Believers in Prison

Friday, September 30, 2022

It is estimated that at any given time, several thousand believers in Christ are imprisoned in Muslim countries because of their determination to live for Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Most of them experience harsh and inhumane conditions. They are often given no food or access to legal help. The police beat them to dissuade them from following Christ and extract information and confessions about other believers. Some die at the hands of the police.

Prayer

O God, give our Christian brothers and sisters in prison grace in their severe trials. Give them strength to stand firm in their faith and stay loyal to you. Give them courage to resist Satan and his temptations. Deliver them from evil.

May they be comforted by thinking about Jesus “who endured such hostility against himself from sinners” (Hebrews 12:3).

Visit them, O Lord, in a special way. Manifest to them the love and compassion of Christ. Soothe their physical wounds and emotional hurts. Comfort their hearts, and help them forgive and love their enemies.

Come down and reveal yourself to them as you did with Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace. Assure them that their families are in your care. If it is your will, you can deliver them miraculously as you did with Peter. Yet if some will be put to death like John the Baptist and James, give them grace and strength to stand firm to the end.

Lord God, convict their tormentors. May every one of these tormentors, persecutors, and blasphemers turn to you as Saul of Tarsus did.

Help us, the ones who live in relative freedom, to remember those in prison as if we were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if we ourselves were suffering (Hebrews 13:3).

To you, the God of all comfort, we owe our real freedom and our eternal life. In you we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Amen.

Promise

He will guard the footsteps of his loyal servants, while the wicked will be silenced in darkness (1 Samuel 2:9, REB).

Muslim Children

Friday, September 23, 2022

Muslim children, like all other children, are tender, impressionable, and fun-loving. They are innocent and full of life. Their numbers reach more than 300 million around the world.

The traditional Muslim family maintains a tight grip on its members, whatever their ages. This means that Muslim children enjoy much less freedom of choice and action than their peers in the West.

These and other factors make the conventional methods of evangelizing children, such as Sunday school and vacation Bible school, unworkable among Muslims. But other means have been tapped and used successfully, such as the internet, children’s literature, audio and video tapes, and radio and television programs.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you showed special interest in and compassion for children. We ask you, in your mercy, to remember Muslim children.

Raise up an army of dedicated Gospel workers, full of the Holy Spirit, to work among them. Give those evangelists a burden, vision and preparation. Give them creative ideas of how to bring Muslim children to Jesus.

May Muslim children hear the Word preached in a clear and understandable way so they can receive new life in Christ. I pray that Jesus’ name will be glorified because of these children.

Almighty God in heaven, I pray that multitudes of little ones will shout “hosanna to the Son of David” in villages and cities of Muslim lands. Help children who believe in Jesus as their Savior bring their families to him, your Son, our Lord.

Promise

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14, NIV).

This is what the LORD says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save (Isaiah 49:25, NIV).

Christ Is Unique

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Quran states that Jesus was a prophet. Various Muslim Hadiths (traditions of Muhammad) hold Christ in great esteem. Yet Christ is more than just an esteemed person and much greater than a prophet!

It is hard for Muslims to acknowledge that Jesus is greater than all else and that he is God in the flesh. And yet, that is exactly what we need to pray for this week, that Muslims will realize the uniqueness of Jesus, the only Lord, the only Savior, the only Redeemer.

Courageous twentieth-century Muslim writer, Taha Hussein, once was asked what he thought of Christ. He said: “Jesus is in a category by Himself!”[1] May God bring many Muslims to believe that!

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, I worship you. You are the visible image of the invisible God. You existed before God made anything at all and you are supreme over all creation. You’re the Prince of peace, the Lamb that was slain for our sins. I pray that you reveal yourself to many Muslims today. Let them see that away from you there is no real submission to God, no pardon for sin, no true righteousness, no sure hope and no eternal life.

Be for them “wisdom from God… righteousness, holiness and redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30). Show them that you are indeed greater than Abraham, Moses and all others. Manifest your divine power to consume their sin of rejecting you. May they acknowledge you as the King over all kings and the Lord over all lords. May they run to you in faith, with repentance and complete reliance on your mighty power.

Promise

Of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12, NJB).

Footnotes

[1] From an interview in which my grandfather was present.

Mega Cities

Of the Muslim World

Friday, September 9, 2022

There are scores of cities in the world with populations of multiple millions. Many of those cities are in Islamic areas. People stream into cities from villages and rural settings to find jobs, better living conditions and a modern lifestyle. Large urban areas around the world increase by one person every second.

Some of those cities include Alexandria, Algiers, Amman, Ankara, Baghdad, Baku, Cairo, Casablanca, Chittagong, Dacca, Dakar, Islamabad, Istanbul, Izmir, Jakarta, Jeddah, Kabul, Karachi, Khartoum, Lahore, Meshhad, Riyadh, Tashkent, Tehran, Tripoli, and Tunis.

