The breakup of the Soviet Union flung the doors open to the lands of 50 million Muslims. Workers flooded into Soviet Central Asia in the nineties, eager to engage those who had been isolated so long from the Good News.
Their initiative was rewarded. By the early 2000s, thousands of Central Asian Muslims had become followers of Jesus in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. One Kazakh pastor remembered, “In those days, we’d get together Saturday evening to pray and prepare Bible studies. The next day, anywhere from three to 20 Muslims would repent from their sins and become saved. This happened every week – month after month! We just thought it was normal.” Dreams, healings and miracles occurred regularly.
In other Central Asian countries, China included, the breakthroughs among Muslims were just as real, even if the numbers were less dramatic than in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
But leaner times followed. Persecution, materialism, and disillusionment thinned the ranks by as much as 50% in some countries. Though all of the major Central Asian Muslim people groups – Uighurs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turkmen – experienced breakthroughs, on average less that one half of one percent of the populations are Christ followers.
With the mass exodus of foreign workers, local leaders have been challenged to take initiative and ownership of God’s work in Central Asia. Growth has been slow and incremental, but encouraging. Additionally, fledgling initiatives have sprung up to take the Good News to Muslims further afield with remarkable early success.
Boldness for Central Asian believers to share their faith. New religious laws and persecution have caused many to succumb to fear.
Encouragement and spiritual vitality for Christian leaders, personally, in their families and in their communities
Holy Spirit inspired faith and creativity for followers of Jesus to see their financial needs met. Most of the early work was driven by foreign funds that have since dried up.
Divine blessing on the mission initiatives coming out of China and Soviet Central Asia. These sending efforts have the potential to advance the Gospel in the remaining task in unprecedented ways.
“and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of
wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your
faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
Quote on Miracles Among Muslims
reports indicated that, depending on the region, a minimum of 50
percent (in the most extreme and violent Muslim areas) and a maximum of
70 percent of all the new churches planted among Muslims happened in
part because of signs and wonders (typically miracles of healing and
deliverance) that accelerated and facilitated the process of disciple
making….. The clear conclusion for the workers in the field, regardless
of their theological backgrounds or assumptions, is that God is moving
dramatically and creatively to display His love and glory among Muslim
peoples today.”-from the book Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale
Story of Healing
was a Christian field worker in a large village in North India,
managing a factory with about a dozen employees. One of Paul’s employees
was an Muslim man named “Adam”, and he had a terrible crisis. You see
Adam’s first child had died at birth because she had a hole in her heart,
and now “Eve”, Adam’s wife, was pregnant with a second child. After the
death of the first baby, doctors had advised that Eve would likely
continue to have babies with this same defect. The community and their
extended family believed the family was cursed. Adam hoped for the best,
but about 8 .months into Eve’s second pregnancy, Eve began to bleed
again (much like she had done with the other baby who had died) and
Adam became desperate. Paul’s habit of discipleship in the workplace and
his conspicuous spirituality gave him an opening to offer healing prayer
for the unborn baby. Paul came to Adam’s home and specifically prayed
that God would heal the baby in Jesus’ name.Miraculously, the baby was
born healthy, without a doctor! Adam and Eve were overjoyed and credited
the miracle to Jesus. Another miracle happened in that family shortly
after that, and Adam and Eve began sharing broadly about what God had
done, through Jesus, for their family. Later, Adam inquired of Paul
about this Jesus who saved their baby, and Paul invited Adam and his
wife to study the word of God and learn more about Jesus and his power
Jesus’ followers would obediently and boldly “Heal the sick, raise the
dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matthew 10:8)
Pray His servants would display “shameless audacity” (Luke 11:8)to persistently pray until God heals!
Pray that the miracles that occur would be recognized and the healed would give Glory to God (Luke 17:18)
Pray that the signs and wonders would continue to accelerate the church planting movement of God among cousins.
220 million Muslims in the six countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei. 88% of them live in Indonesia – the largest Muslim country in the world.
There are also millions of Christians in SE Asia. According to Joshua Project, about 10 million evangelical followers of Jesus live in Indonesia. What if 10% of Indonesian evangelicals are ‘empowered’ (Acts 1:8) to witness to their Muslim neighbors?
PRAISES & PRAYERS
Thank God for significant growth of the church among different ethnic groups in SE Asia in recent years. PRAY for
greater awareness and commitment among local church leaders to reach
the unengaged Muslim people groups and places with least access to the
Gospel. PRAY for better collaboration between churches and mission agencies. PRAY for more laborers from all over the world to come to SE Asia and serve alongside national workers.
A growing number of Indonesian Christian students & young professionals are responding to the Great Commission. PRAY for
more churches, organizations, ministries and partnerships to facilitate
effective sending of workers to Muslim people groups. PRAY for protection, provision and fruitfulness among those who are sent to pioneering locations.
