Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 18

Gary Fallesen

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2016 - Day 18

Day 18: Overcoming obstacles, part 2 — A history of conflict and contempt

By Jordan Rowley, spiritual coordinator, Climbing For Christ

Centuries ago, a war raged between those who fought under the Cross and those who fought under the Crescent. Brutal and bloody battles were waged under the flag of Christendom and that of the Muslim world. Both supposedly waged war in the name of God. Not only was each side driven by their devotion to God, they were compelled by duty, honor and fear.

In the end, after nearly 200 years of conflict, an estimated 1.7 million people died. This war — or series of wars — was known as the Crusades.

Although the Crusades ended near the end of the13th century, the history of conflict and contempt between the Christian and Islamic worlds continues to be written. Yes, there are many waging peace between Christians and Muslims (and all faiths for that matter). However, there are many others in the Majority World who believe that we are still locked in a Crusade of sorts.

Most in the Western world do not see it this way. But that’s because we are far removed from the “front lines.”

For many of the world’s Muslim population, they are at the front of a cultural, ideological and often physical invasion of the West (which many view as synonymous with Christianity). To put it bluntly; in the minds of many, the Crusades continue.

This historical and current divide between Christianity and Islam make for a huge obstacle in global missions. Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation describes the challenge that Muslims face in coming to faith in Jesus this way:
“The essential framework of Islamic beliefs contradicts fundamental biblical truths about the nature and person of Jesus. This, combined with the traditionally hostile history between Christianity and Islam, means that barriers to faith are so numerous that a deep working of the Holy Spirit is required, often through supernatural revelations or miracles.”
In other words, the differences are so great, the barriers are so ingrained and the divide is so entrenched between much of the “Christian world” and much of the “Muslim world” that it is nearly impossible for a follower of Islam to become a follower of Christ (keyword: nearly).

This isn’t even taking into account the fact that the Muslim who converts to Christianity likely faces opposition, separation or even persecution from their friends, family and community. Or that fact that for many conversion would be likened to treason.

Pray for the LORD to move mightily  

A Climbing For Christ member from Indonesia introduces us as “tourists” to a fanatical Muslim. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

The Muslim world (and the world in general) needs our prayers if they are to overcome such seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They need the Spirit of God to move powerfully in their hearts to break down walls that have built up. They need the Father Himself to draw their souls from darkness to light. They need Jesus to speak directly to their spirit, calling them to His open arms.

Let’s pray now:
Dear Lord,

We come to You now in prayer for our Muslim neighbors around the globe. You know the history of conflict and contempt between those under the Cross and those under the Crescent. You know the way men, many well-intentioned, have dragged Your good name through the dirt over the centuries. We pray, Father, that You would overcome any and every obstacle in the lives of many Muslims today. Tear down hardened walls. Soften and open hearts. Speak Your words of love and truth to the innermost places of the soul. We pray, in JESUS’ name, that in spite of what many followers of Islam have read or heard or experienced from the “Christian West,” that You would draw many from darkness and death to light and life – today!

And we pray for those serving the Muslim world. Grant them blessing and favor, Lord. May all that they do in Your precious name be done in love. Bless them with wisdom and understanding beyond their experience. May You work in and through them in powerful ways – all for Your glory!

In JESUS’ name, amen.   

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