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.

The Islamic New Year

Friday, August 30, 2019

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, and 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).

Churches in the Middle East

Will Become Active in Bringing Muslims to Christ

Friday, August 23, 2019

The believers in Jesus most qualified to communicate Christ to Muslims in any country are people who share the same culture, language, and history as the Muslims who live in that country. It can take foreign missionaries many years to become skilled in the language and feel at home in the local culture, and even then, few become “native” in their language proficiency. God does call people to share Christ cross-culturally, but indigenous Christians enjoy a distinct advantage: most speak Arabic as their mother-tongue, and they share many cultural traits with their Muslim neighbors.

This week we are praying for indigenous Christians in Muslim countries. Those believers face unique challenges: since their local laws forbid them to share the Gospel with Muslims, they face the real fear of reprisal if they are outspoken about Christ.

Let us ask God to inspire indigenous Christians who live among Muslims to be passionate and intentional about sharing Christ with their Islamic neighbors.

Prayer

God our Father, we lift to you in prayer indigenous Christians who live in Muslim lands. They are in the best position to share your love with Muslims in their own culture. Inspire these, our brothers and sisters, with increasing love and vision to share their faith with Muslims. Help them to be creative and wise in how they share. Give them the courage to overcome their fear. Lead them into relationships with Muslims who are open to you. Empower believers to step outside the limits of their own traditions and cultural expectations to truly befriend Muslims. Protect and preserve your Church, O Lord, throughout these lands. Amen.

Promise

What does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:8-9, NIV).

Footnotes

[1] Written by Tom Belt.