Sacrifice Celebration

Friday, August 9, 2019

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).

Abigail

Friday, August 2, 2019

Nabal, a rich but foolish man, had a wise and deeply spiritual wife named Abigail. When David sent Nabal his greetings and asked for help from him, Nabal insulted David’s messengers and sent them away empty-handed. A servant told Abigail about the unhappy encounter. He knew that David would be furious and advised Abigail to do something to prevent certain disaster. Abigail lost no time. She took generous gifts to David and his men and interceded to stop them from taking vengeance on her husband Nabal and the entire household. Her courageous efforts warded off a calamity. (Read the story in 1 Samuel 25.)

There are many women in Muslim families who have accepted Christ quietly and live courageously for him. Some of them have told their husbands and families about their faith in Christ. We need to pray for them and ask God to multiply and protect such wise women.

Prayer

Glorious and Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we ask you to raise up thousands of Abigails in the Muslim world. By the power of your Spirit, cause many women to put their faith in Christ the Savior.

Give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know you better. Flood their hearts with the light of Christ, so they may understand the confident hope you give your children. May they realize that they are indeed your precious daughters, your glorious inheritance, and that you take pride in them!

Teach them your precepts so they can raise families who fear God and love Christ and live for him.

Turn them into mighty intercessors who prevail in prayer on behalf of their husbands, children and families.

In the precious name of Christ, our Lord who was raised from the dead, and who is sitting on his throne far above all government and authority, all power and dominion, and any title of sovereignty that commands allegiance, not only in this age but also in the age to come (Ephesians 1:21). Amen.

Promise

Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today…. Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request (1 Samuel 25: 32, 35, NIV).

Joy of Worshipping Christ

Friday, July 26, 2019

Nothing is like the joy of being in Christ’s presence, worshipping and praising him. Praise brings us closer to God. It lifts us up to higher levels of communion with our Maker and Savior. When we praise him, we enter into deeper spiritual experiences with him. When we praise God, others are drawn to Christ. Praise is a catalyst that opens up the way for miracles to happen.

Prayer

I pray for my Muslim friends to experience the inexpressible, glorious joy and peace that come only through faith in Christ. Lord God, do a miracle among Muslims this week. Open their hearts to praise the Lamb who was slain for the sin of the world and who now sits upon the throne of infinite majesty. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon them so that they will worship the One who is worthy to be adored, the true God, our Maker and Savior.

Blessed King of the Ages, help Muslims to behold the face of Jesus Christ. May they break forth into worship and praise, giving him glory, honor and power. May a new realization of your love for them bubble up in their hearts. May they experience holy exhilaration in your presence. May the joy of the Lord fill their beings. May their mouths be filled with praise and their tongues shout the glories of Christ.

Promise

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalms 103:1-5, NIV).

The Islamic System

Friday, July 19, 2019

Islam claims that it is the final and ultimate revelation from God to man. It maintains that the Quran came to abrogate and annul all divine books that preceded it. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last messenger sent from God.

Islam sees the Christian Church as an affront to its system and Christian world missions as an outrageous, audacious attack against the best of all religions. Simply, Muslims view Christian evangelization as a fanatic plot against the progress of Islam to convert the world to the religion of Muhammad.

Prayer

Almighty God, you love Muslims and care for them. That is why I pray for the Islamic system to open up to accept the claims of Christ, the hope of man and the only Savior and Lord. In the name of Jesus, I bind satanic powers that hold sway over this system and hinder its people from accepting Christ as the only Redeemer from sin.

I pray for the guardians of the Islamic system and for its perpetuators—government and private agencies in charge of supporting and promoting religion, Islamic associations, missions agencies, religious endowments, and various hierarchies. May many representatives of these agencies believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and take him as their refuge and shelter.

Promise

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NIV).

Islamic Banks

Friday, July 12, 2019

Islamic banks do business according to the guidelines of Islamic law (Sharia). That law does not allow for interest of any kind on loans. Further, investments are to be made only in goods considered permissible by Islam (halal). For example, they do not invest in alcohol or pork products or gambling.

Islamic banks have the same goal as all other banks: they want to make a profit. So, how do they do that? They change words used in the financial industry in order to avoid their religious prohibitions! Accordingly, instead of lending money and collecting interest on it, they “rent” the money and collect “rent” on it! Instead of collecting interest for credit card purchases, they collect “penalties” for not paying the full balance immediately!

When you plan to buy a home, you need a mortgage. If you go to an Islamic bank, the bank buys the house from the original owner and turns around and sells it to you at a profit. Then they let you pay the price in monthly installments!

