Fundamentalist Muslim groups plague the earth. Even so, Jesus loves them.
“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 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, and with Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram. Yes, these men, and those they lead, 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?
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.
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.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them; and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:44
April 24th marks the beginning of 30 days of prayer and fasting among Muslims. This is their holy month. It is a time to seek God and be with community. During this important religious time, we pray that many Muslims encounter the true God.
Ramadan 2020 will be remarkably different from all others in living memory, possibly in all history. Instead of the typical communal Ramadan experience, many will face this time under some level of quarantine. They will be forced out of their beloved traditions, facing uncertainty and fear. This unrest presents tremendous opportunity for Muslims to look to the source of true peace. We passionately pray they find the Lord of Peace and eternal freedom!
To focus our prayers, we will join with the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World initiative. Since the idea was first envisioned in 1992, believers around the world unite every year to pray for Muslims during the month of Ramadan.
The 10/10 initiative maintains focus on praying for 10% of Muslims to be saved. We also seek to partner with other prayer initiatives. Our open partnership with 30 days of Prayer for the Muslim World is one such example. All our posts during the 30 days of Ramadan are made with permission.
You may order a complete adult or children’s prayer guide through the site above. The guides are an excellent resource for families and communities.
“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: 30,931,000 (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.