“Tentmakers”

Friday, April 26, 2019

Paul was an extraordinary missionary, but he also had a secular profession. He was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3). Whenever it was needed, he was ready to work with his own hands to support himself as well as others who worked in the ministry with him (Acts 2:34; 1 Corinthians 4:12). He worked hard to make a living so as not to be a financial burden on others (1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9). He wanted to be a model and example for others.

Today, there are many believers in Christ who intentionally do the same. While working in their own profession and trade, they take the message of hope and joy to the lost world.

Prayer

God, our Father in heaven, glory and honor and majesty belong to you. Thank you for calling us to serve you and be your ambassadors to the nations.

I pray that you will manifest your awesome power through those who carry the burden of working in their professions to support themselves while trying to bring the lost to your Kingdom.

Remind them always of who they are, children of the King; of what they are, saved by grace; and where they are, on an errand for the Master to save the lost and bring glory to the Lord.

Grant them endurance and strength. Bless them with quality time in your presence, with their families and with those whom they seek to bring to you. Reward their labor with abundant fruit—people who will hear the call of God and follow Jesus the Lord.

We ask all this for the sake of our Master and Lord, Christ our Redeemer, Savior and God. 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).

The Cross

Friday, April 19, 2019

Today we remember Jesus’ crucifixion, the only means by which we have eternal life. Islam rejects the fact that Jesus died on the cross. The Quran states that he was never crucified, that he never died, and that instead, God lifted him up alive to heaven. Muslims reason that God would not let Jesus, the good prophet, die such an ignominious death on a cross for sins that others committed.

Muslims do not see the seriousness of humans’ sinful nature, so they rule out the need for redemption. For them the cross is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

Prayer

God Almighty, our loving Heavenly Father, we acknowledge you as our eternal Redeemer. We come humbly, awed by your love and Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary. What shame and pain he endured to save us from sin and doom! The Lamb of God died to give us life. Thank you.

My Muslim friends do not understand that Christ’s death on the cross was your supreme gift to sinful humans. Help them realize that they are sinners who need redemption. Show them the power of the cross that saves us from sin and transforms our lives from darkness to light and from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God.

Convict them of their serious sin of rejecting the cross. May they believe your Word and accept the Gospel. I plead for Muslims. Help them believe that Jesus died to redeem them from their sins and rose to justify them. Remove the veil from their minds. Open their eyes. Capture their hearts with your love.

All praise and glory to you, crucified and risen Christ, the First and the Last, the Living One who died and who is alive for ever and ever. Amen.

Promise

For the message of the cross is sheer nonsense to those who are lost, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18, SAB).

Muslim Cities

Will Welcome Christ

Friday, April 12, 2019

This coming Sunday, Western Christendom celebrates Palm Sunday. We remember that Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly, yet humbly; he came riding on a donkey. The crowds wanted to express their joy. They went out to receive him, carrying palm branches and spreading their clothes on the road. They lifted their voices in adoration and praise. That was the way conquerors and kings were welcomed home from their victories.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Majestic and Almighty Savior, you humbled yourself to be gracious to us. You stooped down to be our Redeemer. We worship you. You alone are God. You alone are our Master. You are the visible image of the invisible God. Everything was created by you and for your glory: cities and nations, kings and kingdoms, rulers and authorities. You could have entered Jerusalem in a gold chariot studded with pearls and precious stones, but instead you rode in on a donkey. What humility!

I pray that you will enter triumphantly into cities and towns that are presently labeled as Muslim fortresses.

May you enter people’s hearts and change them. May many Muslims this week own you, Jesus Christ, as their Deliverer, Redeemer and King eternal. I pray that they will experience your love, compassion and tenderness. May they, in throngs, shout from the depths of their souls, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! … Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come…. Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Matthew 21:9; Revelation 4:8; 5:12, NIV).

Promise

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth (Psalm 67:4, NIV).

Night Journey

Friday, April 5, 2019

Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, claimed that one night he traveled on the back of a winged donkey from the mosque in Mecca to the mosque in Jerusalem. From there he reportedly ascended to heaven, where he saw several prophets and had an audience with God. Afterwards all the prophets came to him, and he led them in prayer. Finally, he returned to Mecca—all in the same night (Quran 17:1).

It is interesting to note that there were no mosques in either Mecca or Jerusalem at that time!

