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).

Sharif Bible

Friday, August 7, 2020

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 transformed, 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).

Sacrifice Celebration

Friday, July 31, 2020

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).

A Prayer of Repentance

Friday, July 24, 2020

Many of us waste opportunities to witness to Muslim friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Sometimes we feel intimidated because we do not understand Muslims, or we are not sure how they will react to what we say to them. At other times we are just careless about witnessing to others. We need to repent of our indifference and ask the Lord to forgive us and empower us by the Holy Spirit to be his faithful witnesses.

Prayer

O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, we come to you. We repent of our inaction and lack of concern. We, your Church, have failed you. I confess that we have sinned against you. We have not obeyed your command to witness to the lost; we have not loved Muslims as we should have; we have not prayed for them without ceasing; we have not offered them the Gospel in all its power.

Forgive us, we pray. We are your servants, the people you freed at Calvary by your great strength and might. Your Word promises that if we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us. We thank you for that.

Change our hearts and attitudes. Give us courage and boldness, grant us wisdom, and fill us with the Holy Spirit. Help us persevere in prayer for Muslims and open our mouths and witness to them with compassion and love.

Surprise us, O God, by helping us this year to lead Muslims to the Kingdom and nurture them into maturity.

Promise

You answer us with righteous and awesome deeds, O God our Savior, the hope of people all over the earth and across the farthest seas (Psalm 65:5, SAB).

Muslim Taxi Drivers

Friday, July 17, 2020

From San Francisco and New York to London and Paris, from Cairo and Jeddah to Tehran and Manila, enthusiastic Muslim taxi drivers are on the job! They earn a living by taking people where they want to go, and at the same time they try to demonstrate their Islamic faith and practices. For example, they display quranic verses in conspicuous spots in their taxis and occasionally play the chanting of the Quran on their radios.

Prayer

Almighty God our Father, I bring to you Muslim taxi drivers all over the world. They need you. They need to acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Savior. O God, grant many of them today forgiveness of their sins and a share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light. Let them experience Christ’s love and grace.

Taxi drivers who believe in Jesus could be so useful in spreading the sweet-smelling perfume of Christ among the millions of people they transport every day! Father, make them into evangelists. May they become a powerful force in your Kingdom to inflict loss on Satan’s territory and bring many to the freedom of Christ.

In the glorious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Promise

[God’s works] are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever–holy and awesome is his name (Psalm 111:8-9).