Project Prayer: Ramadan 2017

Gary Fallesen

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2017

Day 13: Church, you are not alone

By Gary Fallesen, president, Climbing For Christ

Smoke rises from beyond a mosque in besieged Marawi in this photo from Christianity Today.

Have you ever felt alone? Desperately alone?

We have met the church in places like that. Places where they were unaware that anyone else in the world even knows the name of Jesus Christ.

When we have arrived and told them we are and will be praying for them – not just those of us standing in front of them, but all of you across the globe – I cannot describe the looks I have seen on the faces of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Nik Ripken illustrates it this way in The Insanity of Obedience: “They are moved to the depths of their souls when they heard we had not forgotten them, that believers in other places had never ceased to pray for them.”

In the days ahead, I want to focus on some who are especially in need of our prayers. They are people living in Muslim nations, where Climbing For Christ serves, who are under siege.

Let’s begin in the Philippines on the Muslim-impacted island of Mindanao.

Background: In 2014, after years of conflict, the Philippine government signed an agreement with an Islamist separatist group to create a region called Bangsamoro, formerly known as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The establishment of this region has been delayed by controversial President Rodrigo Duterte. Those aiming to set up an Islamic State on Mindanao, including the Moro National Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf, and its offshoot Maute terrorist group, have committed many violent acts.

Most recently, the Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, took over the Mindanao city of Marawi. More than 100 have been killed, hundreds more taken hostage, and hundreds of thousands have fled from a crisis that is ongoing.

“ISIS Flag Flies in Asia’s Most Christian Country,” a headline screamed in Christianity Today. The Philippines, a nation of more than 102 million, is 91 percent Christian (mostly Catholic) and 4.8 percent Muslim, according to the Joshua Project. But the island of Mindanao, home to about 22 million people, is roughly two-thirds Christian and one-third Muslim.

Muslim background believers (those who converted from Islam to Christianity) are targeted on several of the islands. Marawi, in particular, is 99.6 percent Muslim and “most of the tenets of Sharia (Islamic law) are practiced in the city,” according to Christian Aid Mission.

Several Muslim unreached people groups call Mindanao home. But the fear of Islamic extremists deters many from GO-ing there to deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Pray: For Christians in Muslim-controlled Mindanao to be bold in their faith and continue to witness for Christ despite growing persecution. We lift the leaders determining the future government of Mindanao and ask for wisdom. We ask the LORD to send His Spirit to work in the hearts of people in the Moro National Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf and Maute group so that they may know Jesus in a personal way. May the church (today and in the future) feel the prayers of your people and realize they are not alone.


The Word

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18 (ESV)


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