Ramadan Resources – help in praying for and reaching out to Muslims

June 18, 2015

This post will remain at the top of the blog during Ramadan.  Look for new entries below.

30-days-2015Ramadan has started today for most Muslims around the world.  It is a month when even many non-devout Muslims devote themselves to greater prayer and study in hopes of earning God’s favor and drawing closer to him.

I invite all our readers to also pray earnestly in this month – to pray for spiritual awakening among Muslims.  That the eyes of their hearts would be opened to the truth of Jesus Christ and that their hearts would be softened to repent and choose to follow Him.  May the scales fall from their eyes, and may the lies of Islam that bind them be broken. 

Pray too for Christians reaching out to Muslims during this month, for obedience, discernment, fruitfulness, and protection, as for Christians living in Muslim lands it can be an intense and very draining month.

Below are MANY great resources to help you pray for Muslims during this month.  I’ll update this from time to time as I find additional materials.

We’ll hope to post quite a lot of prayers for Muslims throughout Ramadan.  You’ll find all those entries with the Ramadan 2015 tag

Read the rest of this entry »


A Prayer Litany for Marriage from the ACNA college of bishops

June 26, 2015

The ACNA bishops today released a unanimous statement on the Supreme Court’s decision re: same sex marriage.  You can read the full statement here.

At the end they issue a call to prayer, and include a wonderful litany for marriage.  I urge all of our readers to print this out and pray it regularly.

Today there is no place for either triumphalism or despair, so we prayerfully and sincerely urge a spirit of charity by all. We speak out of a concern for the consequences that our people and our neighbors will suffer from an unjust and unwise decision by five justices of the Supreme Court. We call those justices to repentance, even as we echo Jesus’ words, praying for God the Father to forgive them, for they know not what they have done.
We call our people to a season of prayer for marriage and offer the accompanying Litany and Prayer to guide us.
A Litany for Marriage
We thank you, heavenly Father, for graciously creating us in your image, male and female, and for ordaining
that a man and woman shall be joined as one flesh in the covenant of marriage.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the gift and heritage of children and for placing them in homes which may be havens of
blessing and peace.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the love between fathers and mothers and sons and daughters that binds together the
generations and undergirds our country’s social fabric.
We thank you, O Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, divine Bridegroom, we repent for all the situations in which we have dishonored the
covenant of marriage through selfishness or unfaithfulness.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent as a Church where we have failed to prepare our children for holy matrimony, or to care for those
who are widowed, divorced or single.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent where as citizens we have become complacent and neglected the defense of marriage in the public
square.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We pray you, Holy Spirit, to restore marriage to its due honor in our country and to revive our marriages and
families as emblems of your love.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to strengthen our bishops and other leaders as they join with faithful churches to make a strong
God-honoring defense of your design for marriage.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to have mercy on those who have promoted false teaching about marriage and on those who
have been led astray and harmed by it.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
Grant us courage, O Triune God, to hold fast to the truth of your Word, and give grace to those who are
counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Christ.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his
glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and
authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
A Prayer for Marriage
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you have created us male and female in your image and have ordained that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Look down in mercy, we pray, on our families, our church and our nation. Knit together in constant affection those who, in Holy Matrimony, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, the hearts of the children to the parents, and the hearts of all to those who are single or alone. Finally, grant that your Church may steadfastly defend the unchangeable bond of marriage which embodies the mystery of Christ’s love for us; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever.

Christian Stephens – Their self-titled debut LP from 1980

June 23, 2015

This is a bit of an unusual posting for us, but it’s in response to several reader comments and emails.

christian-stephens-frontEach week we continue to get visits via search engines from those looking for the music of one of the early CCM groups, Christian Stephens.  In 2014 during Holy week, we posted several of the best songs from their eponymous debut album Christian Stephens from 1980, which I’d digitized from my vinyl LP.

Classic CCM songs for Holy Week from Christian Stephens: Look What You’ve Done, and Broken and Bleeding

Classic CCM for Good Friday: Christian Stephens – Song of the Cross

Classic CCM for Holy Saturday into Easter: Christian Stephens’ The Descent, and Arise

Those posts have brought readers here looking for more songs from the album, or more information about how to obtain the album.  The album is no longer in print and not available online anywhere as best as I can discover.

Since several readers have expressed interest in other songs from the album, I’m uploading all my songs from my LP.  Apologies that the quality is not always as good as I would wish.  There are several scratches / skips.

I pray this will be a blessing to those who have been wanting to hear this album again.  Hard for me to believe it’s 35 years old already!

