Project Prayer: Ramadan 2022

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2022
Gary Fallesen

Project Prayer: Ramadan 2022

30 Days of prayer for the persecuted and the persecutors in the Muslim world

Day 30 (Sunday, May 1):

THE FUTURE. Studies project that by 2060 the world’s Muslim population will be nearly equal to that of Christians. More than three out of every 10 people on the planet will follow Islam. The six fastest-growing religions are estimated to be Islam (increasing by 1.84 percent), the Baha’i Faith (1.7), Sikhism (1.62), Jainism (1.57), Hinduism (1.52), and Christianity (1.38) – mostly because of birth rates. We know there will be more persecution in the future. But we also know that with an increase in the Muslim population, there also will be an increase in the number of Muslim background believers (MBBs – i.e., Christians who have converted from Islam). Our prayers for the Muslim world do not end today at the end of Ramadan. They will continue through the rest of this year and the years to come. Pray on!

PRAYER: Father, we give thanks to Jesus for this opportunity to come before You and ask for the salvation of Muslim people around the world. We are grateful that You hear our prayers. We ask that the Holy Spirit move in us and inspire us to pray unceasingly for the lost. May we not grow weary in doing this good thing. We thank You for leading those brothers and sisters in Christ who have participated with us in these 30 days of prayer for the Muslim world. We ask that You burden others with the need to pray for Muslims. We ask, we seek, we knock. Until all have heard.

Day 29 (Saturday, April 30):

RETURN TO SENDER. A brother in Christ from our home church approached us before worship last Sunday. “I’ve been thinking about you guys,” he said. “God sends you to reach people at the ends of the earth. But sometimes God sends the ends of the earth to us.” This brother was excited about having a new opportunity at work with a team that includes two Muslims. He was eager to share the love of Christ with them. Sometimes we are afraid of people who are “different” from us. But sometimes God will use those differences – in this case a Christian working with Muslims – to glorify His name.

PRAYER: Father, use us to reach those who are different than us – both near and far. Help us to overcome any fear we might have when it comes to sharing Your love with Muslims. Be glorified.

Day 28 (Friday, April 29):

HOUND OF HEAVEN. Do you have a close friend who doesn’t walk with the Lord? Does your heart ache for this person? We have many Muslim friends around the Climbing For Christ world with whom we have been sharing Jesus. We have witnessed to them time and time again. And yet they remain followers of Islam. But we won’t give up. Because we know God – the Hound of heaven – will not give up. We will keep praying for their salvation. We will ask our God to visit them in dreams and visions. We will ask God to keep using us to reach them. The greatest joy we have experienced is watching a Muslim friend realize Who Jesus really is – and finding the way home. This encourages us to keep GO-ing into the Muslim world, whether we are invited or not.

PRAYER: Father, we thank You for choosing to use us to visit Muslims. We ask You to visit them with us, through us, even in spite of us. We ask that our visits will not be temporary, but eternal.

Day 27 (Thursday, April 28):

THE NIGHT OF POWER. This night gives us Godbumps. Laylat-al-Qadr (or Night of Power) is one of the most sacred moments on the Islamic calendar. It marks the night during which the Quran was revealed to the Muslim prophet Muhammad. It is also the night Muslims believe their god shows great mercy and reveals to his followers what the next year will hold for them. It is a night of heightened spirituality; a night spent in prayer and seeking god. We view this as an exciting opportunity for the One True God to reveal Himself to Muslims in the person of Jesus. God at work.

PRAYER: Father, we ask You to reveal Yourself and Your mercy to Muslims tonight. We ask for miraculous encounters for those who are seeking revelation. May they be visited by Your Son, Jesus, and turn to Him.

Day 26 (Wednesday, April 27):

FOREIGN AFFAIRS. A record 60 million people are currently forcibly displaced from their homelands by war, conflict, and persecution. Nearly three in every 20 people in the United States are foreign born. Many of these displaced and refugee people come from a Muslim background. They have yet to be introduced to Jesus. How does God feel about so-called “foreigners”? He has a heart for them, of course. In Deuteronomy, He tells us to love them (10:19), use tithes to bless them (14:29), invite them to our holidays and feasts (16:11), take care of their physical needs (24:19), and assemble with them to hear God’s Word (31:12). We can deliver God’s Word to them – near and far.