Prayer

Majestic God in heaven, blessed be your holy name. I bow down in your presence and worship you. Thank you for entrusting me with the task of praying for others. I bring Muslims before you. I intercede on their behalf and appeal to you to set them free.

Lord God, Muslims have sat in darkness and gloom for so long. Show them your mercy and grace, O God. Give them wisdom, intelligence and sharp insight to realize that it is pointless to build their belief system on fables and traditions of humans. Rescue them from the grip of a merciless enemy that is plotting their ruin and doom.

Help them run to Jesus and live in the light of his Word. Grant them freedom through the cross of Calvary. As a fellow prayer warrior has prayed, give them “a desire for what is true, a hunger for what is righteous, and a determination to refuse all substitutes, no matter how attractively presented.”[1]

In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Promise

The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!… The pastures will soon be green. The trees will again be filled with luscious fruit; fig trees and grapevines will flourish once more (Psalm 118:16; Joel 2:22, NLT).

Footnotes

[1] Eugene Peterson, Praying with the Prophets, January 31.

Lilias Trotter

Friday, March 29, 2019

Lilias Trotter was born in London in 1853 to a wealthy family. When she was a young woman, God called her to go as a missionary to non-Christian lands. Because of poor health, she did not qualify to be a missionary with any sending agency. So, she decided to go as an independent missionary, using her own funds. At age 34, she and two other women traveled to Algiers, the capital of Algeria. She recalls: “Three of us stood there, looking at our battlefield, none of us fit to pass a doctor [a doctor’s exam] for any [mission], not knowing a soul in the place, or a sentence of Arabic or a clue for beginning work on untouched ground; we only knew we had to come. Truly if God needed weakness, He had it!”[1]

For more than 40 years she labored, sacrificed, learned Arabic, evangelized Muslims, started churches and became the head of the mission there. She was buried in Algiers.

Prayer

Lord Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, you are mighty in power, your love is infinite. Thank you for the legacy of Lilias Trotter and many others like her whom you have called to go to Muslims with the message of redemption, love and joy. No sacrifice we make will match your sacrifice for us on the cross.

Lord, the harvest is white in Muslim lands, the crop is plentiful, the fruit is ripe, but the workers are few. We ask you, Lord of the harvest, to send out workers to gather in the fruit (Matthew 9:37-38).

Even if some people are considered unqualified, you can empower them with your Holy Spirit as you did with Lilias. Your grace is sufficient for us; it is all we need. Your power works best when we are weak. We pray that you will raise up men and women who will go to untouched ground, unevangelized fields, to bring home the sheaves.

We give you thanks and praise your glorious name, knowing that you hear our prayer. Amen.

Promise

The name of Jacob’s God will protect you. He will send you help from his sanctuary, and support from his holy mountain. He will look with favour on all your offerings and will accept all your sacrifices (Psalm 20:1-3, SAB).

Footnotes

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilias_Trotter

China

Friday, March 22, 2019

There are about 40 to 60 million Muslims in China. The range is wide because no definite census has been taken for some time. 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 virtually untouched by this move of the Spirit. Only a few scattered individual 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[2] 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.
[2] See the Prayer about Back to Jerusalem

Valley of Blessing

Friday, March 15, 2019

At God’s command and without any fighting at all, the king of Israel led his troops to a great victory against their enemies. They carried off plunder of livestock, clothes, equipment and valuable things. Afterwards they gathered in the valley to bless the Lord for his help. They called their gathering place the Valley of Baracah, which means Valley of Blessing (read the story in 2 Chronicles 20:20-26).

Let us make our prayer this week a special encounter with Almighty God our Maker and Savior, asking him to turn Muslim societies into Valleys of blessing!

Prayer

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, in whose presence angels cover their faces and feet, and before whom they worship, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ your son, my Lord. Send out your light and your truth to guide me as I walk in your ways. Give me the love and perseverance to intercede for people who are away from you and are lost in sin.

I pray that you will transform Muslims in many towns and cities around the world into Christ-worshipping, Holy Spirit-filled people. I pray also that their religious and political leaders will become part of your miraculous work. May those communities each be called “Valley of Blessing.”

I pray that you will include in your Kingdom Muslim converts from all walks of life: government officials, company executives, simple people, rich people, poor people, young and old, educated and uneducated. Establish your Church among Muslims.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ (Ephesians 1:3, NLT). Amen.

Promise

I have heard your prayer (2 Kings 19:20, NLT).