Honor Killings

Friday, July 23, 2021

Thousands of women and girls are murdered every year in Islamic honor killings. If a woman or girl behaves in a scandalous way, or even if she is a victim of sexual assault or rape, her Muslim family often sees it as their responsibility to get rid of her. The family believes that in this way they can have their “honor” restored! Usually a male family member has the duty to carry out the killing.

Studies show that family members normally do not accept any other solution in their effort to remove the “stain on their honor.” They often see bloodshed as the only way out. However, if the indiscretion of the woman or girl is kept hidden, it can be tolerated. As long as her actions do not bring dishonor to the family, the situation is covered up and does not ordinarily necessitate the honor punishment!

Prayer

Great Messiah, you went to the cross for us! We are all sinners, fallen and full of imperfections. We all commit shameful acts.

Yet, in your mercy, you died to save us and give us new life. You took upon yourself all our sin, shame and stain! Thank you. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for this free redemption. It is free for us, but it cost you your life, your blood. Thank you for your mercy.

I pray for those who commit such atrocities. Stop them in their tracks. Visit them in your mercy, love and grace. Change their hearts. Bring them into your Kingdom. May they repent and mend their ways. May they be willing to leave all at the foot of the cross, even their staunchly-held and well-guarded traditions.

I entreat you, Almighty God, loving Father, to help Muslims who put their faith in Jesus understand the power of your forgiveness and grace. Fill them with compassion and love. In the mighty name of Christ, amen.

Promise

When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch (Ezekiel 20:41, NLT).

Sacrifice Celebration

Friday, July 16, 2021

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).

Hisbah

Friday, July 9, 2021

Have you wondered why some Muslim fathers, brothers or cousins are ready to kill a woman in their own family? Here is the answer: The concept of hisbah in Islam teaches that God has appointed Muslim men to be judges over their family, friends and neighbors in order to insure that everyone adheres to the religion of Islam and complies with all its requirements (Quran 9:70; also 3:103). It is the duty of an entire Islamic community as well as its individual members to live out this assignment.

Hisbah is an Arabic word that relates to accountability and reckoning. In hisbah, a person interferes in another individual’s personal life and forces him or her to adopt certain beliefs and behavior under penalty of death. Muhammad said: “Whoever sees an evil must change it with his hand [by using force]. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue [through teaching]. If he still cannot do so, then with his heart [through love and compassion], which is the weakest form of faith” (Hadith).

There are four elements in hisbah: the person who errs, the error, the person who performs the judgment, and the act of judgment. The many components of this procedure include the use of advice, harsh words, threats, isolation, beatings, physical violence, torture and finally killing (compare Romans 2:1).

Prayer

Merciful and compassionate Father, you are long-suffering and full of love and grace. We are sinners. Without your grace, we would all be condemned and lost. Without the cross of Jesus, we would all be miserable and wretched!

Your Word tells us: “God alone… is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12, NLT).

So today, I am bringing to you a people who see themselves as judges over others. Help them realize how you see them, and may they experience your free grace. Forgive them for their sin. Open their eyes so they can see and their ears so they can hear that God has come in Christ. He has visited us to redeem us and help us all.

Shower your blessings upon Muslims of every walk, of every conviction, and in every society. Show them your face. Bring them to the cross. Fill them with your Holy Spirit. O Great Shepherd of the sheep, make them lie down in green pastures, lead them beside quiet waters and guide them in paths of righteousness. For your name’s sake, amen.

Promise

The LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us (Isaiah 33: 22, NIV).

“Highway” for Muslims

Friday, July 2, 2021

Isaiah, prompted by the Holy Spirit, told his people to prepare for a great ingathering of nations to come and be part of God’s own possession. He said, “Go out… build a highway, remove the stones, raise a banner for the nations” (Isaiah 62:10). We want to use this verse to appeal to Christians to prepare the way for Muslims to come to Christ.

A few decades ago people were saying it was impossible to win Muslims to Christ. Now, in almost every country, we are seeing Muslims come to the Lord, one by one and two by two. Often this is the “Nicodemus” church, the secret church, the persecuted church. But one day, and I believe it will be very soon, Muslim converts will come in large numbers—by the tens of thousands, to take their place in the Kingdom.

