God’s Presence

Friday, February 14, 2020

As the new year starts, we turn our attention to spending time in the secret place of the Most High. When we are still in God’s presence, he speaks to us, guides us, and fills us with his peace and joy. The noise that surrounds us often hinders our hearing from God. We need to put aside that turmoil and noise—television, radio, music, chatter, or simple busyness—to listen to him.

Elijah the prophet was able to hear the Almighty speak to him, not in the powerful windstorm, not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but only in God’s gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:11-12).

Quietness, the attitude of a learner, shows that we know we are needy and that we are ready to hear and follow.

Prayer

Most Holy God, I come into your presence because of what your Son, my Lord, did for me on the cross. He opened the way for a sinner such as I to enter into the secret chambers of Almighty God. Thank you. Teach me to sit still and hear your comforting, assuring, and guiding voice. Be the focus of my attention and the center of my hopes and ambitions.

As Mary understood when she sat at Jesus’ feet, help me realize that only one thing is necessary. And may I choose that one thing, knowing it is best and shall not be taken away from me (Luke 10:42).

In the midst of my daily chores and responsibilities, give me grace to be in continual communication with you, my Master and my King. I want to praise and adore you, speak life and blessing to those whom I encounter, and witness about your glory and love.

Father, I ask all this because of the merits of your righteous, holy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Promise

Wait quietly for the LORD, be patient till he comes; do not envy those who gain their ends or be vexed at their success (Psalm 37:7, REB).

Deborah

Friday, February 7, 2020

When there was a shortage of male leaders in Israel, God raised up Deborah! She was a prophetess and judge. The Lord prompted her to call Barak to lead Israel’s army to break off the yoke of their oppressors; but Barak was hesitant and refused to go unless Deborah went with him. So she herself took charge. She went into battle; and that day God gave Israel a decisive and historic victory over their enemies (Judges 4; and read the Song of Deborah in Judges 5).[1]

Prayer

Lord God, our Maker, thank you for always reminding us that you made us male and female. What brilliance! We are indeed privileged to be your creatures.

Thank you for using Deborah. What a blessing she must have been to her husband and family.

You put your Spirit upon her and made her a mighty leader. You blessed her and used her to inspire the general of Israel’s armies with courage!

O Lord, we need women like Deborah for the Muslim world: spiritual leaders (4:4, 6, 7, 14); civil and political leaders (4:4; 5:14-15); wives (4:4) and mothers (5:7) full of courage and resolve (4:9; 5:7); and women of the Word (5:1-31). Instead of the false notion that women are second-rate creatures made solely for man’s pleasure and for producing babies, you, O Lord, made them to be your instruments of blessing, nurture, stability and strength for the family and society.

Yes, Lord, we pray that through women like Deborah, you will cause the earth to tremble, the mountains to shake and the heavens to pour down blessings upon Muslim peoples and nations (5:4-5). In Jesus’ name.

Promise

“Lord, those who love you are like the sun rising in strength” (Judges 5:31, SAB).

Footnotes

[1] All the references on this page are from the book of Judges.

Ahithophel’s Plot

Friday, January 31, 2020

David was the rightful king of Israel whom God had chosen and anointed. Absalom, David’s son, conspired to usurp the throne from his father. He had some strong religious and political leaders on his side. One of those was Ahithophel. When David heard about that, he prayed that God would defeat Ahithophel’s scheme (2 Samuel 15:31).

Today, there are many who oppose the rule of God in our societies. We pray for their salvation and for the defeat of anti-God, anti-Christ schemes and plans.

The Bible declares that Satan is a usurper. He attempted to usurp God’s place (Isaiah 14:12-15). Christ defeated him by dying for our sins and rising from the dead. Satan’s final demise will take place when he is thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

Prayer

Victorious Lord and King, I pray, just like David, that you will bring to nothing the plans of the enemy. Confound all schemes aimed against you and your Kingdom (Job 5:12-13). As the enemy seeks to use people, I pray that those plots against you will be frustrated and fail.

Above all, I pray for the salvation of people whom the enemy manipulates. Lord, turn the tables so that you use those people to advance your kingdom and facilitate your rule over communities and nations.

You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words [of those who] ridicule the living God (2 Kings 19:15-16, NIV). In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Promise

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord…. no weapon forged against you will prevail (Proverbs 21:3; Isaiah 54:17, NIV).

