Bless Muslims We Meet

Friday, October 20, 2017

What is the ultimate blessing according to the Bible? The greatest blessing is to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! What would happen if we determined to pray for and bless every Muslim we see today as well as every other human being? We believe God answers prayer; so we can trust that many of those we meet and pray for will one day come to Christ. Our Master commanded us to bless and not to curse. Even if I do not approve of some people’s behavior, when I pray for them and bless them, I serve as a vessel of honor to the glory of Christ. I may not know them personally, but I can pray for them. Even if they belong to a group that insults, curses and persecutes believers in Christ (Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14), Jesus grants me the power to bless.

Prayer

Lord, may I not sin against you by failing to pray for and bless the people I meet today (1 Samuel 12:23). Make me sensitive to the promptings of your Spirit, Lord God Almighty. Help me to bless Muslims. I pray that they will trust him and yield their lives to him. May Christ make his home in their hearts. May their roots grow down deep into God’s love through Jesus Christ. Help them experience and understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. Dear Father, make them complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from you (Ephesians 3:14-19).

You called us to be blessed and to bless others (Genesis 12:2; Galatians 3:7-8; Ephesians 1:3). One day I will finally finish my work on earth and appear before the throne of God in heaven. As I stand there worshipping with other believers from every tribe and nation and tongue, may I be amazed to see multitudes of former Muslims adoring Jesus in heaven! Amen.

Promise

Pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it (1 Peter 3:9, NLT).

Sharif Study Bible

Friday, October 13, 2017

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 it will be published 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 preparation 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, empowering 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 how 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).

Sharif Bible

Friday, October 6, 2017

After twenty-five years of hard work, the Sharif Bible has been published in Arabic for Muslims. For the first time in history, the Bible has been translated specifically for Arab Muslims. It speaks to them meaningfully and naturally. It is a stirring, vibrant translation that offers the Holy Scriptures in a way that causes Muslims to feel at ease with its words, names, expressions, style, and format. They acknowledge that what they read is written for them.

At the same time, the Sharif Bible translates literally such expressions as “Son of God” (for Jesus); “God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”; and God is our “heavenly Father.”

The response from Muslims has been overwhelming. Also, Christian cross-cultural workers from various organizations and groups are sounding upbeat reactions and reporting enthusiastic responses to the Sharif Bible. Work is now underway to complete the Sharif Study Bible in Arabic, an important tool for leaders and pastors of new believers from Muslim backgrounds.

Prayer

Almighty God, I thank you for the Bible, your written revelation to humankind—so simple and clear. And thank you for the Sharif Bible translation that presents your Word to Muslims in the same way—simply and clearly. I pray that many Muslims around the Arab world will receive it with joy and open hearts. Break down the barriers the enemy has raised to keep it from reaching Muslims. Change the hearts and attitudes of those who seek to ban your powerful Word.

I pray that you will open doors for large distributions of the Sharif Bible in every city, town and village in North Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf. You are able to provide funds for such a big dream.

May people who receive the Sharif Bible read it and be changed, comforted and built up in their faith. Bring a great harvest of believers from Muslim backgrounds into the Kingdom. For your glory, I pray in Jesus’ name and by your Spirit. Amen.

Promise

When I came on your words I devoured them; they were joy and happiness to me (Jeremiah 15:16, REB).

Church in the West

Friday, September 29, 2017

In the past few decades, millions of Muslims have migrated to the West. Some seek jobs, others pursue freedom and a better living, and still others hope to conquer the West by converting Westerners to Islam or by sheer reproduction and numerical growth! I personally take this migration to mean the Lord wants to help the Church win large numbers of Muslims to Christ by bringing them to her doorstep.

On the other hand, as I travel among churches in various Western countries, I am dismayed at people’s lack of accurate information regarding Islam and Muslims. An average Christian believer does not know how to relate to Muslims or how to share the Gospel with them. If Christ commanded us to bring in the lost, it is our duty to invite them to believe in Jesus and receive forgiveness and eternal life through him.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, send a Holy Spirit-empowered awakening to your Church in the West. Help her to take up her responsibility to bring Muslims to Christ. Arouse her, O God, to realize the utter spiritual destitution of Muslims. They need you. You are their only hope.