Prayer

Lord God, our Maker, Savior and Father, I thank You for giving me this privilege to intercede on behalf of Muslims. We have been praying for them for many years. I believe you are about to answer our prayers and do something in our midst that will be amazing beyond all imagination. You will help us plant churches in every Muslim group and society around the world. By faith, I am full of hope and anticipation that you will do great things among Muslims.

Help us prepare the “highway” for them to come, Lord God Almighty. Give us the wisdom to be ready. May we never squander great opportunities to receive and disciple Muslims. Remove the veil from our eyes to see doors you are opening for us. Energize us to take up this challenge and be prepared to receive Muslims into the fold. Protect us from wasting this great harvest of precious souls. And as a prayer-warrior of old prayed: “Through door, through window, or through roof, let us, breaking through all impediments, labor to bring poor souls to Jesus. O Lord, make us quick to suggest methods of reaching thy poor sin-sick ones, and bold to carry them out at all hazards.”[1] In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Promise

The right hand of the Lord does works of power. The right hand of the Lord is lifted up… The days are coming, declares the LORD, when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills (Psalm 118:16; Amos 9:13).

Footnotes

[1] C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Daily Readings, September 7.

Hannah

Friday, June 25, 2021

Hannah had been married for some time, but she was unable to have children. She was barren. Her husband’s other wife ridiculed and belittled her. Though her husband loved her, Hannah felt unfulfilled, troubled and miserable (1 Samuel 1:1-8).[1]

She believed in the Lord, in his mercy and in the power of prayer. So she took her problem to the throne of God and poured out her heart to him (1:9-11).

When God answered her and gave her a son, she was grateful and exalted the Lord with a beautiful prayer of praise. Her worship reveals great depth in her relationship with God and in her understanding of his ways and his dealings with humans (2:1-10).

She kept her word and fulfilled her promise to the Lord. She gave her only son to serve at God’s house. Since that place was far away, she saw her son only once a year (1:24-28). That was a great sacrifice on her part. But God repaid her five times (2:21). Yes, she gave birth to five more children!

Prayer

Lord, may the women who come to Christ from Islam be like Hannah: prepared to invoke your name when persecuted by people and upset by circumstances. Help them to be ready to show great faith in Jesus and in the power of prayer in his mighty name.

Raise up for yourself, Almighty God, women in Muslim nations who acknowledge you as the source of every blessing and who dedicate their children to the service of Christ the King. May they withhold nothing from you, not even their most precious possessions. Give many of them children like Samuel: boys and girls who are sensitive to your voice when you speak, who listen and hear, who obey and walk in your ways, and who turn the hearts of people toward you, O God.

In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Promise

When you started to pray, God answered you, and I came to tell you because he loves you (Daniel 9:23, Sharif Bible).

Footnotes

[1] All the references in this section are from First Samuel.

God’s Presence

Friday, June 18, 2021

As the new year starts, we turn our attention to spending time in the secret place of the Most High. When we are still and quiet 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 indeed needy and that we are ready to hear and follow instructions.

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. Help me to praise and adore you, to speak life and blessing to those whom I encounter, and to 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).

Shame

Friday, June 11, 2021

Shame is what a person feels when they are discovered doing something bad. When someone makes a mistake and is exposed, they become ashamed. So, shame is the lack of a covering for unacceptable behavior and actions.

For Muslims, shame is more serious and more demeaning than sin. The fact of being discovered is more punishable than what the guilty person actually did! Example: For people to notice that you lack honesty and integrity is more serious than your actual dishonesty!

In Islam, shame is also a dynamic way to force members of society to fall in line with the group’s behavioral norms and codes. Individuals are coerced into complying with what the group dictates.

Prayer

Lord God, I am reminded of how Adam and Eve were ashamed when they realized they were naked (Genesis 3:7). But you saw that which was more serious than their nudity—their disobedience. True, you provided them something to cover themselves with, but you also promised redemption from sin (Genesis 3:15).

I pray for Muslims to realize the seriousness of sin. Help them see that our hearts are sinful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

Reveal to them the wonderful gift of pardon and forgiveness in Christ, the only Lord and Savior. May they run to you repenting and believing. May they take pride in the cross and live a victorious life for Jesus.

I pray that you will make them completely holy and keep their entire spirit, soul and body blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Amen.

Promise

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces (Psalm 34:5, NLT).

