“God is the most great! I bear witness that there is no God but Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. Come to prayer. Come to salvation. God is the most great! There is no God but Allah.”
As missionaries living in the Islamic world, the sound of the Muslim call to prayer came into our apartment five times a day to remind us of our need to pray for the salvation of our Muslim friends and neighbors. In response, we prayed, “God, You are most great! We bear witness that there is no God but You. We bear witness that Christ is Your Messiah, our Savior. We pray that Christians will come to prayer for Muslims. We pray that Muslims will come to Your salvation. God, You are most great! There is no God but You.”
Now that we are living in North Carolina, we are still burdened for the growing number of Muslims who live around us. Here are some ways you can pray for them.
- Pray for laborers
In Luke 10:2, Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. This continues to be the case in Muslim evangelism. In Guilford County, for example, there are more than 5,000 Muslims with only one church intentionally focused on reaching them in their own language and cultural context.When young people share a desire for ministry among Muslims, it is often their own church that gives the most discouragement – “You will be persecuted and still there will be no response. Where will the return on our investment be if no one is saved?” Pray that more churches and individuals will have a God-given passion for reaching Muslims with the gospel. Pray that those who are called will receive the spiritual, emotional and financial support they need to carry out God’s call.
When Christians warn of persecution, they are not just making idle talk. Many people involved in Muslim evangelism are threatened and many converts are harassed or martyred for their faith. We have seen friends threatened and their property destroyed. While living overseas, we attended the funeral of a Muslim background believer friend who was killed to stop him from sharing the gospel. This situation is similar to the one encountered by the early church, and we can learn from their example. When threatened, the apostles did not give up, and instead they prayed, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29).
- Signs and wonders
The apostles’ prayer continued, “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30). Demonstrations of the power of God through signs and dreams often occur prior to a movement from Islam to Christ. Pray that God will continue to reveal Himself in powerful ways. But of course, a dream or sign is not enough. ray for a believer to be available who can help them understand what God is saying to them, explain the gospel and point them to the Bible.
One unverified statistic we have frequently heard is that 40 percent of Muslim converts revert to Islam. While this figure may be inflated, the reality is the new life in Christ is not easy when it can cost a person his or her family, job, friends and even life. We must pray not only for conversion, but also for the strength to persevere. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Paul wrote, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
- Church planting
One reason many Muslim converts fall away is because of the lack of nurture and support of a local church. Often they live under the threat of a repressive regime that would not allow the establishment of a “traditional church.”
In America, they may not speak the same language as the people in the churches around them. But the author of the epistle to the Hebrews warned that Christians should “not give up the habit of meeting together, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).
Paul faced the same problem, but he did not seem to mind because he did not start “traditional” churches. Instead he brought people together in house meetings where they could provide mutual support, encouragement and accountability in a language and cultural setting that was familiar to the new believers. The intimate nature of these churches developed a greater accountability, and, in communities where safety is an issue, they also give greater security.
Why not begin today to pray regularly for the Muslims who live near you. Begin to make a list of people you encounter in your neighborhood, at work or through your daily activities. Pray for the Muslims you read about in the paper or see in the news. And watch expectantly for God’s response.