Each Islamic bank has a board of Muslim scholars to make sure that transactions comply with the rules of religious law.

Prayer

O the depth of your riches and wisdom and knowledge, Lord God! How unsearchable are your judgments and how inscrutable your ways! (Romans 11:33).

You care for all peoples, tribes and nations. You know about the exponential growth of the Islamic financial industry around the world. You also know that fanatic fundamentalist beliefs initiated these banks, and that the incredible income from oil has nurtured and amplified their success.

I pray for the owners of these banks, for their employees and workers, for shareholders, investors and borrowers. Bless them by leading them to the knowledge of Christ the Lord and Redeemer of all humankind. May they confess Jesus as their Lord and King. Help them dedicate their lives and talents to the cause of the Gospel of grace and love.

I pray for the scholars on the Sharia boards of these banks. Bring them to Calvary to see Jesus who gave himself to save humans from sin. In his name I pray. Amen.

Promise

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8, NLT).

The Black Stone

In Mecca

Friday, July 5, 2019

Embedded in the eastern wall of the Kaaba in Mecca is a black stone that is about ten inches across and twelve inches high in a silver frame. This black stone was worshipped by pre-Islamic Meccans for many generations. Muslims believe that it descended from heaven. It is very possibly a meteorite. In some cultures, the worship of meteorites was not unusual. It seems that the Ephesians in Paul’s time also believed that a meteorite (the goddess Artemis) had come to them from heaven (Acts 19:23-36).

When Muhammad conquered Mecca and took over the Kaaba, he destroyed all the stones and gods that his compatriots had been worshipping for centuries, except for the Black Stone which he kept.

Muslims believe that when the Black Stone came down from heaven it was white, but over time, it became black because it absorbed the sins of the pilgrims who touched it. Actually, this change is consistent with known meteorites, which are white, but change colors over time as they oxidize.

Today, as Muslim pilgrims go around the Kaaba, they try to touch or kiss the Black Stone if they are able to get close to it. This veneration borders on worship.

Prayer

Holy God, the only One worthy to be worshipped and adored, Muslims refuse to listen to your Word; they stubbornly follow their own ideas and attempt to touch a stone to receive remission of sins! They have not accepted God’s way to receive his approval, and they try to set up their own way to get it (Romans 10:3; Jeremiah 13:10).

I cry out to you; pour out your mercy on them this week. Forgive them for this heinous sin, and help them understand that they can receive forgiveness only through the cross of your Holy Son. Yes, only by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish or defect, are we saved (I Peter 1:18-20).

Forgive Muslims for rejecting the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20), to believe in a lifeless black stone. For them, Jesus is a “stumbling block, a rock of offense” (Isaiah 8:14), while they build their hopes on a legend.

May they come to Jesus to receive pardon, healing and wholeness. May they set their eyes on him alone, the source and goal of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). May they become living stones in your majestic edifice of believers. In Christ’s precious name. Amen.

Promise

The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7, NIV).

Live By the Spirit

Friday, June 28, 2019

Only the Spirit of the living God can enable Muslims who place their faith in Christ live a victorious life. This dependence on the Holy Spirit is totally new for people who have spent their whole life trying to conform to the law, which in this case is the Islamic law. Islam, through rules and laws, regulates the details of everyday life, from how to pray, to how to eat, and even how to go to the bathroom. There are also rules that cover marital relations.

Prayer

Almighty God, you who liberate people from sin and from slavery to the law, I give you glory for your love and compassion. You knew, Lord, that people would not be able to please you by following rules and regulations. So you set believers free from all these through Christ’s death on the cross. What a joy it is to live for you! It is a victorious life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I pray that Muslims will turn to you, the fountain of life-giving water. You satisfy the thirsty, you fill the hungry with good things. You break the chains of enslavement, you shatter bronze gates, you cut through iron bars (Jeremiah 2:13; Psalm 107:9, 14, 16).

I pray for Muslims who have committed their life to you through Christ your Son. In the past, they tried to please you by doing good deeds, following religious precepts and obeying commands. But now, help them live in the Spirit and depend on you for victory rather than on the “works of the flesh.” May they live by faith in the Son of God, who loved them and gave his life for them (Galatians 2:20).

Help them hold on to Christ who has set them free. May they stand strong in that freedom and never again become slaves to the law (Galatians 5:1).

In the precious name of the One who died for us. Amen.

Promise

Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature…. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law (Galatians 5: 16, 18, NIV).