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).

God Our Father

Friday, May 14, 2021

No prophet or priest, king or great leader has ever told us to dare to address God as our Father, except Jesus! He is the only One who has taught us to call God, our Maker and Creator, Father.

In the Old Testament, that relationship is mentioned only a few times (for example, Exodus 4:22-23; 2 Samuel 7:14). But in the gospels, it is mentioned 165 times.

Jesus wanted to instill in us how important God’s fatherhood is. It is not a mere creed. It is a relationship that is central to our new life in Christ and essential in our worship to him.

Muslims totally reject that notion and consider it blasphemous.

Prayer

God our Father, praise and honor and glory and power to you (Revelation 5:13). We were lost in sin, without hope and without God, but Christ made us members of God’s family (Ephesians 2:12, 19). Hallelujah! We are God’s children (1 John 3:1-2).

What a blessing to come to you, King of kings and Lord of lords, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, and call you “Father”! Thank you for accepting us, transforming us and adopting us.

I pray that you will help Muslims put their faith in Jesus and experience your love and compassion. You are waiting for them to come in repentance and faith and accept your only Son. You are ready to change them and make them your children.

Help us all, Lord God, to honor you, to live, act and talk as is fit for your children. In the precious name of our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Promise

You are my father, my God, my rock where I find safety (Psalm 89:26, REB).

Breaking the Fast

Friday, May 7, 2021

Muslims end the month-long Ramadan fast with a celebration known as Id al-Fitr, a national holiday in Muslim countries. There are parties and festivities. No more rigorous abstention from food and drink. The mood changes from somber to joyful. Family members get together. People give alms to the poor.

Yet, it is not uncommon at this time of jubilation and glee for people to feel empty and unfulfilled.

Prayer

Blessed be your majesty in heaven, O God (Ezekiel 3:12). You are the True God, the only God to be worshipped and adored. You are the source of true joy and comfort; you are our hope.

I pray for these dear friends; may they allow you to transform their lives. Although they have broken the fast and are now celebrating and feasting, what they really need is Jesus, the Bread of Life. Open their hearts to receive the message of Christ. Give them a hunger and a thirst for the Word of God. Put in them the desire to know Jesus and follow him.

You promised to spread a banquet, a feast of rich food for all peoples (Isaiah 25:6). Lord, Muslims are very needy; they are hungry for you, even if they do not realize it. I pray that the love of Christ will touch their hearts. May they realize the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary. May many of them, even today, commit their lives to you, our Lord and Savior, and find true peace, joy and rest in you. Amen.

Promise

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38, NIV).

Lead Someone to Christ

Friday, April 30, 2021

God poured out his grace on us and adopted us as his children. He wants us to love people, even those we do not know and those who show enmity toward us. Jesus told us to go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to the whole creation and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). The Lord sees the bitter suffering of those who are lost. He hears the cries of those who are enslaved to sin (Exodus 3:7). He wants us to open our mouths and tell them the good news of his love and salvation.

Prayer

You know, Lord, that I am a sinner saved by your grace. You know that I was on my way to self-destruction and perdition. You reached down and plucked me out of the swamp of sin I was sinking in. You set my feet on the Rock. You changed my life. You started me on the right path.

But I know full well that you did all that to make me your child and to use me as a vessel of honor to help others experience your love and grace.

God in heaven, use me this week to lead a Muslim to the cross of Jesus. May I be your hand extended to reach out to the oppressed and lost and bring them to you. Speak through me a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, a word of life and hope—by your Spirit.

Give me a passion to find the lost. Help me as I try to rescue those who are dragged away to death and save those being hauled off to execution (Proverbs 24:11).

All glory to you, my God, my Father. Amen.

Promise

God is able to accomplish far more than we might ask or imagine, according to his power at work in us (Ephesians 3:20, SAB).

Lack of Trust

Among Some Muslim Believers

Friday, April 23, 2021

Hamda was Muslim and lived in a country that was almost all Muslim. He put his faith in Christ. He was part of my theological education class. Yet, a problem kept nagging him: he could not trust fellow compatriots who had put their faith in Christ. He thought they were dishonest and had ulterior motives! He said he would never trust them. I spent so much time and energy praying with him and trying to convince him that the Holy Spirit who had changed his life had changed their lives too. No success.

This scenario is repeated time and again in many places. The enemy of our souls tries to plant fear and distrust in believers’ hearts so they avoid fellowship with other brothers and sisters. Some of this fear is caused by doubt as to whether the new believer is genuine or not. Plus, if a fellow convert turns their back on Christ, that causes disappointment and mistrust.

Yet, all this is not a reason to avoid fellowship with other believers or become distrusting of fellow converts.

Let us not forget that Jesus prayed for our unity, love, and fellowship together (Read John 17).

Prayer

Blessed are you, God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In your great mercy, and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, you have given us new birth into a living hope (1Peter 1:3-4). Thank you.

I ask that Muslims, too, may experience your great mercy and the power of resurrected life in Christ. May many of them this week enter into this new life.

Holy God, for those who are troubled by distrust and misgivings about fellow believers, I pray that you will take them to your inner sanctuary and reveal to them hidden defects in their own heart and attitude. May they see their own shortcomings. Then take them to the cross and cleanse them from all those flaws.

Help born-again believers from Islam love one another as you love us. May they realize that they need to be one in your beloved Son.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Promise

The LORD will answer when I call to him (Psalm 4:3, NLT).

Sharif Study Bible

Friday, April 16, 2021

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).

Fast

Friday, April 9, 2021

During this season, Muslims start the month-long fast called Ramadan. The Muslim calendar is based on the lunar year, which has only 354 days. So each year the month-long fast comes about 11 days earlier than in the previous year.

Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day throughout this month. They abstain from food, drink, smoking, smelling nice aromas, and marital relations. Each day after sunset, they break the fast, usually with a feast. They are allowed to eat until dawn of the following day.

According to Islam, the Ramadan fast enables people to gain a right standing with God and an entry into paradise.

Some Muslims actually believe that during this month the devil is chained and cannot cause them harm, that the doors of heaven are open and the doors of hell are closed.

Prayer

O Lord Jesus, I pray with love and compassion in my heart for Muslims during this season of fasting.

You know, Lord, that most Muslims are sincere people. They are serious about their religion and beliefs. Help them realize that to approach you they have to go through Jesus and his sacrifice at Calvary. They cannot save themselves from sin by “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps”! They cannot lift themselves up to you by performing rituals and religious duties.

O God, help them discover that we are saved, not through works of righteousness, but only by faith through your undeserved favor.

I pray that you will reveal yourself to Muslims during this month as the Savior who has already accomplished all things. May they know that on the cross “it is finished.” Amen.

Promise

It is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (Galatians 3:11, NLT).