PRAYER: Father, You called the Church to GO to the ends of the earth. When we failed to do this, You brought the ends of the earth to us. Our next-door neighbors often are “foreigners” who need someone to tell them about Your Son, Jesus. May more believers welcome, show hospitality, and love the millions of refugees, immigrants, and international students near them.

Day 25 (Tuesday, April 26):

FRONTIER PEOPLE GROUPS, Part 2. Six of the nine largest Frontier People Groups are Muslim, including the Shaikh (unspecified) at No. 2 with nearly 70 million in India, the Turk at No. 3 with nearly 60 million in Turkey, the Pashtun at No. 7 with 31 million in Pakistan, and the Northern Uzbek at No. 9 with 27.5 million in Uzbekistan. These are countries – India, Turkey, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan – with Climbing For Christ members and ministry occurring. But the opposition to engaging these unreached people is intense. Each of those countries presents government and culture opposition.

PRAYER: Father, we ask You to break down the walls around these – and other – Frontier People Groups. May they hear the Gospel message and be permitted to make a decision for You. Be glorified!

Day 24 (Monday, April 25):

FRONTIER PEOPLE GROUPS, Part 1. For every 30 missionaries sent to “reached” people groups, one missionary goes to unreached people groups. “As a result, the needs of people in unreached people groups, especially those in Frontier People Groups are being grossly overlooked,” according to the Joshua Project. Frontier People Groups are unreached people with 0.1 percent or less of its population following Christ (that’s 1 in 1,000 or worse) and no evidence of a sufficient Gospel movement. There are 4,958 Frontier People Groups and nearly half of those are Muslim. One-quarter of the world’s population lives among Frontier People Groups, including more than 1.1 billion Muslims. That’s 1.1 billion souls with little or no Christian witness. These people are living separated from God. That means, they are going to hell. “The vast majority of mission prayer, giving and laborers focuses on strengthening Christians where Christians are already present,” the Joshua Project reports. “Only a tiny portion of mission prayer and resources go to Unreached People Groups at all, and only a tiny fraction of this goes to Frontier Unreached People Groups. Very few mission agencies and churches send even one percent of their missionaries to Frontier Peoples.” We have seen the enemy and he is us.

PRAYER: Father, forgive us for failing to follow Your commission to GO and make disciples of ALL nations. Lord, send us to deliver the Good News to Frontier People Groups living in the mountains. Your will be done!

Day 23 (Sunday, April 24):

OPPRESSION. The narrator in Prayercast’s video on oppression implores, “God, we pray for millions, for hundreds of millions of Muslims, that You would deliver them from the oppressive lie that Jesus is not Your Son, the Savior of the world. Open their eyes to see Who Jesus truly is.” This excellent video speaks of the oppression in Islam that is accompanied by “crippling fatalism: Muslims believe that Allah tests them, so they must bear their pain and shame without protest. Submission is a virtue in the Quran (Surah 3:19), and independence is never valued. Islam orders everyone to surrender as slaves to Allah. No one who becomes a Muslim may ever leave; traitors deserve death (Quran 4.89). This aspect of Islam adds to the domineering impulses in any culture.” CLICK HERE to watch Prayercast’s video.

PRAYER: Father, we ask that You would set millions, if not hundreds of millions free from the oppression of Islam.

Day 22 (Saturday, April 23):

JIHADISTS. Jesus warned His followers, “the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (John 16:2). Jihadists are devoted to “obtaining God’s good pleasure by opposing those forces that seek to defeat His religion and the upholding of His word,” according to one Islamic Web site for Turkish-American Muslims. So, in Mozambique, Muslim extremists decapitated a pastor and forced his wife to carry her husband’s head to the police station. Such violence is intended to scare locals into devotion to Islam and scare foreigners away. Westerners are considered to be from “Crusader nations,” and hated.

PRAYER: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Show those who are committing heinous acts in the name of their god the error of their ways. We pray that they meet You – the God of love.