“Cornelius” in the Muslim World

Friday, January 24, 2020

I believe that the Holy Spirit is preparing many Muslims to receive Christ. Even before Peter saw a vision that opened his heart to minister to Gentiles, an angel visited Cornelius and told him to send for Peter (Acts 10:3-5). Even before God told Elijah to go to Zarephath, he commanded a widow in that town to receive the prophet and feed him (1 Kings 17:8-9).

Peter arrived at a Gentile home that was ready and ripe to receive Christ! Elijah arrived at a Gentile home that was ready to acknowledge that Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives!

Many Muslims are receiving visions and dreams of and about Jesus. They are ready to accept the Gospel. That’s what happened with my friend Tariq. It also happened with Tawfik and Omar and many others.

Prayer

Almighty God, Maker of all people, you love us all. You planned redemption for all. You are the only true Lord and Savior. We worship and bless you. Help me to hear the cry of millions of Muslims begging us: “Come over… and help us” (Acts 16:9). Lead me to someone who is searching for the truth. Yes, send me, Lord, to a needy Muslim today. Prepare that person. May I speak to him or her words that will lead them to salvation (Acts 11:14). May I minister your Word and your grace and love to that soul. I pray that when I open my mouth, he or she will take note that “I have been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). I am asking this for your glory.

For the sake of Christ, our Redeemer, show them your favor, forgive their sins, heal their diseases, keep them from eternal death, and crown them with your mercy and love. Bring them into your Kingdom. Fill them with your Holy Spirit. May they in turn bring many souls to salvation.

In the precious name of your Son, my Lord Jesus. Amen.

Promise

The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him (Romans 15:12, NLT).

Mary

Friday, January 17, 2020

Mary, her sister Martha, and her brother Lazarus were close friends with Jesus. When Lazarus died, Jesus raised him from the dead. The sisters would never forget that powerful, divine act. The New Testament shows us that Mary was a true disciple, able to sit quietly at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words. She was hungry to be in his presence and feed her soul on his teaching. Read the story in Luke 10:38-42.

Moses realized the importance of waiting before the Lord. When he blessed the tribes of Israel just before he died, he said, “Truly he [God] loves his people and blesses his holy ones. They sit at his feet and receive his instruction” (Deuteronomy 33:3, REB).

Prayer

Lord God, I ask you to raise from among Muslim believers in Christ those who know how to enter into your presence and sit at your feet. Raise up a generation of leaders who are full of the Spirit, who continually long for a touch from you, and who can wait patiently at your throne. Mary received a special revelation in her inner being that Jesus would die on the cross. That is why she anointed him with oil for his burial, even before he died (John 12:7). Just as Mary received that light, I pray for many Muslim believers in Jesus to receive heavenly revelations from you.

As I pray for others to receive from you, I pray for myself. Help me realize that it is not a badge of honor to be very busy from morning to evening. In the mighty name of Jesus, I ask you to teach me to be prayerfully still in order to listen to you attentively. May I abandon myself in your presence to hear a word from you. Thank you. Amen.

Promise

You have led me to the path of life. You fill me with joy in your presence; I am always in sheer delight when I am with you (Psalm 16:11, SAB).

Martha

Friday, January 10, 2020

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, give us 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).

A New Beginning

For Muslims in the New Year

Friday, January 3, 2020

Muslims have been continually in the news in the past several years. They are sometimes portrayed as predators and other times as the underdog. Yet, whether they are the aggressors or the mistreated, they need to receive new life in Christ. God loves them and he sent Jesus to save them.

Through the media and news reports, I believe God is trying to draw the attention of his Church to intercede for Muslims. He wants the Church to wake up to her responsibilities and take the Gospel of Jesus to them. There are 1.6 billion Muslims, which is about one fifth of the world’s population. Let us dedicate a few minutes every day just to pray for them, knowing that God will answer our prayers.

Prayer

Lord Christ, our Savior and King, Muslims need you. Help them realize and acknowledge that need.

Have compassion on them; show them your mercy. I pray that, this year, many of them will turn their lives over to you and accept you. Help them surrender their hearts unreservedly to you. The time is ripe, O God, to bring multitudes of Muslims into the Kingdom of our Lord and Master. Give them a new beginning with you. May this be a new chapter in their lives, and may many of them personally mark this year as the beginning of eternal life in you.

Help them to experience your peace, hope and joy.

Promise

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor…. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (Isaiah 9:4; John 8:32, NIV).

Finish Well

Friday, December 27, 2019

We have come to the end of the year. How have we used the fleeting time? What does the coming year hold for us and how will it unfold? It is true that some of us will reach the end of our pilgrimage on earth and be called home. Others, however, will continue to have duties and responsibilities ahead of them.

Whether we finish our journey sooner or later, we need God’s grace to do well and end our pilgrimage worshipping at the throne of Christ.

Prayer

Glory and honor be to you, Almighty God, my loving Father! Blessed be your holy name. You have called me to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. What joy! What grace and mercy! What a privilege to finish this year as a child of the King, a servant of Christ—at peace with God, with people and with my conscience! You have carried me in your arms all along the way! Thank you.

When I finish my earthly pilgrimage, when the time comes for me to sign off and go to my eternal rest, I have one more request: Please, Lord, bring millions of people who still do not know you into your Kingdom. Through the power of the cross, free those oppressed by sin (Luke 4:18), rescue those who are perishing, and bring home the ones who are lost and wandering (Proverbs 24:11; Psalm 82:4). Open their spiritual eyes to see Jesus in his love and compassion. Help them put their trust in Christ, the Lord.

Equip your Church and give her the power to see the fulfillment of your plan of salvation for all people, including Muslims.

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13, NIV).

Amen.

Promise

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with your likeness when I awake. … God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Psalm 17:15; Revelation 7:17, SAB).

God’s Incarnation

Friday, December 20, 2019

One of the major cornerstones of biblical Christianity is the doctrine of the incarnation, that is, God became man. This is the miracle of miracles, the most majestic of all events! Yet Muslims absolutely reject it. They totally oppose the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ.

When Christians declare that Christ is God, Muslims misunderstand it to mean that Christians worship more than one God. To them, Jesus was only human and was a prophet like all other prophets.

Further, when followers of Christ say that Jesus is the Son of God, Muslims misunderstand that to mean that God, like humans, had relations with a woman and that Jesus is their son!

Prayer

Amazing love! How can it be, that the majestic God, Maker of heavens and earth and King of all the universe, should come in the form of a man, a servant, to be “Immanuel—God with us” to redeem us!

Father in heaven, grant Muslims a special measure of your grace to accept the wonderful truth that Jesus Christ is God become man. Help them realize that this does not degrade or humiliate you; rather, this is the pinnacle of majesty. It is ultimate love and compassion. It is utmost sacrifice.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Lord of all, you are rich, but you became poor for our sake. May this truth shine forth into the souls of many Muslims this week. May they embrace you in their hearts with joy and gladness. May the Child who was born in a manger, the Lion of Judah, be crowned King and Master over the House of Islam! In his precious name I pray. Amen.

Promise

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 1:14; 3:16, NIV).

Daniel

Friday, December 13, 2019

He was from the royal family in Judah. When the Babylonian king defeated Jerusalem, Daniel was taken to Babylon as a captive (Daniel 1:1-6)[1]. There, he served in the royal court (2:49). When the Persians took over that kingdom, he was promoted to a very high position, second only to the king (6:3).

Even in his high position, he continued to be faithful to the Lord. His courageous testimony about his God to various kings indicates his commitment and determination. As he studied the Scriptures carefully (9:2), he realized his need to humble himself and seek God’s face in prayer and fasting. He pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his people and country (9:3ff).

This week we pray that the Lord will give his Church in Muslim lands men and women of God like Daniel—courageous, committed to the Lord, and ready to shoulder their responsibility.

Prayer

Lord of all the universe, Master of history, God of the impossible, we dare to come into your throne room, because Jesus died and opened up the way for us.

O God of measureless grace, grant leaders like Daniel to your Church among Muslims. Teach them knowledge and good judgment as they learn your commands. Guide their steps by your Word. Keep them from being intimidated by the enemy or giving in to evil. Give them discernment and courage to challenge kings and rulers and bring honor to your name.

Fulfill your promise to them. Reveal your gracious plans to them.

Father, I stand in your holy presence and ask by faith, because Jesus my Lord sacrificed his blood for me. Amen.

Promise

The Lord… will grant you the desire of your heart, and fulfill all your purposes. We will shout, for you are victorious, and in the name of our God, we will raise our banner. God will grant you your every request (Psalm 20:4-5, SAB).

Footnotes

[1] All the references in this section are from the Book of Daniel.