Big cities often evoke images of filth and poverty, crowded streets and heavy traffic, mobs and crime, drugs and alcohol, gangs and fear, hurt and despair.

Prayer

Compassionate Father and Sustainer, I intercede on behalf of Muslim cities, just as Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah. I ask you to save the “Sodoms and Gomorrahs” of the Muslim world today from their present misery and eternal doom.

In prayer, I come against the evil forces that spread hatred, corruption, wickedness, crime, and all kinds of sin in these urban areas. In the name of Jesus, I stand against Satan who controls these places. I take authority over him and claim his defeat in the cities of Islam. May your Word be declared with courage and clarity. May people find comfort and hope in you. May they repent by the thousands and millions and accept Christ as Savior and Lord.

God, help us to hear the cries of city dwellers and take the Good News of Jesus to them. Send trained and effective workers to proclaim hope and joy in Christ. Give us courage and compassion to go to those in the slums and squatter camps and bring them peace and joy in Christ.

Promise

If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land… and will give it to us (Numbers 14:8).

Attempt to Destroy

The Church

Friday, September 2, 2022

Some Muslims, out of fanaticism, others out of hatred or ignorance, have set themselves as enemies of the Church of Jesus Christ, our Lord and King. This is not new. Paul tells us that in his time many were enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18). And sadly, many people today think they can demolish the Church and wipe out Christianity.

Yet the Word of God has promised us, “Those who trust in the Lord are like the mountain of Jerusalem, steady and can never be shaken. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so God surrounds his people both now and forevermore” (Psalm 125:1-2, SAB).

Prayer

Lord Jesus, King and Master of the universe, you promised us to build your Church and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. We strongly believe that. So, I pray for mercy for those who have made themselves enemies of the cross. They think they are doing God a favor. You created them, you sustain and bless them out of your abundance; yet they try to destroy your people!

That is why I intercede for them. They are dead in sin and are sliding into a dark, Christless eternity away from you. O God, have mercy on them. Shed your light into their hearts. Fill their minds with your peace. Break their stubbornness by the power of your Holy Spirit. Change them from being Satan’s tools of shame and puppets of dishonor into vessels of honor used for the glory of God’s name. Only you, eternal God, can bring them into your Kingdom and bless them with genuine faith in Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

In his name I pray. Amen.

Promise

Every weapon forged to be against you will not succeed. Everyone who rises against you in judgment, you will have the ruling against him (Isaiah 54:17, SAB).

Church Leaders

In Muslim Countries

Friday, August 26, 2022

Church leaders in Muslim countries face issues, problems and attacks from the enemy that differ somewhat from those experienced by leaders in other situations.

To illustrate, here are a few examples:

  • Church leaders in Muslim countries have to determine whether a new contact or visitor in a meeting is an honest seeker or a spy trying to destroy the group.
  • They have to counsel new believers and prepare them for certain persecution, mistreatment and possible imprisonment for their faith.
  • They have to prepare new believers to withstand the relentless attacks against the Bible and Christianity.

Prayer

Christ our Lord, you are the Savior of the Church, her Head and Sovereign. I pray for a special blessing upon the leaders of your Church in Islamic lands. You have called them and appointed them to be shepherds of the flock. May they care for the people entrusted to them and watch over them willingly.

Help them to live a consistent and blameless life that is Christlike. May they be a shining light never clouded over by sin, culture, or system.

I pray that you will guard and protect them; make your face shine upon them and be gracious to them (Numbers 6:25).

Help them to serve with excellence under the King of all kings. May they never accept mediocrity in what they are or do. Animate them with passion, ardor, and enthusiasm. Help them to lead by good example, to be ever fervent in prayer, ever zealous for the name of Jesus, and ever effective in bringing the lost to God’s Kingdom.

Help them manifest the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

For your glory I pray. Amen.

Promise

When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Peter 5:4, NIV).

Count the Cost of Discipleship

Friday, August 19, 2022

When Muslims come to Christ, few of them are prepared for the difficulties they will encounter on the road of discipleship. We need to pray that the Lord will help them to be prepared and that their spiritual mentors will teach them that there is a very high price to pay for belonging to Christ. Yet it is worth it. Grace is free, but following Jesus is very costly.

As a matter of fact, all believers need to be prepared for trials, suffering and persecution for the sake of Christ.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, time and again the Bible tells us that you warned your disciples about the difficulties they would encounter because of their faith in you (John 15:18-20; 16:1, 4, 33; etc.). I pray that Muslims who come to you will be taught to expect persecution.

I pray that they will memorize many Scriptures, so that when the time comes, and they are forbidden to take a Bible with them into prison, your Word hidden in their hearts will be a source of encouragement, joy and hope for them.

Help them, O God, to memorize hymns and songs that will enable them to keep praising the Lord and affirming His victory in the midst of hardships and distractions. Help them to give thanks and rejoice in all circumstances.

