With over 500,000 Muslims from a huge variety of ethnic backgrounds living in the Chicago area, we have vibrant ministry opportunities there.
May the Lord grant to the Christians in the area understanding on how to “Bridge the Gap” with the love of Jesus.
In prayer today, an image came to mind. I saw a devout man in prayer. He was bowed down in reverence and facing Mecca. When he tried to rise, his head was somehow riveted to the floor.
A voice behind me proclaimed Psalm 3:3.
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ lift the heads of our Muslim family and friends to ministry of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Living in West Bengal for three months as a teenager influenced my life greatly and continues to do so to this day. While serving among people in poverty I had never seen before, I first heard Mahatma Gandhi’s, “Live simply so others may simply live.”
While walking down a Kolkata street my walking partners said, “We’ve got to get out of here now.” So we hurried our way in a different direction. After the run to safety, I asked, “What is this all about?”
“The group of people coming our way on the street are Muslims on their way to make an animal sacrifice. The group behind us are Hindus who include the same animals in their worship. There will be a bloody battle between the two groups today.”
Bengali Muslims are the second largest Muslim ethnic group. May the Lord hear our prayers on their behalf.
With today’s prayer focus being an unnamed people group, I think it best to provide the group information from the prayer guide.
This unnamed people group are strong, independent mountain-dwellers, easily walking for a day to spend time with friends. Until recently, their rough mountainous region had no vehicular access, but working hard (with lots of dynamite!) the people are making a level way through the valleys, for the first time connecting needy people to markets and much-needed health services.
They live in Central Asia, and comprise only about 300,000 people made up of about five ethnic groups and speaking different languages. Known for straight-talking, honesty and practical jokes, their lives are plagued by conflict, religious laws, violence, sickness and death. Many leave their mountain due to fear of family revenge killings, lack of food or a desire to educate their children. Islamic extremism is also bringing conflict and widespread fear.
When praying for an unnamed people and situation, we totally rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide us.
The Masalit tribe of Sudan are in need of rain. Drought, desert and famine are often their greatest enemies in the natural and similar words are true of their nemesis in the spiritual. May the Lord grant the Masalit tribe rain in the natural and the spiritual. May their hearts be softened by the rain of the Spirit and the seed of God’s word planted in the heart’s soil.
I could find no photos of the Masalit tribe, so I selected this photo of others in Sudan.
For the Hui of China I am praying recognition of the removal of shame by Jesus on the cross. Honor and shame cultures are blessed in learning that Jesus took their shame on the cross and placing their trust in Him removes all shame AND gives them His honor. That is a glorious exchange. Our shame for His honor.
The Afar have heard the Gospel for many years and recently a few have placed their trust in Jesus for salvation. Glory to God! This people group, divided by various international borders, are in need of a sense of home, settledness, being heard and respected. Turning to Christ guarantees an eternal sense of home for these nomadic people who endure extreme heat and drought on a regular basis.
We pray for those who are assisting in the spiritual growth of the Afar and for anointed evangelism.
My various tourist activities in Turkey have all been delightful experiences. Visiting the Seven Churches of Asia strikes the somber note, “It is not a good thing when God says, “Or I will remove your candlestick. God has kept His promise. The church in Turkey is nearly gone entirely.
Yet God always has a righteous remnant and the land of Turkey is no exception. I’m praying God keeps the Christians living there safe and bold with their witness.
Childhood is the foundation upon which each person builds into their full potential in Christ.
Today we consider the 127th Psalm.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
The Psalmist reveals a connection between daily labor and family life.
In Psalm 127 the house is the temple and the city is Jerusalem. In this way, the Psalmist connects ministry unto the Lord and unto one’s family as intimately intertwined.
- The temple isn’t the Lord’s heritage in your life, as amazing as it was.
- The city isn’t the Lord’s heritage in your life, as majestic as Jerusalem was.
- Anxious work isn’t the Lord’s heritage in your life, as all-consuming as it is.
- Children are the heritage of the Lord in our lives.
In “The Book of Lost Things” John Connolly wrote, “For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
Reaching one’s fullest potential in Christ requires coming to terms with the “child that was.”
Somehow our fullest potential in Christ invites us to make Jesus Lord over the magic and madness of our “child that was.”
In presenting my happiness and hurts, dreams and disasters, shocks and surprises, delights and disappointments from my “child that was” to the Lordship of Jesus, I cooperate with God for reaching my fullest potential.
“You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.
After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm.
That’s what I believe.
The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens.
These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.” Robert R. McCammon, Boy’s Life
Maybe Jesus included your “child that was” when He said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
In coming to terms with my “child that was” I can become life-giving to today’s children who are contemplating the “adult that will be.”
Tennis player Novak Djokovic once said, “Building a solid foundation in the early years of a child’s life will not only help him or her reach their full potential but will also result in better societies as a whole.”
“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a boy.” Johnny Barnes, founder of the boy’s ministry, Royal Rangers
My fullest potential in Christ is a journey into “the child that was” and helping children with the “adult that will be.”
We have identified the top two priorities of MCA Church.
- Everyone in attendance has a vibrant and energizing encounter with the presence of God.
- Children and teens come to faith in Jesus as personal Savior and grow in their relationship with Him.
Today I have the exquisite delight of officially announcing two of the most amazing ministries the Lord is calling us to present to South Central Alaska;
King’s Castle is a ministry concept designed for children and teens to be saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and then to grow through the administration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Children and teens growing and moving in the Holy Spirit’s giftings in their lives is POWERFUL.
Champions Club is a specially designed developmental area for kids, youth, and adults with special needs. Our goal was to develop a program that would meet the developmental needs of children in four important ways: SPIRITUALLY, INTELLECTUALLY, MENTALLY, and PHYSICALLY. Our focus is on spiritual growth through God’s Word, developing the intellect of each participant through the five senses, educationally through various learning tools, as well as engaging the child physically during active gross motor fun.
God’s great work in the world today is for you, your children and your children’s children! Glory to God!
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:38, 39
Dubai of the UAE is a major economic and travel hub. There is a good likelihood you or someone you know has been there.
I am not sure why, but I am just now learning about the rich culture and history of Emirati pearl divers. Long before oil dominated the UAE experience, pearl diving was vital to their economic well being.
May the delightful Emirati’s experience God’s grace to find the Pearl of Great Price.
I hear the Maldives are as beautiful as can be. With hundreds of amazing tropical islands I can imagine the beaches, palm trees and tropical fruit. I love joining God in looking at His creation and declaring, “It is good.”
The 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World Prayer Guide has the deeply thought provoking and challenging title, “The Maldives: Paradise without Christ.”
According to their law, the Maldives are 100% Muslim. Physically the Maldives are sunny and bright. Spiritually, there is great darkness.
Interestingly, it is the world’s lowest country (from sea level). At its highest, The Maldives are 17 feet above sea level. There is a spiritual low point too. The Bible is not yet fully translated into Dhivehi.
For these much loved people, we pray.