Call leaders who can educate your people in how to share the Gospel with Muslims. Burden their hearts to reach these needy millions for whom Christ died. Move with power upon pastors and believers to let their light shine upon Muslims.

Mobilize Christians to go to Muslim enclaves and communities to help save the lost and rescue the dying. Fill your children with courage to open their mouths and witness for you. Speak through them and draw people to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Promise

Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor… I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow (Isaiah 52:1; Jeremiah 31:13).

Believers in High Places

Friday, September 22, 2017

To hold a high government position and be a follower of the true God is often difficult. Nehemiah and Daniel held on to their faith and their positions honorably and successfully. Obadiah risked his status and even his life to practice his faith. He was in charge of the royal palace under King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel. The king and queen lived evil lives, worshipped foreign gods and persecuted those who worshipped the Lord. Queen Jezebel was determined to kill the prophets of the Lord. Obadiah was a devout secret believer in the Lord and faithfully worshipped him. He took 100 of the Lord’s prophets, hid them in two caves and gave them food and water (1 Kings 18:3-13).

While Paul was a prisoner in Rome for the sake of the Gospel, he said that the whole palace guard knew that he was in prison for preaching Christ. He also said that there were believers in the king’s palace and sent greetings from them to believers on the outside! (Philippians 1:13; 4:22).

Today there are followers of Jesus Christ who hold high government positions, and some of them are converts from Islam.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise your holy name and rejoice for every person in a high position who worships Christ. Help each one to lean on you more and more.

May they consider nothing too dear to sacrifice for the glory of your name, not even their lives. May they be effective in their service to their superiors and to their countries.

Fill their minds with clean thoughts and their hearts with words of praise and thanksgiving to God. Open their mouths to proclaim Christ with love.

Help them draw strength and honor from you. I pray that everyone they meet will recognize that they belong to Jesus (Acts 4:13).

May they never equate success with righteousness, or position with God’s favor!

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Promise

Don’t be afraid to speak out! Don’t be silent!18.10 GW Acts 18. I’m with you. No one will attack you or harm you. I have many people in this city (Acts 18:9-10, GW).

Samaritan Woman

Friday, September 15, 2017

People around us are thirsty. The only water that will truly satisfy them is spiritual.

One day a woman from Samaria came to the well to draw water for her household. Jesus was there. He spoke with her and offered her eternal, living water (read John 4). She accepted and was transformed. She then brought her village to Jesus!

There are many women like her in Muslim societies. Huda, Fadila, Wahiba, Samira, and many others whom I know personally have put their faith in Christ and continue to be faithful to the Lord against all odds. They, like the Samaritan woman, are very active in bringing their own people to the Kingdom.

We need more women like these.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Redeemer and Savior, we bless you and magnify your name. You honored this Samaritan woman and blessed her. We pray that you will speak to many Muslim women this week.

Bring them to the cross through faith in you. Change them and make them new creatures by the power of your Spirit. May they find hope, peace and joy in you. Fill their hearts with your love.

As you transformed the Samaritan woman from an argumentative, religious fanatic into a messenger of the Good News, may many Muslim women put their faith in you and become your emissaries to their own people!

Reveal yourself to many Muslim women this week as you did to the Samaritan woman. May they know you, Jesus Christ, Messiah, King, and Redeemer.

In your mighty name we pray. Amen.

Promise

To the thirsty I will give water from the spring of life as a gift… Let them give thanks to the LORD for his love and for the marvelous things he has done for mankind; he has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things (Revelation 21:6; Psalm 107:8-9, REB).

Refugees

Friday, September 8, 2017

Because of wars, violence, famines, and religious and ethnic persecution, more than 60 million[1] people of diverse nationalities and religions have been displaced. They have been forced out of their homes, towns and countries to become refugees in various places around the world. They are confused, distressed, hungry, sick and homeless. They live in circumstances that are often less than humane. They generally feel betrayed, robbed, violated and excluded.

