Category Archives: Prayer

Day 30: Christian Institutions & Virus

Day 30: Christian Institution & Virus
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Link: http://vimeo.com/173106240

Nota Bene: This post marks the final daily entry for the 30 Days of Prayer for 2016 Ramadan! Thank you for watching the videos and participating in this event through your daily prayers. Please contact Bruce Persons if you have any comments or questions!

Written Transcript:

In 1884, France constructed the magnificent St Louis Cathedral in Carthage, Tunisia. The Bey (monarch) of Tunis ceded the cathedral property to the French crown in perpetuity to serve as the leading cathedral for all Africa. The Byzantine-Moorish edifice with its soaring cupolas, stained-glass windows and six-ton great bell was expected to anchor Christianity in North Africa for a thousand years. Within a century, the worship in the cathedral had ceased, and the building was regulated to concerts and social events under its new name, the Acorpolium.

Throughout Europe and Northern Africa, England, France, and other superpowers have constructed cathedrals, hospitals, universities, and buildings dedicated to Christianity, but they do not constitute a movement of faith. Through the lenses of the world, we view “Christian” buildings and institutions as trophies of conquest and evidence of advance, while viewing the absence of these buildings as the absence of movements. But this is not the case.

There are many people in a neighboring North African country who has more than two dozen church elders – all converts from a Muslim background. They testify to the spread of the gospel across their North African homeland. The loss of the cathedral has not prevented a movement to Christ from happening.

Many Christian organizations and enterprise has been seduced by the hope that by establishing church buildings, hospitals, and schools, they are somehow establishing outposts of the Kingdom of God. In reality, the Kingdom of God is established through born-again men and women who submit their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Movements take place when they hear the gospel and respond. The evidence of this Kingdom advance is found, not in buildings and institutions, but in the viral spread of the gospel, as demonstrated through transformed lives, sharing the message of Christ with others and gathering together for fellowship and the study of God’s Word. Buildings follow.

When viral movements take place, buildings, cathedrals, hospitals and universities will follow. They never precede viral movements of the gospel.

– Pray that Christians will see the Kingdom of God as communities of born-again believers, not as buildings.

– Pray that Christians will invest resources in demonstrating and sharing the gospel and in discipleship rather than in the construction of buildings and institutions.

– Pray for emerging movements in North Africa and across the Muslim world that are spreading from person to person by the thousands.

Source: www.30daysprayer.org 

Day 29: Muslim Idiom Translations

Day 29: Muslim Idiom Translations
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Link: http://vimeo.com/173106159

Written Transcript:

Though Islam, like Christianity, is a global religion that seeks the conversion of all people, Islam is challenged by a particular approach unavoidably tied to seventh-century Arab culture. Muslims around the world struggle to pray in the Arabic language, memorizing a holy book only available in Arabic.

Christianity, in contrast, translates into local human cultures and languages. In the Christian faith, the eternal God of all creation translated Himself into a local human form and adopted the language and culture of the Jewish people. Over the ages, Christianity has advanced throughout the world by translating that eternal gospel into local cultures and languages.

Christians also worship God in their own language all over the world. They call God by a thousand different names, and although different, they corporately worship “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Although the gospel is translated into every language on earth, the core essence of the message remains the same passed down from the antiquity (Jude 3).

There are some discussions about how Christians should translate “Allah.” Apologists argue that Allah is, in fact, a different God – often pointing to its roots as an ancient Babylonian moon goddess. Other people contend that the name “Allah” is related to the ancient Semitic word for God (Elohim) that appears in our Hebrew Bibles. It is important to note that Muslims do not worship a moon goddess or even admit the existence of a moon goddess; Christians must certainly agree with this.

Perhaps more important is that Arab Christians worshiped God as “Allah” long before the birth of Muhammad. Arab Christians and other major language communities continue to use the name “Allah” exclusively to refer to the God of the Bible. They recognize, as all believers should, that the importance of a name lies in the sacred revelation – in our case, the Bible – that gives it its meaning.

Every movement of Muslims to faith in Christ today has coincided with a local language translation of the Bible. Translators call these local translations in Muslim communities, “Muslim idiom translations.”

The beauty of the Christian faith is that it translates into local cultures and languages. God has chosen to reveal Himself to each people group in their own language and culture, and we should rejoice for this reason.

– Pray for the continued translation of the Bible into local Muslim languages and dialects so that all Muslims will understand the gospel message.

– Pray for unity among Christians who make efforts to convey the truth of the gospel to the Muslim world.

– Pray that non-Arab Muslims will recognize that they don’t have to abandon their own language and culture to approach and worship the God of all creation.

Source: www.30daysprayer.org 

Day 28: Night of Power

Day 28: Night of Power
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Link: http://vimeo.com/173106161

Written Transcript:

The 27th night of Ramadan is called Laylat al-Qadr, which translates as “Great or Valuable Night.” It is also known as the “Night of Power,” the “Valuable Night” and the “Night of the Divine Order.”

Laylat al-Qadr was the first night of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad by the Archangel Jibrail (Gabriel). Muslims regard this as the most important event in history. They spend much of this night in prayer and worship as prayers offered on this night are thought to be worth all the prayers of one thousand months; many expect on this night they will hear from God in dreams.

Muslims often attest to the role of dreams in their life. Many of Muslim-background believers have reported of a “being of light” who haunts their slumber and left them seeking a higher truth. Many believers have learned how to be a dream catcher for Jesus. They recognize that the Holy Spirit can use extraordinary means to reach Muslims. God through the Holy Spirit seems to be using dreams to convict Muslims of sin, judgment, and righteousness – of their need for Jesus.

– Pray for Muslims on this Night of Power, that God will reveal Himself to them in many ways.

– Pray for dreams of Jesus to encourage Muslims all over the world to find out more about Him.

– Pray for dream catchers – believers who can help Muslims understand who the “being of light” in their dreams is and how He wants them to follow Him.

Source: www.30daysprayer.org 

Day 27: Yida Refugee Camp

Day 27: Yida Refugee Camp
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Link: http://vimeo.com/173106160

Written Transcript:

The Bible is full of stories of people who were driven from their homelands, and there are many refugees who are longing for safety and shelter nowadays. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have found safety in a refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan, the youngest state in the world.

There are 70 ethnic groups in the Yida camp, and some people groups have fled from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan such as the Dagig, Ashron, Lira, Moro, Shad and Tabanya. This is due to repeated bombings by the Sudanese military in an ongoing civil war conflict, and people have lost their homes, family members, and livelihoods. Now they are living in refugee camps where they receive only the most essential supplies through various aid organizations.

Among the refugees, there are a few who follow Jesus. They have formed small fellowships within the camp and aim to reach out with the gospel to their Muslim countrymen. The local church leaders have set an ambitious goal to engage all of the more than 70 ethnic groups in the Yida camp. One major obstacle is the majority of people in the camp speak languages that are not written and only a few are literate. Therefore they do not have translations of the Bible.

Jesus taught people with stories and parables. Following his example, motivated believers are trained to tell biblical content in exciting ways and to answer questions from their Muslim compatriots. Through this, it is evident God is at work! Muslims are hearing about Jesus for the first time and becoming his followers. The believers in refugee camps are using this unique opportunity to make the gospel known to these Muslim refugees. When they go back home, they will be able to take the good news to those who stayed at home.

– Pray for these new believers to grow in unity, encourage one another in fellowship and love, and be a light in the Yida camp.

– Pray for safety in the camps and for good stewardship of aid resources so that the needs of the refugees are met.

– Pray for peace in the region so that these refugees can return to their homes in the Nuba Mountains and the believers among them will take the gospel there.

Source: www.30daysprayer.org

Day 26: Syrian Refugees

Day 26: Syrian Refugees
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Link: http://vimeo.com/172131354

Written Transcript:

Until recently, Syria was a stable country. The agricultural and petroleum economies provided a sufficient income for most of the population. Children were able to go to school and people obtain higher education. Under the authoritarian regime of Assad, ruthless actions were taken against political enemies, but religious and ethnic minorities enjoyed a peaceful coexistence with the Sunni Muslim majority.

Ever since the Arab Spring, a civil war has sprung up in 2011 that has only grown worse year after year. More than half of its population has had to leave their homes and embark on a journey into the unknown. Many fled the country to relatives and friends. More than 4 million are now living in neighboring countries where they are increasingly perceived as a heavy burden. Many manage to survive on handouts and children often have no access to education. No one knows what the future will hold for them.

This uncertain journey out of Syria has also made it possible for Muslims to escape a tightly controlled social environment, enabling them to show interest in the Christian faith more openly. The atrocities perpetrated by Islamic State extremists challenge the values of Islamic faith. Many Muslims are open now to invitations to churches who offer them practical love through distribution of food packages, blankets, heating material and counseling. God continues to work in midst of the Syrian refugees. In some areas, churches are full of new believers, in others there is openness and many opportunities to talk about faith.

– Pray for the end of the conflict in Syria.

– Pray for the millions of refugees and their physical and psychological needs.

– Pray that the church will respond wholeheartedly to help and support refugees with both immediate and ongoing needs as they integrate into their new homelands.

Source: www.30daysprayer.org