Teach them how to love their enemies, bless those who curse them, do good to those who hate them, and pray for those who spitefully use them and persecute them (Matthew 5:44-45).

Remind them that you bless them even when people hate them, ostracize, insult and slander them for your sake (Luke 6:22).

Promise

Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The Devil will throw some of you into prison and put you to the test. You will be persecuted for ten days. Remain faithful even when facing death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10, NLT).

Modern-Day Exodus

Friday, August 12, 2022

For many years, the children of Israel suffered abuse, cruelty, and exploitation at the hands of their taskmasters in Egypt. God saw their suffering and came down to deliver them (Exodus 3:7-8). What followed was the great exodus of a whole nation from slavery into freedom.

Today, I believe that more than 1.7 billion Muslims are in worse slavery to Satan. Yet, through the power of the cross of Christ, God is able to deliver them, set them free, and give them eternal life. Our part is to intercede for them and use every possible means to bring them to the Kingdom.

Prayer

Father in heaven, I ask you to count me worthy of your calling to pray for Muslims. By your power, fulfill your good purpose in me (2 Thessalonians 1:11; Philippians 2:13).

You, O Lord, see the misery and distress of Muslims because they are separated from Christ. They are in slavery, and they need to be set free. Yes, they are enslaved to a ruthless taskmaster, Satan. Let the groans of prisoners reach your throne. With your powerful arm, rescue those who are condemned to death (Psalm 79:11).

Hear my prayer, O God, and perform mighty feats against the enemy. Set Muslims free from his control and oppression. Split their “Red Sea” and help them cross over on dry land into Christ’s Promised Land, into the Kingdom of your beloved Son. May a modern-day exodus of an entire population take place by the power of the cross.

O Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, help Muslims to see the light and accept you—the way, the truth, and the life—and live for you.

Glory be to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Promise

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…. I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit…. Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope (John 8:32, NIV; Zechariah 9:11; Psalm 119:49, NRSV).

China

Friday, August 5, 2022

There are more than 60 million Muslims in China. The highest concentration of Chinese Muslim population is found in the northwest part of the country that borders the Central Asian Republics, all of which are Muslim.

While China has seen tens of millions of its citizens come to Christ in the past few decades, the Muslim population remains little touched by this move of the Spirit. Only a few Muslims have placed their faith in Christ. There are no known churches comprised of Muslim-background believers. Muslims, along with Tibetans, are the least-reached people in China.

Prayer

I fall to my knees and pray to you, Father, Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from your glorious, unlimited resources you will empower the Chinese church with inner strength by your Spirit (Ephesians 3:14-16). We do believe that “A Christianized China is poised to change the face not just of Christendom worldwide, but potentially of the world of Islam.”[1]

Thank you for the “Back to Jerusalem” movement and their vision to go to various nations to evangelize Muslims. May they also bring their Muslim neighbors to you! Deliver your children in China from reticence and fear. Ignite their faith that the followers of Muhammad can be brought to the Kingdom by the power of your Holy Spirit. Yes, help Chinese believers bring Muslims to Christ.

Give the Chinese church the vision and the ability to translate and publish the Bible in all languages that Chinese Muslims speak.

I pray for workers. Call, prepare, anoint and send workers to the Uyghur, Hui, Dongxiang, Salar, and Utsat. Nor will we forget the Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Afghans, and Pakistanis among the Chinese. 

Lord, help Muslims in China to see and feel the difference in the lives of Jesus’ followers. May they become eager to know Christ and be filled with his presence. May they experience the power of Jesus living in them. In his precious name I pray. Amen.

Promise

I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank (Isaiah 44:3-4, REB).

Footnotes

[1] David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing, p. 13.

Sin

Friday, July 29, 2022

The Bible teaches that sin is rebellion, a state of the heart. It separates us from God. The outward symptoms of sin are the individual offenses we commit: lying, cheating, stealing, murder, adultery, and so forth.

Islam, on the other hand, teaches that people do not have a fallen nature and that there is no original sin. Muslims believe that Adam was not rebellious; he just forgot and ate of the forbidden tree. They do not see sin as spiritual wickedness or as rebellion against God.

So how do Muslims believe they can receive forgiveness of sins? By doing good works such as praying, almsgiving, fasting, and so on. They believe these and other charitable acts can secure them forgiveness and God’s favor.

Prayer

Eternal and Supreme Judge of all, King of kings and Lord of lords, have mercy on Muslims. Help them understand how serious sin is. Help them grasp the fact that sin is rebellion against you and that it alienates humans from you.

In your love, grace and mercy, bring many Muslims this week to Calvary. May they realize that their sin caused the Son of God to die on the cross for their sake. Help them put their faith in the only true Savior of all humankind and ask to be forgiven in the name of Jesus.

Save them, because you are the only God who redeems. Help them accept your grace before it is too late. In the precious name of our Savior and Lord, amen.

Promise

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt (Psalm 32:1-2, NLT).