Oftentimes they face deportation from their country of refuge. While not all current refugees are Muslims, a great percentage of them are. Asia and Africa produce the most refugees in the world.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you know what it means to be a refugee: your family fled to save your life when King Herod wanted to kill you. I bring to you these, our fellow human beings, who have been uprooted and have lost their homes, property and possessions. Lord Jesus, visit them in your compassion. Be their refuge and comfort. Reveal yourself to them as their Savior.

Help us, your followers, to actively seek to improve their physical conditions without neglecting our responsibility to minister to their spiritual needs for their eternal well-being.

Compassionate Lord, remind me of what you said: that you were hungry and thirsty and I gave you food and drink; you were a stranger and I welcomed you; you were naked and I gave you clothes; you were sick and I took care of you; you were in jail and I visited you (Matthew 25:35-36).

Help me personally to be your hand extended to minister to refugees, even if they are in far-off lands.

Promise

The Lord watches over the alien, and sustains the fatherless and the widow (Psalm 146:9).

Footnotes

[1] United Nations High Commission for Refugees, reported by The Atlantic, June 18, 2015.

Sacrifice Celebration

Friday, September 1, 2017

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. 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 that they 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).

Jericho March

Friday, August 25, 2017

A true but very subtle and discreet “Jericho march” takes place in Mecca around the Kaaba, the most important Muslim shrine. A few believers in Christ, who have come out of Islam, travel to Mecca during the hajj season. They march around the Kaaba and claim it for the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ.

I have a friend, a believer in Jesus, who used to travel weekly from Jeddah to Mecca. During at least one hajj season he toured the Kaaba, praying and pleading with God to declare his glory to Muslims gathered there, to give freedom to the Gospel in Mecca, and to grant that the name of Jesus would be preached freely inside the Kaaba.

Prayer

Almighty God, the only true God, worthy to be worshipped and adored, I tread here very cautiously. These brothers and sisters risk their lives to pray for the glory of Christ to be manifested. Multiply their numbers. Protect them and hedge around them with your angelic guard.

Answer their prayers and the prayers of many others who have been pleading at your throne of grace for decades. Open Mecca to the Gospel; dedicate the Kaaba for the preaching of the Truth. This request may sound like an impossible dream, and for us it seems impossible. But we know that for you, all things are possible.

Father, by your divine power, tear down the walls that Satan has erected to keep people from hearing the Gospel. We look to the cross where Jesus died to redeem all, including Muslims. We draw our victory from Calvary. And we rest at your feet in faith with expectation.

For the glory of Jesus, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Promise

I am about to hand Jericho, its king, and its warriors over to you (Joshua 6:2, GW).

Mecca

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mecca, birthplace of Muhammad, is the holiest city of Islam. It has a population of over one million and is located in western Saudi Arabia in a dry valley surrounded by barren hills. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter this city.

Mecca is also the site of the Kaaba, the holiest Muslim shrine. It contains the Black Stone which the followers of Islam believe was sent from God. All Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba when they pray. Annually more than two million Muslims from all over the world visit Mecca to do the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage.

Prayer

Almighty God, I pray that Mecca will cry out to you for deliverance. Help its people realize that they need you. Let them hear your Word preached clearly. I come against Satan in Jesus’ name and pray for the people of Mecca and for their leaders. Deliver them, O God. Set them free from Satan’s bondage and from the chains of sin. Grant them eternal life. You provide “water in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:20). Please give the water of life to Meccans. Turn that city into holy ground where Christ will be worshipped and adored.

I pray for all Muslims as they face toward Mecca and pray five times a day. May they turn to Jesus and acknowledge him as their only way to approach God.

I pray for the vast numbers of pilgrims thronging toward Mecca during this season. Manifest your eternal love to them. May Christ reveal himself to them through signs, wonders, and miracles.

Promise

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places (Isaiah 45:2-3, NIV).