Aug 29 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!
Blowing in the wind of the Spirit
Canada is currently involved in a diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia. On August 2, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her alarm about the imprisonment of human rights activists Raif and Samar Badawi and strongly called for Saudi Arabia to release them. Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister demanded she apologize for interfering in his country’s internal affairs. PM Trudeau refused and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expelled the Canadian ambassador from Riyadh and recalled his from Canada, froze trade with Canada, and ordered all Saudi nationals in Canada to come home within the month. That’s up to 15,000 people, including many medical professionals and students.
One Saudi student, about to defend his PhD after living in Canada 10 years, writes that this edict from the Crown Prince means “selling furniture of a four-bedroom house, finding someone to take over my lease, selling my car, giving notice to my child's school, giving notice to my two part-time jobs, bank accounts, investments, etc.” Impossible to do in one month! He has gone through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. He’s hoping to be able to arrange to defend from Saudi Arabia, once he’s resettled. (CBC Calgary, Point of View, Aug 16)
The same unnamed student wrote about why he chose to study in Canada: “Because it is one of the most welcoming and freedom-supporting countries, with huge diversity. Every ethnicity and religion, living in peace, minding their own business and contributing to society. This is the role model of countries; this is Canada.” That freedom has provided opportunity for many Saudis to have access to the Gospel message. How many are returning home with seeds planted within them, Bibles in their luggage, Jesus in their hearts?
Was it the Holy Spirit who sent them here and is now blowing them back home to reinforce the small church that already exists in hiding there? How many doctors will now be ministering to their own people in the privacy of their offices in the name of Christ?
Dick Brogden believes that dreams and visions are more usual in the salvation journey of Muslims because they need to know that God will be with them as they endure the unbearable shame that will result from the reproach and rejection of their family and community if they choose to follow Christ (Live/Dead Joy, 2014 Salubris Resources, p 270).
Pray for Saudis carrying Jesus in their hearts as they return home from Canada to have dreams and visions of Jesus that reassure them of His promise never to leave us. Pray He would comfort and help them through this upheaval in their lives.
In 2 Co 6:14-18, Paul exhorts the Corinthians to separate themselves from the wickedness surrounding them and live righteous lives where they are. Pray similarly for the Saudi believers, that they will know they are temples of the living God, that He will walk among them, and be their God, and they shall be His people.” Declare that He will be a Father to them, and they shall be His sons and daughters.”
Pray for wisdom and grace for officials from both governments to negotiate in appropriate ways for the benefit of their people, citizens and subjects.
Pray the seed of the Gospel will bear much fruit in audi Arabia. Nothing is too difficult for God!
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