***

Note: the songs posted are digitized versions of my original vinyl album.  There are some scratches, etc.  I believe the album is out of print, but if anyone knows of a CD or digital version available for purchase, I would love to know so I can link it here and ensure royalties go to the artist. 


Ramadan Day 5 – pray for Somalia

June 22, 2015

The PrayerCast Ministry’s Ramadan Prayer Challenge has begun today.  Today’s focus country is Somalia:

You can find the prayer page for Somalia here

Please find a few minutes today to pray for God’s work in this country!

  •Pray for the believing minority who suffer great persecution and martyrdom.

 • Pray for courage and strength for those who are boldly sharing their faith.

 • Pray for safe fellowship and encouragement for isolated believers.


Anglican Pastor: Discovering the Daily Office

June 20, 2015

It’s been a busy week and this has been sitting in my drafts of things to post for a few days…

Anglican Pastor (a great site all Anglicans should follow via Blog or Twitter) posted a nice article earlier this week with an overview of the Anglican Daily Office and how it helps Christians to remain focused in prayer.  Here’s an excerpt:

A Pattern for Prayer

The Daily Office is one of the ways that Christians have prayed for centuries. The Daily Office or Divine Office, which is based on the ancient practice of prescribed daily times of prayer. The name comes from the Latin officium divinum meaning “divine office” or “divine duty.” These services are accompanied by daily Scripture readings which include a reading from the Psalms, Old Testament, the New Testament, and a Gospel reading. The Daily Office includes prayers for morning, noon, and evening. J.I. Packer says, “None of us will! ever find a better pattern for private prayer and Bible-reading anywhere than that offered by the Prayer Book’s own daily offices.”

Read the whole entry


Ramadan Day 3: Prayer Roundup

June 20, 2015

ramadan15

June 18 – July 17, 2015:  I hope all our readers will commit to spending 5 or 10 minutes before or after your evening meal during these 4 weeks to pray for Muslims’ spiritual hunger to be satisfied in Jesus. 

***

A few points to spur your prayers today for Muslims during Ramadan.

A prayer included in Garrett Kell’s excellent blog entry “How Christians Can Pray for Muslim Friends During Ramadan

Father, we pray that as they set their hearts to worship their god Allah, that You might make them to “know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). Help them see that Jesus is Your eternal Son through whom they can have eternal life.

***

From the excellent new resource produced by Frontiers – PrayforIsis.com, an excerpt from their Day 3 entry:

As Saul lay blinded before the Lord, he was awed and humbled by God’s holiness. This firsthand encounter with God transformed Saul’s life and mission.

And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. – Acts 9:6-7

Pray that members of ISIS would be stilled before God and awed by His presence. Pray that their ears would hear, their eyes see, and their hearts receive Him.

And he said [to Elijah], “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. – 1 Kings 19:11-13

Pray that ISIS members would be able to hear God’s voice. Pray that the voice of the Lord—whether loud or very quiet—would be heard clearly and that members of ISIS would obey. Pray that God would speak to them in the specific way that they need, just like He did to Paul and Elijah.

***

Adapted from yesterday’s entry at the Global Prayer Resource Network Ramadan Prayer Guide (Week 1)

Pray  for  the  opportunity  of  our  brothers  and  sisters  in  Christ  living in Muslim countries throughout Central Asia to  demonstrate  the love and  grace  of  Jesus  to  Muslim neighbors.
***

From Arab World Media

Praying Scripture over the Arab world during Ramadan

Today’s verse is for victims of war who are bereft.

Revelation 21:4: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.


Ramadan Day 2: Prayer Round up

June 19, 2015

I hope most days of Ramadan to post a brief entry here highlighting some of the prayers posted at various sites focused on praying for Muslim peoples & countries each day of Ramadan.  I can’t predict what time I will be able to post every day, but certainly will aim to post usually by 4 p.m. Eastern, (usually earlier).    I hope all our readers might commit to spending 5 or 10 minutes before or after your evening meal during these 4 weeks to pray for Muslims’ spiritual hunger to be satisfied in Jesus. 

Thank you!

***

Here are a few prayers that caught my attention today:

Excellent prayers for several countries in North Africa:

Via OM, excellent prayers for the neighboring countries of Morocco & Mauritania:

For Morocco:

As Muslims are praying and fasting during Ramadan, we pray for them.

Christians across Morocco are sensing more openness among their friends in the last 12-18 months, with more of them open to discuss their faith in light of recent world events. Small numbers are open to hear the Gospel. Ask God to bring a great harvest in Morocco during 2015.

We ask God to open the borders between Algeria and Morocco. We pray that more Algerian Believers will be able to come and minister in Morocco. Ask God for fruit to come from these opportunities, especially among the Moroccan Berbers.

