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Thank You for Praying

God’s love for the Muslim people is immeasurable, and we are honored to live in a time when many Muslims around the world are coming to know Jesus as the Son of God and their Savior. As Ramadan ends, thank you for standing with us in prayer during the past thirty days.

We would like to invite you to participate in a survey about our Ramadan prayer series. Please click here to take a short survey. Thank you for your participation and input.

The Power of Testimony

There are powerful testimonies of Muslims who rejected Islam and now have a relationship with Jesus Christ. MBB’s (Muslim-background believers) testify how receiving Jesus as Lord has changed them.

One example is the testimony of Fatemah. Her earliest memories were of being raped by her brothers. At age 11, she was sold in marriage to a young drug addict who abused her and then divorced her when she was 17. Upon returning home, she was raped again until she decided to leave. On the streets, she heard the gospel preached, and she trusted Jesus. In time, she married a Christian man. As they were receiving training in evangelism and church planting, Fatemah felt called to go back home and witness to her family. She rejoiced as she saw her entire family repent and give their lives to the Lord!

In another testimony, Miriam and her 10-year-old daughter were recently in the mountains trying to escape from her sharia law nation when COVID-19 started. She shared, “We knew that we had to walk for days and pass through dangerous paths in the mountains for our freedom. In the beginning, we didn’t know the virus had started because in the mountains we had no access to phones and the internet and I did not want to know the future. We were on our way of escape in the mountains, realizing the Islamic police were searching everywhere to find us and we heard about the virus crisis ahead of us. Jesus had already taught me to focus on the present. I knew thinking about the future at that point would only distract me and bring fear. I would not allow myself to forget that Jesus would be with us all the way to freedom.”

Miriam continued, “My daughter cried all the way, but she did not understand that our walk was to freedom. We had to walk for hours and could only sleep for three hours on the dusty ground. We knew we had to make it to the border. If our escape had been unsuccessful, the punishment would have been even harsher. We were told the border wasn’t safe because of the coronavirus, and the police were controlling the borders more strictly than before. We had no choice but to continue. We were praying loudly in the mountains and calling upon the name of Jesus as we were walking in the dark; our faith was the only thing moving us ahead. By God’s grace, we finally were able to cross the border into the nearby nation. Freedom at last! We are now in a place where we know we won’t be imprisoned and tortured for our faith. We are so grateful to Jesus.”

As we hear the testimonies, our hearts are stirred and challenged when we learn of the sacrifices and persecutions faced by Muslims when becoming believers in Jesus. 

PRAYER POINTS

  • During this Ramadan time of prayer, Muslim hearts are more open than at other times, and they are being challenged in their faith. Allow the love of God to minister to you and reveal ways to pray for them during the year.
  • Pray that the MBBs (Muslim Background believers) will continue to grow in their faith, be courageous, and develop meaningful relationships with others to encourage them in their walk with Christ.

Be Open About Your Faith and Your Beliefs

Muslims love to talk about religious issues. Just as many “Christians” are only in name and not truly walking with the Lord, the same is true about many Muslims. Often they know little about the beliefs; instead, it is a practice of rituals. Usually, when there is a discussion with them, we find that a lot of their objections to Christianity are from hearsay and not based upon the Word of God.

You may talk with a Muslim who has studied the Bible – just to criticize it. But many have never read any part of the Bible. When speaking with them, state what you believe clearly, without apology, showing you believe the Bible is the Word of God! Use the scriptures to explain your point. It may seem unusual, but Muslims will respect you more when you stand firm for your Christian beliefs. If there is a question they have and you don’t know the correct answer, tell them you will find out. Then be sure to do it.

Be a good listener. You will learn how they view things in general. Remember in the scriptures how Jesus would listen and respond. Avoid theological terminology. Terms such as ‘regeneration,’ ‘the new birth,’ ‘justification,’ ‘being filled with the Holy Spirit’ etc. will not be understood by them. Forgiveness, assurance, and eternal life are familiar words.

Emphasize the importance of Jesus. A Muslim is more interested in what Jesus said, what He did, and what He commanded. They also love to hear the stories of the prophets, such as Noah, Daniel, Abraham, David, etc. If possible, show how various prophets foretold the coming of Jesus. 

