It’s time to GO

Group #1: Billions of  people. A variety of religious beliefs. People going without. Slavery. Darkness. Sickness. Blindness. Hopeless. Confused. No guidance. Trafficked. Tormented. Alone. These all describe the chaos, the causalities and the sad state of a hurting world.

Group #2: Forgiven. Loved. Redeemed. Gifted. Filled with hope. Relationship. Secure. Cleansed. Empowered. A loving Father. Strength. Clarity of faith. A sense of value. Purpose. These all describe the Christian that lives in a hurting world.

Is there anything Group #2 can do for group #1?

 

M-Prayer…is for you

Do you believe that prayer can move mountains, open doors for the gospel, bind the enemy, align our hearts with God and move more workers into the harvest? Do you believe that prayer is the ministry? If so, join us in M-prayer for 30 days starting January 1st. Before you join you might want to know what M stands for.

“M” is for Matthew. “M” is for Muslim. “M” is for Minute. M-prayer drawing attention to Muslim people. With over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, the need for Christians to intentionally pray, minister and serve Muslim peoples is clear. As someone who believes in prayer we’re asking you to use the clock and God’s Word as a synchronized reminder to pray specifically for Muslim peoples and the efforts World Team is making to place teams in strategic Muslim locations.

M-Prayer is using Matthew 9:35-38 and the time of day (9:35-38 am/pm) to pray for Muslims. In these verses Jesus gives us some specific examples of ministry and things to prayer for. We’re asking you to pray for the points in each verse at the corresponding time.

35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

M9:35

Pray that the good news would go out abundantly. Pray that the workers would be faithful in teaching about Jesus in each location they go. Pray that they will be sensitive to the needs of hurting people. Pray that workers would engage the sick with bold faith.

M9:36

Pray for God’s mercy to be extended to the hurting Muslim people through compassionate workers. Pray against the evil one that has blinded their eyes and darkened their minds.  Pray that the chains of darkness would be shattered. Pray that the good news would be heard, understood and believed.Pray that they will understand that Jesus is the good shepherd.

M37-38

Pray for Churches around the world to see the opportunity and embrace the responsibility to minister to Muslims. Pray that Churches would intentionally equip and send out workers. Pray that believers would be open to being sent and obedient to go. Pray for those who do not GO to join the work by furthering the effort through prayer and financial giving.

I already set my phone to alert me on Monday morning at 9:35am. Make this 30 day 4 minute commitment with me. It’s a resolution that is manageable and with eternal impact.  

A final tip to help you remember:

Pick a day of the week and use the time (9:35 AM /PM or both) as your time to pray. Copy these verses or the prayer points to your phone calendar and prayer for the Gospel work among Muslims in Asia for four (4) minutes.

Thanks for PRAYING GREEN

Five more….

In the month of August and November we saw an answer to prayer. For a year and a half we have been praying and promoting the need for more workers to come and join the Muslim work in Asia. Those prayers have been answered.

In August we welcomed three new workers to Asia and now they are in language and culture study as they prepare for their adventure of a lifetime. Just a few days ago we welcomed another family to Asia that will work among a minority group in East Asia. They are currently looking for housing and will soon begin their language and culture studies.

five

We praise God for these new workers and are thankful for all the work their church, World Team and these missionaries did to get to this point. Along with this praise we continue to pray. The Muslim community is vast in Asia and more workers are needed. We are praying for 15 more workers by 2020.

Five times a Day

The sun isn’t up yet, but Wahaaj Mohammed is.

He’s performing a ritual washing in preparation for his first prayer of the day. He’ll go on to pray four more times before the day is through, a practice called “salat” that many of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide perform daily.

It’s a practice that Mohammed, a 21-year old can’t imagine life without.

“It reminds you about God throughout your day,” he says. “At fixed intervals, no matter how busy you are, all of a sudden you have to take out a few minutes and you’re remembering, OK, why am I really here?” “And while I was doing whatever I was doing, was I doing it in a manner pleasing to God?”

Praying five times a day is considered the second most important of Islam’s five pillars, after professing that there is no god worthy of worship but God and that the Prophet Mohammed is God’s messenger.

Each prayer includes a series of movements, supplications, and recitations from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in its original Arabic.

Muslims consider prayer to be a spiritual and physical act, with various standing, bending, and prostrating postures symbolizing devotion to God.

“When you’re at your lowest point, your head is on the ground, you’re saying ‘Oh, praise to my God, the most high,’” says Mohammed, who was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “It’s very humbling.” My entire being is involved in my prayer, and that symbolizes the dedication of my entire being to the service of my creator,” he says.

The first prayer, called “Fajr” is performed before sunrise; the second prayer, “Thuhr” comes just after noon; the third prayer, “Asr,” arrives during mid-afternoon; the fourth prayer, “Maghrib,” is just after sunset; and the last prayer, “Isha,” is performed at night.

photo

Preparation

Before each prayer, Mohammed performs a ritual ablution, called “wudu.” The process involves washing the hands, face, arms and feet. Wudu symbolizes a state of physical and spiritual purity required to stand before God.

