A Signet Ring

Do You Know You Are Very Dear to God?

Friday, October 18, 2019

In ancient times, a signet ring was a treasured possession and had an important function. People used it to place their personal signature or seal on documents. It was worn on a finger (Jeremiah 22:24) or an arm (Song of Solomon 8:6) or suspended on a chain around the neck.[1]

When Pharaoh promoted Joseph and put him in charge of the entire country of Egypt, he confirmed that by removing his signet ring from his hand and placing it on Joseph’s finger (Genesis 41:42). The king of Persia showed his great esteem for Haman by doing the same thing with his signet ring (Esther 3:10). God is able to help many Muslims realize that, through faith in Christ, they are very precious and dear to the Lord, like a signet ring.

Prayer

Blessed God, our Maker and Redeemer, I pray that you will draw to the Kingdom of your Son multitudes of Muslims. May they find their place among your chosen people. We want to see countless Muslims serve Christ the Lord, worship the risen Savior, and bring others to the cross. Grant them the experience of the bride when she said to her groom, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm” (Song of Solomon 8:6, NLT).

May they realize by your Spirit that they are precious in your sight, dear to your heart (Isaiah 43:4), and at the center of your plans (Jeremiah 29:11).

May they also understand their serious responsibility to be your ambassadors in the world, to witness about your mercy and grace.

You alone are the Almighty God, Sovereign, Potentate. To you be glory for ever and ever, amen.

Promise

On that day, I will take you and I will make you like a signet ring for me, for I have chosen you (Haggai 2:23, SAB).

Footnotes

[1]My grandfather did not know how to read and write. He did not like the idea of wearing a ring. He had a seal in his big wallet to stamp documents in his name.

Speak Out

And Not Be Silent

Friday, October 11, 2019

The enemy tries to trick us: he wants us to feel embarrassed and ashamed to witness to people about what Jesus has done in our lives. Our timid personality may be a hindrance, or we may not know what to say. Such shyness can be greater when we are with Muslims, and we can feel especially uneasy if the laws of the land prohibit witnessing.

We may feel guilty about failing to witness about Christ, and yet choose to do nothing about it. But there are other options. The Lord God, by his grace, is able to fill us with courage, boldness, wisdom and love. People around us are hurting and need help. What we have in Jesus Christ is of eternal weight and consequence for them.

Prayer

Most High God, my Father in heaven, I thank you for trusting me and empowering me to witness to Muslims. Give me an opportunity this week to speak out and tell a Muslim about Jesus. Almighty God, let me see beyond my restrictive personal concerns, whether joy or sadness, success or failure. Anoint me with the Holy Spirit to speak words that minister to people and comfort them.

Move my heart to have compassion on Muslims. Help me to love and respect them and sympathize with their dilemmas and concerns. Enable me to lead a Muslim to Jesus this week.

Help me see the world outside of myself, to be part of what your mighty hand is doing among nations, tribes and peoples of every tongue. Make me a blessing to others. May they see in me Jesus Christ, the loving, eternal Savior.

In his precious name I pray. Amen.

Promise

Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me (Acts 18:9-10, NLT).

Kings, Presidents and Rulers

Friday, October 4, 2019

 

The Bible exhorts us to pray for all those in authority (I Timothy 2:1-2). When we pray, God changes hearts. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1, NIV).

When the king of Nineveh heard Jonah’s call to repentance, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, put on sackcloth and sat down in the dust as an expression of his contrition. He issued an order to his people to repent and believe in God (Jonah 3:6-10). Oh, that many Muslim rulers would do that today!

Like all other humans, rulers need emotional and physical healing; they cherish being loved and encouraged; they need guidance and direction; and above all, they need Christ.

Prayer

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father and eternal King, you alone are the Most High, sovereign over the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:32). You alone hold the universe in your hand and control every being in it.

I pray for the kings, presidents, and rulers in the Muslim world. Lord Jesus, by the power of your blood, forgive their sin and bring them to faith in you. May they surrender their hearts and accept you as the absolute King over their lives.

Let them know that you are the Judge before whom they will stand on the last day to give an account of the authority you have entrusted to them. May they know the peace that comes through believing in your Word. Fill them with your Holy Spirit. Keep and protect them—spirit, soul and body. May the enemy of their souls have no power or authority over them.

I pray for those who are sick or in pain, those who need physical or emotional healing. May they call upon your name, Lord Jesus, put their faith in you, and receive forgiveness of sin and divine healing by your power. May they feed upon the eternal Word of God. Amen.

Promise

You kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth…. Submit to God’s royal son…. what joy for all who find protection in him! (Psalm 2:10, 12, NIV, NLT).

  

Raymond Lull

Friday, September 27, 2019

He lived A.D. 1232-1316. He was part of the Spanish nobility. In his youth, he lived a life of immorality and dissipation. He boasted that no woman could resist his advances. Finally, his pious wife took the children and left him. He followed her, and during that pursuit, he saw a vision of Jesus. He abandoned his sins and started following the crucified Savior.

Later, he decided to launch an appeal to Muslims to come to Christ through love, using dialogue and reasoning. His strategy was to prepare men of God in large numbers to be knowledgeable in Christian doctrine, fluent in Arabic, and skilled in Muslim culture and beliefs. For nine years he studied Islam, its religion, culture and traditions, and immersed himself in studying the Arabic language. Finally, he went to Tunisia to the famed Zaytuna Mosque. There he had serious discussions with the local leaders and offered them the message of Christ’s love and sacrifice. Although his witness for Christ caused him to be arrested and deported, he returned to North Africa two more times. On his last visit there, he was tortured and gave his life for the sake of his Savior.

