Ignatius of Antioch

Friday, December 2, 2022

Ignatius was born in Syria when it was a Roman province. As a young man, he put his faith in Christ and eventually became Bishop of Antioch. He and his friend Polycarp were disciples of the Apostle John, which means he was a Church leader in the generation right after the Apostles. Because of his faith in Christ, he was sentenced by the Roman authorities to die. On his way to Rome to be executed, he wrote a letter to the Roman church asking them not to try to rescue him from death. He said he was ready to give his life for the sake of the One who had died for him. He also told the believers there that the fierce wild beasts waiting for him were a blessing!

To close his letter, he said he knew what was good for him, because “finally I have started becoming a disciple to my Master…. It is better for me to die than to own kingdoms of this earth.”[1]

In Rome, they threw him to those wild beasts, and he was martyred.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you experienced persecution (John 5:16; 15:20). When you suffered, you left us an example, that we should follow in your steps (1 Peter 2:21).

Let Muslims who have come to Christ know that the troubles we encounter here are small and momentary. Yet, they achieve for us a glory beyond any comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17).

I pray for my Muslim friends who have decided to follow you. As you filled Ignatius of Antioch with faith and courage, give converts the determination to live and die for you. Help them realize that there is nothing too dear to sacrifice for you, you who gave your life to save us.

In your precious name. Amen.

Promise

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10, NIV).

Footnotes

[1] https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0107.htm

Imams to Come to Christ

Friday, November 25, 2022

An imam is a Muslim religious leader. He leads prayer in the mosque and performs other religious duties. An imam is also a community leader who gives counsel and direction to his people.

Jewish priests were among those who staunchly opposed Jesus and antagonized him. Would you expect that a large number of them would become believers in Jesus? Yet, according to the New Testament account, that is exactly what happened (Acts 6:7).

Let us believe together that through the mighty power of the Spirit of God, tens of thousands of Muslim imams will put their faith in Jesus Christ the Lord.

Prayer

Almighty God, my Heavenly Father, I come before you boldly because of the Lamb who died on the cross for me. I am forgiven because he shed his blood on my behalf. I bring to you the hundreds of thousands of imams around the world. They need the Lord of all in their lives. Only Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can penetrate their hearts and bring them into the blessed Kingdom.

Reveal to them Christ in his glory and love, compassion and power. Help them realize he is the Master, the Lord, and the Redeemer of all.

I thank you for the imams who have already placed their faith in Christ the Lord. Help them grow continually in the love of God and the knowledge of Christ. Give them wisdom by your Spirit. Protect them and their families. Illumine their hearts and minds to know how to lead their congregations into the light of Christ. Teach them your Word. Help them depend on you.

Promise

Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you (Jeremiah 1:18-19, NIV).

Soccer World Cup

In Qatar

Friday, November 18, 2022

Every four years the world community is swept up in the excitement of the soccer world cup games. Several nations send their top world-class players to participate and compete. All vie to get the world cup. Team after team is eliminated until the final winner gets the cup.

Normally the games run for a few weeks. This year the competition is scheduled to run from this week till the first week of December. Qatar won the bid to host this year’s games. This is the first time in history that the world cup games are held in a Muslim-majority country.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we bring to your attention the Emir (head of state) of Qatar, his family, and his government. Help them to crown Jesus as their Lord and Savior and walk in the fear of God. May their actions point to the glory of our Creator-Redeemer.

I pray for officials in various positions. May they heed the call of Christ, “Come to me… I will give you rest.” Help them undertake their duties with fairness, compassion, and honesty.

Bless all the players and team leaders who participate in the games. Help them turn their attention to God, seek to please him and give glory to Christ. Protect them from pride and arrogance.

Give Christians wisdom and boldness to speak the truth in love. Empower them with the Holy Spirit to make the most of every opportunity you give them to witness about Jesus and his love. Help Christian players realize that you are the source of their physical strength, stamina, and perseverance. May the winners always give you the glory. May the losers bring their pain and disappointment to you.

Promise

Come, see what the Lord has done, the astounding deeds he has wrought on earth (Psalm 46:8, REB).

Samuel Kaboo Morris

Friday, November 11, 2022

Samuel, a tribal prince in Liberia in the late 1800s, was captured by an enemy tribe when he was about 14 and held for ransom. His tribe could not pay the required ransom, so his captors tied him to a tree, beat him, and tortured him.

One night he saw a bright flash of light and heard a voice tell him, “Run, Kaboo, run!” The ropes that tied him to the tree fell off, and, though weak from hunger and torture, he started running. His captors were terrified by the light and hid. Samuel followed the light to the jungle, where for weeks he walked at night and slept during the day. Finally, he found a coffee plantation where he got a job. A young man there befriended him and took him to a Christian mission meeting. The white missionary and her team welcomed him. He had never heard of Christ, the Bible or Christianity, but gladly learned about Jesus and became a Christian. The missionary taught him all she knew about the Holy Spirit, but he wanted more and asked her who had taught her those things. She answered, “Brother Stephen Merritt,” who lived in New York, a faraway land beyond the ocean.

