for my Muslim friends who have decided to follow Jesus. They know the price is very high. Threats to their lives are indeed a reality. Strengthen them. Visit them. Set their hearts on fire so they can remain loyal to you, obedient to your Word, and willing to sacrifice all for the sake of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I pray for all who are in authority in Muslim-majority countries. Change their hearts. Bring them to the cross. Change them into vessels of honor and righteousness. Help them bring many of their fellow citizens to your Kingdom.

All hail to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One True God, amen.

Promise

The Lord is my light and my salvation. I will fear no one (Psalm 27:1).

(These were Fatima’s final words before she was brutally killed.)

Footnotes

[1] Statistics of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.

“Jonahs”

Friday, September 3, 2021

God commissioned Jonah to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-2). Jonah did not like his assignment because the Ninevites were wicked. He knew that, later on, they would defeat and torture his own people, the children of Israel, in ways unheard of. As a prophet, Jonah saw those tragedies coming. He did not want the Ninevites to repent or to receive God’s mercy!

He thought he could escape from his duty. But after the Lord brought him back to his senses, he went to Nineveh and preached God’s message. The entire nation repented! Read the book of Jonah.

It is not easy to convince Christians to wish Muslims well and offer them the message of Christ’s grace. Yet, we trust God to change our hearts and give us courage to carry out his divine plan for the lost.

Prayer

You alone are God of all the peoples of the earth. You are our Maker and Redeemer. You have other sheep that are not in this flock (John 10:16). Your mercy is more universal than we sometimes think. Your love and compassion extend to Muslims also! You are interested in their well-being. You want the blind to see, the lost to be found and the dead to come back to life.

We pray for grace that we, the followers of Jesus your Son, will have kind hearts toward Muslims. They are lost because they are away from Christ, the only Savior.

We repent because we have failed you. Just as you were patient with Jonah and gave him a second chance to obey you, give us another chance, Lord God.

Help us go to Muslims with love, compassion and courage, empowered by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Promise

“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT).