Obadiah

Friday, October 16, 2020

Obadiah’s name means “worshipper of the Lord God.” He was in charge of the king’s palace, possibly equivalent to a chief of staff today. Those were ominous times. The nation had gone away from God. The king and queen promoted the worship of false gods. The king “did more to provoke the anger of the Lord… than all the kings of Israel before him” (1 Kings 16:33).

In spite of all that, Obadiah did not allow his high position in the king’s palace to corrupt him. Harsh circumstances did not weaken his resolve or hinder his service to God. When the queen persecuted and killed God’s prophets, Obadiah took 100 of them, hid them, and supplied them with food and water (1 Kings 18:3-4). During all that time, he remained very humble (1 Kings 18:7).

Prayer

Father in heaven, blessed be your glorious name. You alone are our God and Master. Worship is due to you alone.

We bring to you the vast world of Islam. What a responsibility you have given us! What honor! We bow down before your majesty to intercede for Muslims. Only you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, can bring them by the millions to your Kingdom. We pray there will be many believers from Muslim backgrounds as devoted to you as Obadiah was.

Lord, let them experience the power of lives transformed by the cross of Christ. During times of persecution and testing, may they have boldness to serve the community of the faithful. Give them courage and resolve to remain true and loyal to Jesus and practice their faith at great risk to their status and even to their life.

In the precious name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Promise

He is not afraid of bad news. His heart remains secure, full of confidence in the Lord (Psalm 112:7, GW).

Jesus Christ the Son of God

Friday, October 9, 2020

Muslims insist that to say Jesus is God’s Son is a blasphemy, because God does not marry or produce children.

Yet, that is not what we believe, nor is it what the Bible teaches.

Jesus Christ is God’s Son. That means he is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). He is the image of the invisible God…. all God’s fullness dwells in him (Colossians 1:15, 19). He is equal to God (John 5:17-18). The Father committed everything to him (Matthew 11:27).

If God chooses to come down to earth as a man to redeem us from sin, who am I, a mere limited creature, to question the Creator or object to what he does?

Prayer

Son of God, Almighty Savior, you are before all things and in you all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). You sustain the universe by your powerful word. Angels worship you, because you are God (Hebrews 1:3, 6). Thank you for accepting me and bringing me to your Kingdom.

Have mercy on Muslims, Lord. Help them accept your wisdom and yield to your ways. May they acknowledge you, as King, Messiah, chosen and anointed Savior and Lord.

Grant that in the lives of many Muslims this week you will be declared with power to be the Son of God by your resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).

Bring Muslims to the cross and transform their lives by your Holy Spirit to be children of the King of kings.

In your mighty name I pray. Amen.

Promise

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (John 3:36, NIV).

Francis of Assisi

Friday, October 2, 2020

Francis was born in Italy in 1180 to a rich family. His father was a cloth merchant. In his youth Francis lived in luxury and dissipation. But captivity in war and illness caused the young man to realize that life was empty and fleeting. So, he decided to heed what Jesus said to the rich man, “Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Luke 18:22, NLT).

Francis consequently donned a poor man’s clothing. He founded three orders of friars, and later traveled to the Holy Land, where he witnessed and preached with great courage to the Muslim ruler Sultan al-Kamil.

Prayer

Holy, holy, holy are you Lord God Almighty, the One who always was, and who is, and who is still to come! (Revelation 4:8). Thank you for the life and legacy of this great man. I ask you to give me the grace and sensitivity to hear your voice speaking to me. I pray for courage to obey and follow your direction.

When Francis heeded your Word, he abandoned earthly comfort and gave himself totally to your service. Help me, Lord, to honor you above all worldly attachments.

When Francis witnessed the bloodshed of the Crusades, he realized that Muslims can be won to Christ only by the power of the Word of God. Help me too, O Lord, to understand the power and importance of your Word and use it to win Muslims to Christ.

As I close this supplication, I draw on one of Francis’s prayers:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy. Amen.

Promise

When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you safely out of Egypt, is with you! (Deuteronomy 20:1, NLT).

Person of Jesus

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Quran says that Jesus was born of a virgin (Surah 19:16-21). The Muslim holy book and Islamic traditions ascribe various miracles to Jesus, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, and so forth. However, the Quran states that he was no more than a human being, a prophet like all other prophets (Surah 5:72, 75, 116). Islam thinks that Christians try to elevate Jesus to be God. Yet, the reality is that Jesus is not a man whom we are trying to elevate to be God; rather, he is God who humbled himself and became man.

Islam refuses to ascribe deity to Christ and rejects the doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God.

Prayer

Eternal Christ, Master and Lord of all the universe and of all history, I pray for my Muslim friends today. I ask you to illumine their hearts and minds so they can grasp these divine, spiritual truths that are hard for them to understand. Without your Spirit, they cannot understand them or accept them (1 Corinthians 2:14). So, I am asking you now to draw them to yourself by your Spirit.

O Jesus, our Savior and Lord, come in your love and compassion and reveal yourself to many Muslims this week. May they be saved by your divine power and become participants in the Kingdom of God. May they experience your love and care. May they acknowledge you as the Beginning and the End, the Son of God, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.

Promise

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5, NIV).

The Work of Jesus

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Quran and Muslim traditions ascribe to Jesus miraculous acts and powers that are shared by no one else. However, Muslims do not believe that he died on the cross or that he has the power to redeem or save humans.

Muslims believe that Jesus came as a prophet to the Jews and that he was a religious reformer. They believe also that he will come again at the end of time as a Muslim ruler.

Prayer

Lord Christ, compassionate Master, great Shepherd of the flock, open the spiritual eyes of my Muslim friends to realize that fallen, sinful humans are in dire need of outside help—divine help. May they understand that only the redemptive work of God’s Son can save us from sin and from the power of Satan.

Jesus Christ, majestic Creator of all, yet our humble Redeemer who died on the cross, reveal to Muslims the meaning of your sacrifice for them. Show them that you are coming again to judge the living and the dead, and that you are the only hope of humankind.

O great Savior of the world, save many Muslims this week. Eternal King, open their hearts to love you; and open their minds to receive and grasp your powerful Gospel. Work in their wills to acknowledge your claims, that you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

Promise

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 3:16, NIV).

Sense of Emptiness

Friday, September 11, 2020

In Muslim Lives

Parts of the Muslim creed and beliefs look very spiritual. However, upon careful analysis, one realizes that they have serious flaws. The entire Islamic system is like an edifice that looks very imposing. But on close examination, one finds only a fragile shell that will crumble at the first storm.

Perhaps that is the reason many Muslims sense such personal emptiness. They feel unfulfilled, even lost. They do not know the joy of having their sins forgiven, so their future is bleak with no assurance of eternal life. They believe God is unpredictable; and they do not see him as a Father.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, thank you for your grace and forgiveness. I am praying for Muslims, not because I think I am greater or better than they are. I am very aware of my fallen, sinful nature. I am unworthy and unholy. Without your love and mercy, I would have no chance. But in your grace, you assure me of your forgiveness, salvation, and victory. Yes, that is the Gospel of Christ! Thank you.

Now I pray for my Muslim friends. They are empty because they do not know you, God of grace, God of love. Fill the void in their lives with Christ, the only Savior. Their hearts are thirsty. You alone can quench that thirst and satisfy their hunger. No one else and nothing else can fill the void in their hearts. Religion, philosophy, silver or gold can never grant them true joy. Only you can do that. Come and fill them with your presence.

O God, may they experience personally the deep and unfathomable love of Christ. Father in heaven, make them anew and whole, and give them the abundance of life and power that you have in store for your children (Ephesians 3:19). In the glorious and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Promise

[They] search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs (Isaiah 41:17-18, NIV).

Searching for the Truth

Friday, September 4, 2020

Many Muslims are not satisfied with the religious teachings and traditions they have known all their lives. They try to find a solution to their problems, relief in their dilemmas, and in general, discover the meaning of life. Some examine Christianity by reading the Bible and Christian literature, listening to radio broadcasts, watching satellite Christian television, and talking to Christians.

Most of those who consider giving their lives to Christ are bulllied by pressures, threats, and mistreatment from family, friends, colleagues, supervisors, religious authorities, and police.

Prayer

O Lord God, you know the hearts of all people. We pray for Muslims who are searching for the truth. They have the courage to admit even to themselves that they feel unfulfilled. Show them, O Savior divine, that they need Christ. May they know him and experience his love.

I come against the spirits of darkness which use people to threaten those who seek you. Defeat them, O God, in the name of Jesus.

I pray today that the light of the Gospel and the glory of Jesus will shine in the hearts of many Muslims who are searching for the truth. May they commit themselves totally to Christ and be filled with courage, even to the point of being willing to sacrifice their lives for his sake.

Promise

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you . . . and will bring you back from captivity (Jeremiah 29:13-14, NIV).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NIV).

Rahab

Friday, August 28, 2020

Rahab had led an immoral life: she had been a prostitute (Joshua 2:1). But at a turning point, she believed in the Lord and decided to follow him. She was made right with God by faith when she welcomed the spies (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). Her confidence in the Lord, the true God, and her courageous obedience to him secured a brand-new life for her and her family (Joshua 2:9; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).

As a result, Rahab occupies a magnificent place in history! Her heroic faith in God and her victorious personal transformation are what we want for Muslim women. It is interesting to note that she also had real knowledge of religion, history, geography, military tactics, and so forth (Joshua 2:9-14).

Rahab went on to become the mother of Boaz (Matthew 1:5). Thus, she became part of the genealogy of King David (Matthew 1:5-6), and consequently, of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 1:5,16)!

Prayer

How amazing is your grace, Lord God! Your forgiveness is beyond our ability to fathom. You choose to work with people that society looks down on. Even someone as disgraced as Rahab is precious in your sight! So, we pray for Muslim women who are trapped in prostitution. Have mercy on them and bring them out of that dark prison to the freedom and purity of Christ.

Bless Muslim women who come to you. Grant them courage and tenacity. May they reveal the “scarlet cord” (the blood of Jesus) so effectively in their lives that their families too will receive forgiveness and eternal life.

Deliver them from the demeaning notion that women are merely pleasure-providers and baby-producers! You made them to be jewels of great value. May millions of precious Muslim women be transformed by the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Promise

Another example is Rahab the prostitute, for she was shown to be right with God by her actions. She hid the two spies and helped them to escape…. Should I add more examples? (James 2:25; Hebrews 11:32, SAB).

Yes, Lord, give us more examples. We want to see Muslim women coming to Christ!

The Islamic New Year

Friday, August 21, 2020

Muslims use the Hijra calendar. The word Hijra refers to Muhammad’s escape from the Arabs in Mecca who were trying to kill him. Under cover he fled to Medina where the Jews welcomed him. The Hijra calendar counts years starting with that event. It follows the lunar system, so a year has only 354 days.

Muslims the world over use this calendar to date their religious celebrations and past historic events. It is an important community tie that binds them together.

During this time, the Muslim New Year begins.

Prayer

God of history, of past, present and future, I bring Muslims to you as they celebrate the beginning of their new year. During this time of rejoicing and festivities, show them, O God, that they can find everlasting joy in Christ the Lord.

While they are commemorating the escape of Muhammad from his enemies, bring to their attention the fact that Jesus Christ, who could have escaped from his enemies, refused to do so. He was determined to accomplish what he had come for: he went to the cross, where he suffered and died to redeem us.

Change the hearts of many Muslims this week, and transform them by the power of the Holy Spirit to become new creatures in Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Promise

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment (Job 36:11, NIV).

Sharif Study Bible

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Sharif Study Bible seeks to help Muslims who come to Christ become grounded in the Word. It contains articles, notes, illustrations, maps, word studies and many other study helps. It does the following:

  • Provides helpful cultural, historical and geographical information;
  • Presents homiletical notes that help preachers and teachers;
  • Challenges readers with applications and questions for a deeper life in Christ;
  • Answers the questions Muslims ask as they are exposed to God’s eternal Word.

Work on the Sharif Study Bible has been in progress for some time, and we hope to publish it soon.

Prayer

Lord God our Heavenly Father, throughout history you spoke many times through the prophets. Finally, you spoke to us by your holy Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1). We thank you.

Your Word is vital to our lives as believers. So, we pray for the completion of the Sharif Study Bible. Help all who work on it to be sensitive to your Spirit, handle correctly the Word of God, and declare the truth of the Gospel with integrity.

When this volume is published, may it help all those who work with Muslims and enable them to declare your truth with power, simplicity and clarity. May it be a tool to bring millions of Muslims to the Kingdom of our Savior. Help Muslim believers in Christ understand and value your Word and find life, joy, and peace through it. Teach them to share your Word with others—”Share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared” (Nehemiah 8:10).

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Promise

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach the truth, to rebuke error, to correct wrong, and to guide to righteousness, so that a person who belongs to God will be prepared and equipped to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, SAB).