Samuel then boarded a cargo ship to New York, although he had no money and no address for Brother Merritt. During the five months of hard work and constant prayer on board, he won the captain and many sailors to Christ. When he disembarked in New York, he asked the first man he met if he knew Stephen Merritt. In that city of two million people, the man knew Merritt and took Samuel to his workplace. Samuel would go on to inspire many to give their lives to Jesus.

Prayer

Lord God, I feel like Muslims are tied to a tree and are being tortured by the enemy of their soul. Only you, Lord God Almighty, can set them free. Break their fetters by the power of Christ. Shine your light onto their path to run to Jesus to rescue them and set them free.

Give Muslims the same hunger for the Holy Spirit that Samuel had. Help them to have simple, genuine faith in you to guide and lead them and hold them by the hand in their life journey.

For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Promise

The LORD who appeared in the burning bush wants to give you the best the land can produce, and it will be a princely crown on Joseph’s head (Deuteronomy 33:16, CEV).

Shame

Friday, November 4, 2022

Shame is what a person feels when they are discovered doing something bad. When someone makes a mistake and is exposed, they become ashamed. So, shame is the lack of a covering for unacceptable behavior and actions.

For Muslims, shame is more serious and more demeaning than sin. If others find out about a person’s sin, the guilty party is considered punishable for the shame he or she caused rather than for the sin itself. Example: For people to notice that you lack honesty and integrity is more serious than your actual dishonesty!

In Islam, shame is also a dynamic way to force members of society to fall in line with the group’s behavioral norms and codes. Individuals are coerced into complying with what the group dictates.

Prayer

Lord God, I am reminded of how Adam and Eve were ashamed when they realized they were naked (Genesis 3:7). But you saw that which was more serious than their nudity—their disobedience. True, you provided them something to cover themselves with, but more importantly, you provided redemption from sin (Genesis 3:15).

I pray for Muslims to realize the seriousness of sin. Help them see that our hearts are sinful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

Reveal to them the wonderful gift of pardon and forgiveness in Christ, the only Lord and Savior. May they run to you repenting and believing. May they take pride in the cross and live a victorious life for Jesus.

I pray that you will make them completely holy and keep their entire spirit, soul and body blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Amen.

Promise

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces (Psalm 34:5, NLT).

Same God

Friday, October 28, 2022

This issue has been mind-boggling to experts for centuries! It seems to me that we cannot consider the subject adequately or answer correctly unless we define:

  • who God is,
  • what it means to be a Christian or a Muslim, and
  • what worship involves.

According to the Bible, God is love. He exists in three Persons, co-equal and co-eternal: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Further, God in his love became man and redeemed us at the cross.

Muslims reject those most basic biblical doctrines which are essential to true Christian faith. They believe that there is one God and that Muhammad is his apostle. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity as well as Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection.

Based on these differences in fundamental beliefs, it is not possible that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Yet, the following concepts about God are common to the two groups: He is eternal, he is one, he is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and he is the Judge of all. However, while there are similarities between the two concepts of God, they are by no means the same. There is a big difference between similarity and sameness.

Prayer

Jesus Christ, the visible image of the invisible God, we worship you. You existed before anything that was created. You are supreme over all creation (Colossians 1:15). Thank you for the cross. You died to redeem us and save us from sin. You rose again to raise us up to belong to you and serve you.

I pray for Muslims; may they realize who you are, believe in you and accept you as their Lord and Savior. Open their spiritual eyes to see the importance of what you did for all of us. Help them know that you died for all of us to give us life—rich, satisfying life (John 10:10).

May they come to you in humility, faith and repentance to acknowledge you as Lord over all lords and King over all kings.

All glory and power to you for ever and ever! Amen (1 Peter 4:11).

Promise

I shall show myself great and holy and make myself known to many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 38:23, REB).

Muslim Graves

Friday, October 21, 2022

Many years ago, Kamil Aietany, a Lebanese Muslim, put his faith in Jesus. He ministered Christ to other Muslims with a clear mind and a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Kamil’s father was very upset because of his son’s conversion. The family and other Muslim acquaintances made plans to end his life to get rid of the one who had betrayed Islam. After a meal one day, Kamil became extremely ill and died within hours. The brothers who had led him to Christ suggested an autopsy, but their request was refused. They also wanted to bury him in a Christian cemetery, but his body was quickly removed, and Kamil was buried the same day he died in a Muslim cemetery.

It does not really matter where a Christian believer is buried. When Christ comes from heaven with a loud command, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet call of God, the dead in Christ will rise (1 Thessalonians 4:16). I believe that many Muslims who gave their lives to Christ and became his followers like Kamil will rise from Muslim cemeteries because they placed their faith in Jesus.