Samuel Kaboo Morris

Friday, June 4, 2021

Samuel, a tribal prince in Liberia in the late 1800s, was captured by an enemy tribe when he was about 14 and held for ransom. His tribe could not pay the required ransom, so his captors tied him to a tree, beat him, and tortured him.

One night he saw a bright flash of light and heard a voice tell him, “Run, Kaboo, run!” The ropes that tied him to the tree fell off, and, though weak from hunger and torture, he started running. His captors were terrified by the light and hid. Samuel followed the light to the jungle, where for weeks he walked at night and slept during the day. Finally, he found a coffee plantation where he got a job. A young man there befriended him and took him to a Christian mission meeting. The white missionary and her team welcomed him. He had never heard of Christ, the Bible or Christianity, but gladly learned about Jesus and became a Christian. The missionary taught him all she knew about the Holy Spirit, but he wanted more and asked her who had taught her those things. She answered, “Brother Stephen Merritt” who lived in New York, a faraway land, beyond the ocean.

Samuel then boarded a cargo ship to New York, although he had no money and no address for Brother Merritt. During the five months of hard work and constant prayer on board, he won the captain and many sailors to Christ. When he debarked in New York, he asked the first man he met if he knew Stephen Merritt. In that city of two million people, the man knew Merritt and took Samuel to his workplace. Samuel would go on to inspire many to give their lives to Jesus.

Prayer

Lord God, I feel like Muslims are tied to a tree and are being tortured by the enemy of their soul. Only you, Lord God Almighty, can set them free. Break their fetters by the power of Christ. Shine your light onto the path of Jesus and help them to run.

Give Muslims the same hunger for the Holy Spirit that Samuel had. Help them to have simple, genuine faith in you to guide and lead them, and to hold them by the hand in their life journey.

For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Promise

The LORD who appeared in the burning bush wants to give you the best the land can produce, and it will be a princely crown on Joseph’s head (Deuteronomy 33:16, CEV).

Political Currents

Friday, May 28, 2021

There are partisan rifts that divide people into opposing camps because of their political positions regarding various issues. I want to steer clear of that. I have my biblical convictions that, with God’s help, I will not deviate from. I make my decisions and vote in light of biblical principles. Yet, I choose to pray for everyone and bless them—even those who are different from me. Also, I choose to manifest God’s love to everyone. I want them to experience Jesus’ love in me.

Prayer

Eternal God who made us all and loves us all, thank you for giving us the freedom to choose our political and civil leaders. Help me and all the other prayer warriors to always appreciate that and to be mindful of your blessings.

I pray for those who love you and for those who deride and hate you. Have mercy on the haters. May they never end their lives “cursing the name of God… and refusing to repent…” (Revelation 16:9).

Convict your people, your precious children, to insist on biblical values rather than conform to society’s shifting trends and misguided fads.

As believers in Christ, unite us by your Spirit to be one in you. We may have different political positions, but help us to be united in Christ. Help us love one another. May no political divide or any division cause a rift among us. Help us look beyond politics and see that all humans are made in the image of God who loves us all. Protect us from being involved in schisms.

All glory and honor to you, our God and Father. Amen.

Promise

The eyes of the Lord roam over the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are sincere toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9, SAB).

Holy Spirit

Friday, May 21, 2021

Before Jesus ascended to the Father, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter and Guide and empower us to witness for him. That promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. This weekend we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday to commemorate the gift of God’s Spirit to the Church. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can draw people to Christ and enable believers to achieve great things in everyday life, in evangelism, and in missions.

Over the centuries, the Holy Spirit has revealed Christ to many Muslims in different parts of the world through miracles, visions, and dreams. The great influx of Muslims coming to Christ in Indonesia in the 1960s and 1970s, and presently in some parts of Africa, can be attributed mainly to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

O God the Holy Spirit, come upon Muslim converts to Christ, and fill them with your power and presence. Fulfill to them Jesus’ promise of Pentecost. Holy Spirit, sanctify them, guide them to the truth, and help them lead a victorious Christian life. The environment around them is very hostile to the Gospel, and they need the fullness of the Spirit to persevere in their commitment to you.

Help them pray for others and intercede for the lost world. Inspire them with zeal and power to witness for Christ, spread the Gospel throughout the whole earth, and demonstrate God’s majesty through signs and wonders.

I pray that the time will come when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord’s glory as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Promise

I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions (Joel 2:28, NLT).