Pray for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

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.

Quick Facts

  • Muslim Population of Pakistan ~195 million
  • Muslim Population of India ~190 million
  • Muslim Population of Bangladesh ~150 million
  • Percentage of All Muslims ~ 28%
  • Muslim Unreached People Groups ~800

*derived from: www.worldodemeters.info; www.pbs.gov.pk; www.census2011.co.in; www.joshuaproject.net

Life in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh

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.

Opportunities

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

Pray for…

  • 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.

Pray for Dreams and Visions

“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).

Dina, an 11 year old refugee, has an autoimmune disease causing the early onset of arthritis in her joints. She mainly lays on a cushion on the floor with her hands and knees contracted from the illness. After listening to her medical history and being assessed by a physical therapist, one of our local staff felt prompted to share: Jesus the Messiah raised up a twelve year old girl from the dead. He wasn’t sure how this would be received as Dina wasn’t dead and he didn’t want to imply anything. Immediately her mother started crying. “Last night I had a dream, my daughter had died and I went to visit her grave. There was a young man in his 30s wearing white sitting by a grave who kept looking at me. I wasn’t afraid but curious who is this man? I then walked back to my house and fainted and two neighbors helped me up. While falling I had a vision of helping my daughter button her white school shirt. I couldn’t cry at the grave, but my daughter’s shirt reminded me of this man at her grave and I started weeping.”

While Dina’s mother wasn’t sure who this man was, our local staff were able to share that it was Jesus and that He is the resurrection and the life. Our team prayed for Dina, and while there wasn’t an instantaneous healing she was able to scoot over to the wall and push herself up against the wall to stand. Her mother hadn’t seen this before. Pray for Dina and her family that they would welcome Jesus Christ into their hearts and home and that they would desire to learn more about God through discussing the Bible as a family

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.

Prayer Points:

  • 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.
  • Pray for Jesus to be glorified among Muslims.

Pray for the Sahel Region of Africa

For Sudan, ask God for:

  • A new wave of workers who already speak Arabic to enter Sudan from all over the world—Egyptians and other Arabs, easterners, westerners, global southerners, and others.
  • Strength for the persecuted Sudanese church.
  • The Sudanese diaspora who have entered the Kingdom to return to their families and communities in their homeland to advance the Kingdom.
  • A change in the government/leadership.

“Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem (SUDAN) will be a city (COUNTRY) without walls because of the great number of people (PEOPLE) and animals (PROVIDENCE) in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire (PROTECTION) around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory (PRESENCE) within.’ Zechariah 2:4-5

Somalia/Somaliland, ask God for:

  • Soft, repentant hearts to receive the gift of God’s love and healing salvation.
  • Workers and creative access to Somalis.

For Ethiopia, ask God for:

  • The church to be set aflame with His love, power and presence.
  • A strong and revived and healed church that reaches out to neighbors and neighboring people groups and countries.

For the Sahel region, ask God for:

  • Workers to live among unengaged peoples.
  • Workers who speak French and Arabic who are able to learn tribal languages.
  • Workers who are able to live simply in very challenging physical and spiritual environments.

Generally for the Sahel and East Africa, ask God for:

  • Muslim women to come into the Kingdom—matriarchs, young women (to be wives for the young men who are believers), and young girls.
  • Dreams, visions and the grace to obey what God speaks to them.
  • Miraculous and powerful displays of Holy Spirit’s love.
  • Freedom from demonic strongholds and spirits-fear, pride, religious, etc.
  • Revelation to Muslims of the evils and deception of Islam.

Pray for Fundamentalist Muslim Groups

!!

 “And Saul approved of his [Stephen’s] execution” (Acts 8:1 ESV).

Saul/Paul was a notorious persecutor of Christians. So much so that Ananias, when he was asked by the Lord to go to Saul answered, “Lord I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13 ESV). Ananias was frightened of this fundamentalist.

And yet, the Lord met Saul where he was and changed him into the person who would write more of the New Testament than any other person, the passionate follower of Christ who planted churches and gave us deep theology of redemption. This assassin turned into a martyr.

Today, fundamentalist Muslim groups plague the earth. They kidnap little girls, they hunt down believers, they burn down churches. They murder, torment, and cause terror around the world. They are called our enemies.

And yet, Jesus loves them deeply. He longs for a relationship with the leader of ISIS. He calls to the leader of Boko Haram. He has deep compassion for the men of the Taliban. Yes, these men have committed horrible acts AND Jesus can still redeem them!

What better way is there to fight terrorism than with the redeeming love of Christ? Terrorists are not beyond the saving grace of Jesus Christ. A friend of a middle east worker had a life goal of becoming a suicide bomber. He was full of anger and hatred. Over the course of time, he discovered the Bible and read the words of Jesus. Those words brought healing and life to his broken heart, changing the course of his life forever. Can we believe the same for all fundamentalist Muslims around the world?

Prayer Points:

Pray that Jesus would reveal himself to members of fundamentalist Muslim groups.

Pray for followers of Jesus to be like Ananias: brave in the face of potential harm knowing that Jesus has called them to the difficult places.

Pray for the Word of God to flood fundamentalist group camps and for those who read and hear the words of God to have open eyes and ears to the truth of Jesus.

Pray for Jesus to be glorified among those who have committed themselves to fundamentalist Muslim groups.

Pray for Central Asia

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.

Pray For:

  • 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.

Pray for Signs and Wonders

“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

“The 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

“Paul 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 to heal!”

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that 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.