Prayer

Our Father, Maker, and Redeemer, we worship and adore you. I ask you to fill me with a passion for the lost as you did for Kamil. Help me bring Muslims to your Kingdom.

In the mighty name of Jesus, I ask you to break the fanatic spirit of Islam. Help many Muslims this week seek your face and receive freedom and forgiveness through Christ our Lord. May they place their faith and trust in you and give themselves totally to the Savior, no matter what it costs. Prepare them to answer their persecutors and abusers. Strengthen them as they experience the cruelty and brutality of the society and authorities. Be with those who will give their lives for your sake and for your glory.

When we meet Jesus in the clouds, what a surprise awaits us! We will see believers in Jesus come from Muslim graves in triumph, glory and splendor.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Promise

We believe that Jesus died and rose again; so too will God bring those who died as Christians to be with Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:14, REB).

Antichrist Strongholds

Friday, October 14, 2022

We are surrounded by systems and strongholds that oppose Christ the Lord and King. There are social, political, economic, and legal structures and schemes that try to disparage God.

We are not for or against a particular political system. We are Bible-believers, Christ-worshippers; and we come from all walks of life and backgrounds. We seek the glory of God and his alone. We align ourselves with his Word.

We should not harbor enmity or hatred toward anyone. Even if they oppose us, deride our faith, doubt our God, and insult our Savior and King, they are not our enemies. The real enemy is Satan who manipulates them. Our war is against Satan and his strongholds.

Such people are poor humans who need love and compassion from us and mercy and forgiveness from God. We do not depend on human methods or material weapons, because this is spiritual warfare against satanic powers. Rather, our method is prayer, and that is all.

Prayer

O Lord our God, may you be praised for ever and ever! Why do the nations rage? Why do the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against you and against your Anointed One (Psalm 2:1-2).

Help us arm ourselves with the weapons you gave us in your Word: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:14-17).

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord derides them.…at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Psalm 2:4; Philippians 2:10-11).

I pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Promise

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV).

Atrocities

Friday, October 7, 2022

When we hear news and see pictures of torture and mass killings of fellow human beings, we are reminded of man’s depravity. Cruelty runs amuck throughout the entire history of humankind.

Today, Muslims are often a part of such atrocities. Sometimes they are the predators, while at other times they are the victims. Certainly terrorist acts committed by Muslims far outnumber those acts committed against them. We are not here to point a finger of blame or determine guilt and innocence—rather we are praying for God’s mercy on all parties. Yes, we pray for both sufferers and oppressors.

Prayer

Lord, we bring to you with sadness and pain the brutalities and monstrous horrors that people inflict upon each other even in our day. Have mercy on us, O God. We do not deserve your kindness and compassion; but in your grace, intervene today in the affairs of our ravaged, cruel world.

Lord God, I pray against the powers that cause people to be brutal and merciless towards one another. Defeat Satan who is a murderer and an instigator of killing. Let Christ with his mercy and compassion rule over people’s hearts and minds. Change hearts by the power of your Holy Spirit. May people be delivered from the enemy’s oppression, darkness and servitude.

Help us to be merciful and kind as we deal with one another. May we guard each other’s dignity and right to life.

Promise

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7).

Believers in Prison

Friday, September 30, 2022

It is estimated that at any given time, several thousand believers in Christ are imprisoned in Muslim countries because of their determination to live for Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Most of them experience harsh and inhumane conditions. They are often given no food or access to legal help. The police beat them to dissuade them from following Christ and extract information and confessions about other believers. Some die at the hands of the police.

Prayer

O God, give our Christian brothers and sisters in prison grace in their severe trials. Give them strength to stand firm in their faith and stay loyal to you. Give them courage to resist Satan and his temptations. Deliver them from evil.

May they be comforted by thinking about Jesus “who endured such hostility against himself from sinners” (Hebrews 12:3).

Visit them, O Lord, in a special way. Manifest to them the love and compassion of Christ. Soothe their physical wounds and emotional hurts. Comfort their hearts, and help them forgive and love their enemies.

Come down and reveal yourself to them as you did with Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace. Assure them that their families are in your care. If it is your will, you can deliver them miraculously as you did with Peter. Yet if some will be put to death like John the Baptist and James, give them grace and strength to stand firm to the end.

Lord God, convict their tormentors. May every one of these tormentors, persecutors, and blasphemers turn to you as Saul of Tarsus did.

Help us, the ones who live in relative freedom, to remember those in prison as if we were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if we ourselves were suffering (Hebrews 13:3).

To you, the God of all comfort, we owe our real freedom and our eternal life. In you we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Amen.

Promise

He will guard the footsteps of his loyal servants, while the wicked will be silenced in darkness (1 Samuel 2:9, REB).