Pray for a victory over a spirit of fear among all Moroccan Believers. Ask God for breakthrough and freedom in this area. May God strengthen each Moroccan Believer to be bold and courageous, wise and mature, so that the church can be built. Praise God for those who are reaching out to other Moroccans boldly.

 

For Mauritania

As Muslims are praying and fasting during Ramadan, we pray for them.

Slavery still exists in Mauritania, so justice is a real need in this nation. Pray for abolitionist movements within the country. Also pray that all peoples (including Arabs, Berbers, Haratine and Afro-Mauritanians) would be free to worship Jesus, as persecution of Believers can be very severe. Ask God to pour out His courage on them, causing them to grow in faith and works.

Pray also for the local church as they’re seeking divine appointments with those who are interested in knowing more about Jesus and are willing to bring family members and friends along for the journey. Pray that local Christians will be bold in living out their faith so that more people of Mauritania would come to know the Lord.

 

From PrayNorthAfrica, a great short prayer for Tunisia:

Almighty Father, blow your Holy Spirit over country in this time. Cause the people to realise that idols are useless and worthless and turn to follow you. (Jer.18:15)

 

Here is today’s Scripture & pray focus from Arab World Media

Praying Scripture over the Arab world during Ramadan

Today’s verse is for victims of war, living in fear.

Psalm 46:1-3: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

***

Update:  Don’t miss Jerry Rankin’s fantastic article at the online edition of Christianity Today:  “How Christians Can Observe Ramadan” He writes from his first-hand experience of work in Indonesia and outreach to Muslims there.

During Ramadan, we found our Muslim friends were more open to talking about spiritual things. We would ask them about their practice, why they were fasting, and what they hoped to gain by it. It was surprising to them when we shared our own practice of fasting from time to time to seek God. We do not fast to get something from God but out of a desire for God himself that exceeds our desire for food. Wonderfully, God does meet our needs and answer our prayers, but we should not fast presuming by our piety we are obligating God to do something for us.

While most Muslims observe the fast because they are commanded to and believe there is merit to be gained, many do it as a perfunctory obligation. Some want to avoid the condemnation from more pious family members. However, for the devout, the Muslim month of fasting is actually for the same purpose that we as Christians may occasionally fast: the desire to know God in a deeper more intimate relationship.

[…]

What if Christians fervently prayed during the month of Ramadan that God would reveal himself to Muslims in this time of seeking? What if we covered millions of fasting Muslims with 30 days of intense intercession that something would happen in their spiritual search? Believing in the power of prayer, could we not expect God to respond to our heartfelt burden for the lost millions of the world? […]

Join me this month in praying for Muslims in our own communities as well as those around the world. Pray that they would truly seek God and be open to revelation that would lead them to the truth. In seeking Allah, an impersonal deity that is aloof and cannot be known, may they find a loving, compassionate God who revealed himself through Jesus Christ and died for their sins.

We have a responsibility to observe Ramadan also, to pray for those who are far from the kingdom and for generations have been locked into the bondage of sin and futile religious traditions.

After all, Christ died for them, too. God loves them. Shouldn’t we?

AMEN!


Prayer Points for Charleston

June 18, 2015

Bishop Mark Lawrence has posted a call to prayer in the wake of the Charleston shootings.

Prayer for all involved would seem the primary thing we can offer at this point:

For Emmanuel AME
Their members
The injured
The families and friends of those killed
The community, as it responds to this tragedy
Law enforcement, for a speedy apprehension of the person responsible
Protection from those who would attempt to exploit this crisis
Restraint of further violence in response
For the Church… to be a witness in the midst of this tragedy… to redeem it

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples and races of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near:  Grant to those who have lost love ones your hope, comfort and peace; grant to those members of Emmanuel AME Church a sense of your presence; look with compassion on the whole human family here in Charleston and across our nation;  show us how to respond to one another’s hurt and suffering;  shed abroad your Spirit on those who have lost faith, hope and trust in You and one another; break down the walls that we separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that in your good  time all peoples and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note it is also reported that the wife of an ACNA priest was among those killed in the attack.  I’ll update this with more details in a little while.

Updated:  According to Anglican Ink. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach released a statement and a prayer call this afternoon as well, including details of the killing of the wife of an ACNA priest during the massacre.  (I did not see the statement on ACNA website, but they did send out a tweet confirming this news.

The Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, on 18 June 2015 released a statement asking for prayer for the families of the victims.

Please join me in praying for the Rev. Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA) Church in Charleston, his family, and their congregation, with the killing of his wife, Myra, in the Charleston shootings last night,”

 

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 476 other followers

%d bloggers like this: