Oct 10 2018
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
Last week as I flew from Cairo to Frankfort, the Lord sandwiched me between two women wearing hijab. I prayed internally, asking for an opening into their hearts during the 4½ hours of being crammed together. One of the women, older and with limited English, responded to smiles and occasional assistance. The other, probably in her late 30s, spoke excellent English. We chatted and found out a little bit about each other. She had been in Egypt visiting her elderly mother in the hospital and was exhausted from sleeping over in her room. Having boarded at 4 am, we all slept until the descent began.
I asked if I could pray for her mom in the name of Jesus, who is the Healer, and she agreed. Then she remarked she had noticed me reading the Bible and began a little presentation for me on how she believes in Jesus, but He is only a prophet. I was struck by her genuine concern that I know the “truth” – “This is so important,” she said, as she extolled the perfection of the Quran.
In the 20-minute conversation that ensued, I responded to her well-rehearsed list of accusations against the Bible and Christian faith by reading a number of scriptures with her. I am trained, I know the Bible, I’ve marked passages in my travel Bible that answer Muslim accusations, and I had asked the Holy Spirit for help. But as we gathered our things to disembark, I could say I had done my best to give her a reason for the hope I have with gentleness and respect (1 Pe 3:15) – but only God knows if anything I said penetrated her ingrained defenses against the Gospel.
This year I’ve been using Dick Brogden’s devotional Live/Dead Joy: 365 Days of Living and Dying with Jesus. In the devotion for the day I was engaging with my Muslim neighbour on the plane, Brogden writes that he feels overwhelmed when looking out over his city, Cairo: “No training seems adequate, no method tenable.” But he continues, “The Scriptures teach me to wean my soul from matters that do not concern me and are beyond me (Ps 131:2)…make me wise and complete…equip me (2 Ti 3:15-17) [and] remove a self-imposed pressure and remind me that all things – especially world evangelization – come from God (Zech 10).” It is such a blessing to just do my simple part and turn the result over to the Holy Spirit!
Let’s thank God that…
- The Gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Ro 1:16)
- The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (Jn 16:13)
- It is He who convicts “the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgment” (Jn 16:8)
- When we abide, Jesus produces the fruit (Jn 15:5)
Let’s declare in Jesus’ name that…
- Islamic arguments and pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God are demolished (2 Co 10:5)
- Lies about the perfection of the Quran and the prophet of Islam are fully disclosed (Mt 10:26)
Let’s pray for…
- The Holy Spirit to create among Muslims hunger that can only be satisfied by the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35) and thirst that can only be quenched by Living Water (Jn 4:10, 14)
- Muslims to hear the Gospel again and again
- Signs and wonders that point to Jesus (Mk 16:20)
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