In conversation, because ‘Son of God’ is offensive, use Messiah. (Muslims believe in a coming Messiah). They will most likely be interested in hearing about His second coming.

Muslims pray 5 times a day. Share with them that Christians can and do pray at any time. We are not restricted in any way in prayer. They believe they go to ‘paradise’ because of good works. Let them know we are saved by grace through faith. We are to do good works, but our salvation is based solely on Jesus’ sacrifice by taking the sins of the world when He was on the cross. 

As you develop a relationship, you can then ask important questions. For example: 

  • Do you expect to go to heaven (paradise)?
  • Do you have the assurance that God will accept you? When asking this question, it is recommended you share scriptures from I John 5, considered the ‘know’ chapter. It assures us of our salvation through Jesus. 
  • You can ask, “What does the Qur’an teach about forgiveness?” If they are open, share I John 1:9; our assurance of forgiveness. Genuine discussions, not arguments, show you care and reveal you are interested in the important and essential things of life.

 Three of the top reasons Muslims receive Christ in Western nations:

  • Receiving a Bible, especially the New Testament. Romans 10:17 declares, “… faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
  • Meeting a godly and caring Christian friend.
  •  Experiencing a loving evangelical church. One Muslim, a single woman from Iraq, found the church a place full of special people. She shared, “When I came to the church, I found the people—they are just full of joy. From the way they were dealing with each other, they were so nice, I also became full of joy. I listened to the songs and it was so beautiful. I was really astonished. Through the pastor, I came to know the words of the gospel. His words came straight to my heart. The words I heard made me fall in love with Christ more and more. I wanted to become [a] Christian like them.”

PRAYER POINTS

  • Ask God to bring a Muslim into your life to share with and lead to the Lord.
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to pray for Muslims today.

Reaching Muslims with God’s Truth

Muslims do not know the unconditional love of God. Feeling loved, forgiven, and accepted by God is perhaps their greatest need. They are blessed by simple acts of kindness done with a heart of love. Honoring and serving them speaks volumes. 

The mission field is in our midst. When we have an opportunity with a Muslim, it is good to become acquainted with their basic beliefs, and then ask honest and sincere questions. For example, ask them to share what their faith means to them. Often the Muslim community feels attacked by Christians, and they are initially cautious. They will open up if they sense you are sincerely interested in them, rather than trying to get a conversion commitment at the first possible opportunity. You may discuss the Christian similarities to Islam, such as moral living, godly families, fasting, etc. 

Do not assume their ideas of the character of God, Jesus, and the Spirit are the same as yours. Muslims are taught that Christians believe in three gods; God the Father, God the Son and God the Mother (Mary). They believe Jesus is a great prophet but that it is blasphemy to believe Jesus is the Son of God. Do not argue that point; give the Holy Spirit time to reveal the truth. Muslims believe in a Messiah, so let them know we believe Jesus is the Messiah. They also believe that Christians and Jews have changed the Bible. Because of pornography from the West and the Western media, they equate Christianity with free sex, drugs, alcohol, divorce . . . all the evils of the West. They do not understand that to be born in our society does not automatically make us Christian. You may express that you do not approve of the evils that we see in society and explain how one becomes a true Christian. 

We are reminded that Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest” (John 4:35).

Nine out of ten Muslims around the world have never met a Christian. From childhood, they are taught that we are the “infidel.” Unfortunately, many have a “Hollywood image” of Christianity. In western nations (including Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), only one out of 100 Muslims have ever been invited into a Christian home. 

It is not the Muslim people, but the ideology they follow that is the challenge. Muslims are prisoners of their ideology, bound by Satan and thus spiritually blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45a). Our loving prayers and reaching out in friendship will change their image of us and open the door of their hearts.

Muslims are usually warm people relationally, and hospitality is so important to them. The best way to win a Muslim’s trust is to consistently show the sincere love of Christ to them. One way to demonstrate that we care is by inviting them to our home and having sincere fellowship. God’s love never fails! 

PRAYER POINTS

  • Many Muslim students attend Western universities. Pray they will not be adversely affected by the lifestyle of others, but rather influenced by the relationships with Christians that they meet.
  • Ask God to give opportunities for Christians to meet Muslims and begin building relationships. Pray for a sensitivity to the leading of the Lord in sharing the gospel of Christ with them. 

Night of Power

In the Bible in Genesis 16:11, Ishmael was the first person named by the living God before he was even born. His name means “God hears.” The Qur’an upholds the Muslim belief that Ishmael, not Isaac, was Abraham’s ultimate heir. Ishmael is mentioned several times throughout the Qur’an and it is through the Islamic scripture that he is considered as a messenger, prophet, and one preferred by God.

Near the end of Ramadan’s 30 days is the “Night of Power” (Laylat Al Qadr), the holiest night of the year for Muslims. Most Islamic scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of Ramadan’s final ten days, but is typically celebrated on the 27th day. It commemorates the night that Muslims believe their Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Qur’an, recorded in Sura 96.

They believe that from sunset to dawn, during the whole Night of Power, there are groups of angels who perform particular purposes and are only seen on this night. Some angels come down for worship or for granting the request of the believing Muslim. Other angels come down bringing with them proclamations of the coming year.

Today many Muslims think this is a special night when God gives heed to their requests. They are open to dreams and visions as they seek for guidance and revelation. Many Muslims pray all night, seeking a response to specific requests. One common belief is that angels will shower down Allah’s peace and blessings on all who remain awake during this “night of power.” According to the Qur’an, Allah either listens directly or via the angel Gabriel, to the requests of Muslims concerning their fate.

Muslims also call this the “Night of Destiny,” and it seems equally important among orthodox Muslims and in Folk Islam. It is on this night, and during the following weeks that many Muslims have had supernatural encounters with Jesus Christ.

Muslims are encouraged to stay awake the entire night and pray for blessings and forgiveness. According to Abu Huraira translation of the Hadith, the prophet Muhammed declared that “whoever prays during the Night of Power with faith and hoping for its reward will have all his previous sins forgiven.” Many things a Muslim will endeavor to do on the Night of Power, include reciting and studying the Quran, making special requests from Allah, evaluating their own lives, and making plans for the next year.

For the past 1400 years, many Muslims stay up all night to prove their devotion to Allah through their prayers, even being proud of their religious accomplishments. Others, knowing in their hearts that they are incapable of really pleasing God by their own religious activity, will feel disappointed with themselves. Finally, significant numbers will be praying in desperation and genuinely seeking help from God and will have a dream or vision of Jesus.

Our God has not forgotten that He named Abraham’s son Ishmael, which means “God hears.” Today God hears the cries of Ishmael’s descendants who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Let us cry out that they will indeed be guided to the true right path – the path to peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER POINTS

  • Since this is a time of heightened spiritual activity, pray that Christians around the world will be quickened by the Holy Spirit to pray and contend for the salvation of the Muslim people.
  • God is hearing the prayers of the Muslim people around the world – pray that their hearts will be open to His truth as He reveals Himself to them.
  • Pray that Jesus Christ, the Son of the true and living God will appear to Muslims during this time through dreams and visions. 

Jesus (Isa) in the Qur’an

Jesus is actually mentioned by name in more than 93 different verses in the Qur’an! 

To witness to Muslims, it is helpful for Christians to know what the Qur’an teaches. Muslims believe that the Bible has been corrupted, and therefore the teachings it contains about Jesus are corrupt. So, if you tell a Muslim what the Qur’an says about Jesus, he will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say. Muslims who have converted to Christianity point out the importance of using verses in the Qur’an that speak the truth about Jesus when witnessing to Muslims.

To the Christian, Jesus is Savior, Lord, and Son of God. The primary message which Islam delivers about Jesus (Isa) is that He was a prophet. For that reason, the Muslim who is knowledgeable about the Qur’an will use His name and titles reverently. But the Qur’an has much more to say about Isa than that he is only a prophet. Here are a few of the things the Qur’an says about Isa:

The Virgin Birth: The Qur’an affirms Jesus’ virgin birth. Because of this, Mary is given high regard and considered with great honor. But Jesus is not held in the same high regard even though He was born of a virgin. Rather His virgin birth is seen as a sign of Allah’s power and as a miraculous event (Sura 3:47, Sura 19:19-20).

Miracles:  Jesus is described in both the Bible and the Qur’an as having performed miracles. It reports in the Bible in Matthew 1:21 that Jesus accomplished miracles to point people to his primary mission, to save them from their sins. The Qur’an stresses that the miracles of Jesus revealed in the Qur’an were performed by the permission and power of Allah, but no reference to any relationship of miracles to Jesus’ mission of saving people from their sins. Interestingly, there are no miracles attributed to Muhammad anywhere in the Qur’an. 

Word of God: No other prophets, including Muhammad, are called the word of God. Muslims explain Jesus was a “word.” This refers to Jesus in terms of being a prophet or of coming with a word; as a messenger. In the Qur’an, there is no connection between Jesus as the word who becomes flesh as it is taught in the Bible (John 1:1, 14). 

Not the Son of God:  Islam teaches that Jesus is only a prophet who is a created being. He is a great man but not Savior and Lord. They deny Jesus was God incarnate. To say Jesus is the Son of God is considered blasphemy. Any Muslim who believes that Jesus Christ is God has committed “the one unforgivable sin” called shirk — a sin that will send him to hell. To associate the divine nature of Allah with a man is the greatest sin one can commit. Muslims need to know that they have misunderstood the Christian belief in the Trinity. Christians do not believe in three Gods. Christians believe God is One, and only one, but believe He eternally exists in Tri-unity. This is a mystery, but to those who will, by faith, accept God in His great revelation to man, the Holy Bible declares that this mystery becomes a reality. However, Muslims believe that Christians are polytheists (believing in three gods – God, Jesus, and Mary).

Messiah means Anointed One in Hebrew and Christ, in Greek. However, in the Qur’an, this title for Jesus has a different meaning than for the Jews or Christians. To the Muslim, the title of Messiah means Jesus as messenger with the task of equipping and commissioning. The role of Jesus, the Messiah, who is Savior, is found only in the Bible.

PRAYER POINTS

  • A Muslim can be full of fear to believe that Jesus Christ is God because it is “the one unforgivable sin” called shirk — a sin that will send him to hell. Pray their eyes will be opened to Jesus and have the courage to respond to the One who is Truth.
  • Pray that Muslims will have an opportunity to experience signs and wonders in the name of Jesus, and His miracle-working power released in their lives.

Valley of Decision

As believers in Christ, we are called by God to pray for the salvation of all those throughout the world who have not received Christ as their Savior. This call can be seen as an overwhelming challenge or as a great opportunity. It is essential to understand and be confident that God will not call us to do something that He does not equip us to do.  

We are challenged when we recognize we are called to believe for the salvation of the unsaved Muslims throughout the world and to rise to the call of prayer and witness. There are more than 1.6 billion Muslins without Christ in this valley of decision. 

Fortunately, it is into this time that God has promised through the prophet Joel (2:28-29) to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. In his book, “No Little People,” Francis Schaeffer noted that “the more the Holy Spirit works, the more Christians will be used in the battle.” And Dr. Peter Wagner, founder of Global Harvest Ministries, reminds us that while “God brings the harvest to ripeness, he does not harvest it. That privilege He has left to His Church.” This challenge is our privilege!

There is no other group on the earth like the body of Christ. God has given His Church all they need to accomplish His purposes. He has gifted His Body of Believers with the gifts of His Spirit and the authority that is in His name. And God promises throughout His Word that He will go before us and make a way where there seems to be no way. There is a contemporary Christian song called “Waymaker” that celebrates God making a way in the darkness.  

With this guarantee that God knows the way to bring the Muslims out of the darkness of Islam and into the light of Christianity, we, as His Body can confidently pray for and believe for the salvation of Muslims in this hour on earth.  

We have the tools in God, and we have the authority in His name. There is no other group on the earth like the body of Christ, who has what they need to accomplish God’s purposes. The time is NOW to respond to God’s call and see those He loves released through prayer and brought into His kingdom.

Take up the challenge and pray!

PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray that the generational walls of deception will be broken, and the truth of God’s love through Jesus will reach the hearts of Muslims throughout the world.
  • Ask God to give the body of Christ the opportunity to witness to Muslims boldly, with wisdom, and with compassion. 

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