He was the first intentional missionary to Muslims, and he carried out his task with commitment and sacrifice.

Prayer

Merciful and redeeming Lord, you are worthy of every sacrifice we make for your sake. Thank you for calling Raymond Lull to go to North Africa. You still call people today.

I pray that many of your children will take the message of the cross to Muslims as Lull did. Give them a passion for the lost. May they never stop hearing the cries of the Christless, hurting world. May their hearts beat with your love for those who do not know you. Fill their minds with the eternal consequence of Calvary. Help them as they study new languages, cultures and ways of life. May their motto be as that of Lull’s, “He who loves not lives not; he who lives by the Life cannot die.”[1]

May they see miracles happen as lives are changed. Glory and honor and praise to you, our God. Amen.

Promise

Please sir, do you remember me? I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. I asked him to give me this boy, and he has granted my request (1 Samuel 1:26-27, SAB).

Footnotes

[1] Raymund Lull, by Samuel Zwemer, 1902, p.45.

Secret Atheists

Friday, September 20, 2019

Muslims believe that God exists; but for them he is far off, remote. In recent years there has been a wave of widespread violence, killings and massacres—perpetrated, condoned and defended by Muslims. Seeing such atrocities, many Muslims are shocked and disappointed with their own religion. They reason, “If Islam is like this, we want nothing to do with it.” So, many have turned away from Islam to atheism. If they talk openly about that decision in their own Muslim countries, they risk losing their lives.

Muslim atheists are now a phenomenon in Islam! May the Church reach out to minister Christ, the Prince of Peace, to these disheartened souls.

Prayer

Maker of the universe, Creator of all things, thank you for entrusting me with the responsibility to pray for the Muslims who have turned to atheism.

Savior of sinners, bring them to the cross of Christ to see and feel the agony the Son of God endured for their sake. Lead them to surrender their lives to you and accept your forgiveness.

Turn their hearts and minds to “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable … excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). Be their portion (Lamentations 3:24), their strength and shield (Psalm 28:7), that they may serve you with joy and integrity.

Help your Church know how to minister with love and compassion to those who no longer believe. “Praise and honor and glory and power belong to the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:13, SAB). Amen.

Promise

I will free the prisoner from the hand of the mighty one. I will recover the loot from the hand of the tyrant. I will fight your enemies, and I will rescue your children from them (Isaiah 49:25, SAB).

Islamic Terrorism

Friday, September 13, 2019

For the past two decades, Muslim terrorists have been launching major attacks against the United States and Europe. Examples include: New York, London, Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Manchester. Western governments, scrambling to ward off further attacks, attempt to distance Muslims from terrorism. Many have described Islam as a peaceful religion, supported its inclusion in church ecumenical relations, and described it as one of the three Abrahamic religions!

Granted, not all Muslims are terrorists, not even most of them. But terrorism has been ingrained in the Islamic faith since its inception. Instead of letting this trigger negative feelings toward Muslims, we should see them as Jesus sees them: sinners in need of his salvation. Only God’s love manifested at Calvary can transform terrorists into saints.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you are meek and humble and full of love and compassion. You refused to allow your disciples to use any kind of violence (Matthew 26:51-54; Luke 9:51-56).

Almighty God, I ask you to change Islam’s violence into Christ-centered acts of mercy and sacrificial love. Please draw Muslims to yourself, Redeemer and Savior of all mankind. Cover them with the atoning power of your cross. Fill their minds with your kindness and their beings with your gentleness. Let your peace rule in their hearts. May the Word of Christ dwell richly in them (Colossians 3:15-16). In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.

Promise

May the Lord bless you and guard you. May the Lord’s face shine upon you and give you mercy. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26, SAB).

 

Believers in Christ

Who Travel to Muslim Lands

Friday, September 6, 2019

At any given time, some 10,000 commercial airplanes are in the air around our globe. People are constantly traveling as tourists, professionals, students, or relatives visiting families. Travel destinations include Muslim countries as well as countries with sizeable Muslim populations.

This week we are praying for believers in Jesus who travel in and out of Muslim lands. As they meet, make friends, and interact with Muslims every day, we pray for them to have open doors to share the Gospel. Often, the doors are already wide open. May their meetings and interactions become occasions for sharing Christ. They could simply share a personal story of faith or give a copy of the Scriptures. Or they could direct their Muslim friend to a Christian television show or a radio program. Whatever means is available, Christians who travel to Muslim lands have opportunities to share Christ.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Christians travel into Muslims lands every day. They have professional associations, friendships, and other opportunities to meet Muslims. Transform those everyday meetings into occasions for sharing the Gospel.

Give your servants the vision, courage and love to overcome obstacles that make sharing their faith risky. Whether the Christian visitors are on tours, in universities, or engaging in some business endeavor, we ask you, Holy Spirit, to direct their conversations to Jesus. Open Muslim hearts to realize their need of you. Anoint your servants to address their Muslim friends with power as they share their testimony and the truth of the Gospel. Amen.

Promise

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7 NIV).

Footnotes

[1] Written by Tom Belt.