“There’s a saying (in Islam) that our external form impacts our internal state, just as our internal state has an impact on our external form,” says Shakir.

When Mohammed is away from home for a prayer, he washes up in a public restroom.

“You do feel kind of awkward,” he says. “And it usually happens, for whatever reason, that someone always walks in and your feet are in the sink and they’re thinking, ‘What’s this person doing?’”

Afterward, Mohammed finds a quiet, clean place to perform his prayer, during which he will face northeast towards the holiest site in Islam, the Kaaba. The cube-shaped building is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and, according to Islamic tradition, was built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael.

Mohammed raises his hands to shoulder level while reciting, “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is the greatest,” signaling the start of the prayer.

Making time

Mohammed often gets questioned about how he finds the time to pray so many times a day.

“I think it’s just where you put your priorities,” he says. “If you put (prayer) at a high level, then it’s not hard.”

As a college student, Mohammed would schedule his classes and social events around the prayers. He says they mostly take five to ten minutes to complete and that technology has made it easy for him to remember when to pray.

When Mohammed is at his mosque in Atlanta, Georgia, he has the “adhan” to alert him that a particular prayer time has begun. The adhan is the Islamic call to prayer that consists of a series of phrases recited melodiously, including, “God is the greatest,” “Come to prayer,” and “Come to success.”

In Muslim-majority countries, the adhan is called from an outdoor loudspeaker. For Muslims in America, it is recited in the mosque or in the privacy of one’s home. Mohammed compares it to the ringing of a church bell to signify the start of a service.

Mohammed says that in addition to adding structure to his day, salat helps keep him accountable for his daily actions and lets him have a personal relationship with God.

Striving for spiritual success                                          

In the glow of a recent coming dawn, Mohammed and his family complete their first prayer of the day with a phrase in Arabic that means, “May the peace and mercy of God be upon you.”

He notes that the call to prayer before sunrise has an extra phrase added in: “Prayer is greater than sleep.”

“So, no matter what you’re doing in your life, it’s always, ‘God is greater than that’ – whether it’s sleep, whether it’s work, whatever it is, God is the greatest,” Mohammed says, pausing to rub his eyes.

“Behind any type of success,” he says, “there’s always a sacrifice.”

This article was copied from a CNN interview.

I chose this little article for the blog to help us understand a little bit more about the Islamic faith but also to draw attention to prayer. Muslims around the world go to their god no less than five times a day; acknowledging god is the creator and greater than all.  It’s hard for me not to admire the seriousness in which Muslims engage prayer. However, I am quickly reminded that as Christians we have access to God 24 hours a day; to praise Him, to thank Him, to request His wisdom and guidance, and to lift up our requests to our Mighty God.

As a PRAY GREEN partner I hope this little article encourages you to devote yourself to prayer and specifically to our efforts to reach Muslims in Asia.

Five

I know it’s Christmas time and you’re wondering what’s significant about the number five. No, its not the amount of wise men nor the number of shepherds (at least not that I’m aware of). It also has nothing to do with the end of 2015. 

 

five

The significance of FIVE is the amount of people from one church that have decided to join World Team Asia in reaching Muslims. The team is planning a vision trip to Asia in early 2016 and if all goes well they plan to arrive around August 2016 to begin full-time language and culture study. This calls for a high-five for God answering our prayers. But don’t stop praying; Asia still needs many more workers to reach the large population of Muslims.

We MUST walk

I absolutely love the Gospel of John and particularly chapter four verse four. It reads: “He (Jesus) had to go through Samaria.” We know by verse seven through twenty-six that there was real purpose in Jesus’ MUST trip to Samaria; it was to deliver a powerful and life-changing message. That message is “I am the Messiah.”

What amazes me as I read the gospels is how Jesus is always with the people who needed to hear and receive that simple message. He walked the markets, visited the temples, traveled to distance villages, walked the shores, went on fishing trips and so on; he did this to connect with people. Jesus went to popular and unpopular places alike. He went to his home town, nearby villages as well as distant locations that were potentially hostile. Jesus walked among the people. Jesus has clearly set the mode on how to reach others and by doing so there is a direct challenge to us as believers to follow in his FOOTSTEPS.

M With M

One way for us to follow in his FOOT STEPS is to make reaching Muslims a MUST. With 1.4 billion unreached Muslims we have plenty of opportunity to walk among them and influence them towards the true Messiah. John 4:35 tells us that the harvest is ripe and I believe that applies to Muslims. One question we need to answer is; should I be one of the people who MUST walk among Muslims? Its a worthy question worth pondering.

PRAY GREEN is focused on praying-equipping-mobilizing Christians to serve among the many unreached Muslims in Asia. Please join us in praying for the following points and consider serving with us to establish communities of believers among the Muslim people.

Pray:

  1. That strongholds, cultural traps and darkness would be broken among Muslim peoples
  2. That more workers would respond and serve among Muslims
  3. That Muslims would be receptive to the gospel message
  4. That a disciple-making movement would begin among new believers

Connecting others to the innovative and life changing work in Asia

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