God is drawing SE Asian Muslims to Himself through dreams, visions, miracles and loving witness by followers of Jesus. PRAY for
biblical and culturally-relevant discipleship of believers from Muslim
background that would enable them to reach their own people effectively.
Praise God for existing communities of believers from Muslim background in SE Asia. PRAY for multiplication (quantity and quality) and vision to reach other Muslim people groups in the region.
Lord for Muslim ‘men & women of peace’ (Matthew 10; Luke 10)
similar to Zacchaeus, Cornelius, Lydia and others in the New Testament
who opened their households and networks to the Gospel. ASK the Lord for Southeast Asian ‘Sauls’ (Acts 9) who will become ‘Pauls’ to their own people and others.
“…that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away… But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” (2 Corinthians 3:14, 16 ESV)
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and houses the two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. Yearly, over two million make the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca.
In recent month radical changes have come across this nation. More lenient laws and greater openness to non-Muslim influence has created new opportunity to see Jesus shared in this nation. May the Lord continue to tear away the veil and reveal himself as the true God to Muslims in Saudi Arabia. May Jesus be praised from the minaret of the Great Mosque of Mecca.
Unreached Population: 31,690,000 (91.8%)
Evangelical Population: 0.55%
Pray that the Lord removes the veil that hides his truth from Saudis.
Pray for Saudi believers to be bold in their proclamation.
Pray for a church planting movement to blow through Saudi Arabia effecting the entire region and the Muslim world.
Pray for believers from surrounding countries to come and share the Gospel in Saudi Arabia.
The next two months will focus on 2 themes. For the first 2 weeks of April and last 2 weeks of May, we’ll focus on asking God to give powerful supernatural revelation of himself to Muslims. During the month in between, we will again join 30 Days of Prayer and Fasting to pray for various Muslim people groups during Ramadan.
Pray that God will Show His Mighty Power Supernaturally
1 Kings 18 (NIV)
21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.
24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
26 … Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered…
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
Prayer for an Elijah Experience
Ask God to bring an encounter where the whole Muslim world is brought before God to cease in their wavering and answer to the call: “If the Lord is God, follow him.”
Ask God for a supernatural demonstration of power in which the evil powers are defeated by the power of God in front of the eyes of all the Muslim World.
Pray against the spiritual forces of evil who want to do everything to hinder such a wide revelation. Proclaim a revelation of the victory and message of Jesus on the cross!
Proclaim that God is repairing the spiritual attitude of worship in the Muslim world, so when Jesus brings the encounter the people can respond in worship of the living God.
Ask God to show the appointed time for His chosen encounter. Ask God to reveal himself as the God of the nations and that His bride is His servant working at His command.
Ask God that the Holy Spirit would turn the hearts of hundreds of millions of Muslims in all the Muslim world to Him so that they may know that He is the Lord when seeing the demonstration of God’s power.
Ask God for something to happen, that has never happened before so that the supernatural encounter would be like the fire of the Lord falling on Elijah’s sacrifice.
Ask God that this encounter would let hundreds of millions of Muslims all over the Muslim world fall prostrate before Jesus, declaring that He is the Lord – He is God!
In Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan it is true that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. The statistics below show just how great the need is for the light of Jesus to penetrate the darkness that veils these nations from the truth. War, terrorism, and governments keep their people from hearing the gospel. And yet, Jesus loves these people dearly and longs for them to come to right relationship with him. It is time for us, as the Church, to partner with Jesus in seeing Iraqis, Iranians and Afghans saved.
Total Population: 40,480,000
Population Unreached: 39,245,000 (98%)
Evangelical Population: 0.20%
Total Population: 83,865,000
Population Unreached: 83,536,000 (99.6%)
Evangelical Population: 1.19%
Population Unreached: 38,723,000 (99.9%)
Evangelical Population: 0.02%
Pray for believers in these three nations to be bold in their proclamation.
Pray for strength and joy as they endure persecution.
Pray for Iraqis, Iranians, and Afghans to experience dreams and visions of Jesus.
Pray for believers from nearby countries to choose to live in these three nations as missionaries.
Pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Pray for a church planting movement to develop in these three countries.
Pray for Jesus to be glorified in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
In the words of Samuel Zwemer, known as the Apostle to Islam, “If you want to do the most difficult task in the world, but the most rewarding, work with Muslims.”
In an area spanning 22 nations from Morocco to Oman lies the home of 407 million people, 95% of whom have never heard about Jesus. Within this region is the birthplace of Islam, making its inhabitants very resistant to the gospel. The desert climates, continual wars, persecution, and other hardships make it all the more difficult for Christian workers to share the truth of Jesus in this area.
And yet, in an area that seems so hostile to the gospel, Muslims are coming to Jesus. They are having dreams and visions. They are encountering the Word of God through social media and technology. The Lord is truly moving among Arab Muslims like never before, making himself known to a people in desperate need of him.
Pray for more laborers to choose to leave the comforts of home to live among Arab Muslims with to share the truth with those in their new community.
Pray for Muslims to have encounters with Jesus through dreams and visions.
Pray for whole families to come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
Pray for strength and joy through persecution.
Pray for healthy churches of believers from a Muslim background to be planted throughout the Arab World.
Pray that the message of Jesus would be accessible to all Muslims in the Arab World and for Christian workers to be creative and divinely inspired as they use technology to reach those who have never heard.
Pray that Jesus would be glorified in the Arab World.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit…. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Joel 2:28-29, 32)
Peter quoted the prophet Joel in Acts 2:17-21 in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost. On that day 3,000 people came to faith in Jesus resulting in the start of the Church. May we, as followers of Jesus, look to this story and say, “Do it again, Jesus!” Believing by faith that God can and will pour out his Spirit on the Muslim world around the world resulting in healthy, vibrant, reproducing churches.
Pray for the Lord to pour out his Spirit around the Muslim world.
Pray for many Muslims to see the outpouring of the Spirit and recognize the power of Jesus and their need of him.
Pray for the Lord to plant his church in the Muslim world.
Pray for Jesus to be glorified in the Muslim world.
Pray for the 500+ Million Muslims – almost one-third of the Muslim World – living in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh
“For there is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” – 1 Corinthians 16:9
Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are the second, third, and fourth largest Muslim countries in the world. Only about seventy years ago this region used to be one country. It houses the largest population with the highest concentration of Muslims, on the smallest land mass in the world. While many Muslims on the western side speak Urdu—and on the eastern side speak Bengali—there are still 75+ languages that have no scripture. While some local catalysts are sparking a few disciple-making movements, there are still less than 3 field workers per million Muslims working in this region with people groups less than 2% Christian witness.
From the snow-laden mountaintops of the Himalayas in Pakistan, reaching into India—to the rural villages, crowded cities, beaches and jungles of India—to the rural farms and rivers of Bangladesh, the diversity in these three countries are apparent. But all three countries are rich in the valuable resources of fertile land, populous labor, and a long history. In many places, the countries still deal with undercurrents of cultural tension between Muslims and Hindu’s—and each country struggles to economically sustain a massive population on a small land mass. Also, with a sliver of witness for Jesus Christ in all Muslim people groups, Judeo-Christian ethics and Biblical values have not permeated their worldview.
Christians represent a tiny percentage of the population. But because of the country’s large population, a sizable number of Christians exist that could be mobilized to reach out to nearby Muslim people groups. All three countries can offer business visas to entrepreneurial foreigners. Believing, intentional outsiders can bless the communities in which they live while working towards a disciple-making movement. Language schools, vocational training, and other service-based businesses may do well. In Pakistan, foreigners with degrees might teach in universities. India tends to favor businesses that hire locals. Bangladesh could also benefit from agricultural or community development specialists.
“I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19
50 million Muslims to come to faith in Jesus Christ in the next ten years in this region.
Spiritually mature local believers to commit to authentic, reproducible discipleship among Muslims in these countries.
Strongholds of Islamic extremism to be rendered ineffective in Pakistan.
Young people to navigate the tension between innovation and tradition, choosing Jesus with their families, in India.
For long-term transformation in the battle against extreme poverty in Bangladesh.
“About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, ‘Cornelius!’” (Acts 10:3).
Zira was born into a very devout Muslim family. Her mother taught her to pray toward Mecca five times each day. She learned to submit to her father and brothers, knowing that by doing so she was honoring her family. When she was of age, she began covering her hair with a hijab, believing that modesty brought honor to her and her family. She fasted during Ramadan. She gave alms. By all accounts she was a good Muslim.
But she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more. With every bow of her head to the ground, she questioned if this was what God truly wanted. She watched her family as they worked hard to fulfill the requirements set by their religion. She wondered why it was so important to please this God who seemingly didn’t want to know her. She continued in her piety but silently questioned the emptiness in her heart.
Those questions continued to plague her heart until one night she was wakened by someone saying her name. It wasn’t a voice she recognized. From the safety of her bed, she frantically searched for the source of the voice. Her eyes settled on a man standing at the foot of her bed. Startled, she froze knowing that if her family found this man in her room she would be punished. As she summoned her courage to look at the man who had entered her room, she first noticed that light seemed to emanate from within him. As he said her name again, she was overcome with a depth of love she had never known before. When this man revealed himself to be Jesus, she knew she would never be the same. She knew she would do anything to continue following him.
Every day Muslims around the world are experiencing visions and dreams. Jesus is calling Muslims to himself. Let us pray that the hearts of Muslims are open to the truth in these dreams and visions.
Pray for Jesus to reveal himself to Muslims through dreams and visions.
Pray that Muslims will be open to receiving the message of Jesus through dreams and visions.
Pray for Christian workers to be in the lives of those experiencing dreams and visions to share the gospel with them.