Day 21 (Friday, April 22):

FAITH UNDER FIRE. Jeff King, the president of the International Christian Concern, wrote in the introduction to last year’s “Persecutor of the Year Awards”: “Christians in many places face a daily torrent of threats; everything from job discrimination to systematic imprisonment, rape, torture, and assassination. All of this echoes what Jesus said more than 2,000 years ago: ‘You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me,’ Matthew 24:9 (NIV). Unfortunately, the challenges of the more than 200 million Christians who live under persecution often go unnoticed. They are hidden by dictators, fundamentalist actors, and entities as well as drowned out by more popular news, geopolitical issues, sports, and the latest celebrity gossip.” Even this Project Prayer: Ramadan 2022 gets little attention from believers. Why? We also have been warned: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT). Today it might be people you don’t know in a far-off land. Tomorrow it could be you.

PRAYER: Father, forgive us for not heeding the warnings of Your Son, Jesus. May our eyes be opened to the danger in the world. Persecution is coming for us all. We lift our brothers and sisters who are oppressed today. Give them persevering power.

Day 20 (Thursday, April 21):

KENYA. When one of Kenya’s most wanted terrorists was apprehended earlier this year, he told authorities he killed “in the name of Allah.” Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based jihadist group, has been terrorizing northeastern Kenya. This East African country, which has a majority Christian population, dropped out of the Top 50 for persecuted places on the 2022 World Watch List (after having been 49th in 2021 and 44th the previous year). At this rate, it’s likely to return to the list in 2023. Christians living in the north, where Somalians are the ethnic majority and fervently Muslim, cannot discuss their faith without risking a loss of life. More than a dozen attacks have occurred this year. The main purpose for these attacks, a Voice of the Martyrs worker said, “is to create fear. They are not happy with churches being built and are opposed to the preaching of the Gospel.”

PRAYER: Father, give believers courage in the face of Muslim hostility. We ask that You strengthen them so they will not fear sharing their faith and worshiping You. We also ask that You soften the hearts of attackers. May their eyes be open to the wrongs they are committing.

Day 19 (Wednesday, April 20):

Mosque under construction in the shadow of Mulanje Massif in southern Malawi. (Photo by Damson Samson)

MALAWI. This southeastern Africa country is 75 percent Christian and only 15 percent Muslim, but Islam is on the rise. “Muslims are building mosques everywhere,” said Pastor Duncan Nyozani, a long-time Climbing For Christ member and ministry partner. “Every five kilometers you see new mosques being built along the road. They also drill boreholes where they are building.” The offer of water along with “providing relief to the needy, cyclone victims, etc. – this is a tactic they are using to conquer our villages. Due to poverty, many people are joining Islam.” Pastor Duncan said, “It is very challenging to see how Islam is rising rapidly in Malawi.”

PRAYER: Father, we ask that the Church in Malawi would embrace the challenge of Muslim expansion and be empowered to care for and love the flock, those in desperate need in this, one of the world’s poorest countries. We ask that You stem the tide of Islam’s rise.

Day 18 (Tuesday, April 19):

MALAYSIA. To this day we remember preaching at a missions’ conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2007, imploring indigenous brothers and sisters to GO and share the Gospel with the majority Malay people. The response was a wide-eyed, open-mouth stare. We learned during our visit that all Malay people are considered Muslim. From birth to death. It’s written into the Malaysian constitution. Even those who are half-hearted about following Islam participate in Ramadan. “Malaysia is a difficult place for Christians, particularly those who convert from Islam,” Open Doors wrote in its 2022 World Watch List prayer guide. “As Malaysia swings more deeply toward radical Islamic belief and practice, the potential for Christian persecution increases.” That’s how Malaysia moved up to No. 50 on this year’s World Watch List. Most Christians in Malaysia, including some C4C members, come from the minority Chinese people groups or tribal groups. Christianity is not illegal, but Voice of the Martyrs says the government severely punishes converts and strictly opposes outreach and evangelism among the Malay people.

PRAYER: Father, we ask that doors would open to workers to reach Malay people. We ask that You remove the fear of sharing with Malays. We lift the marginalized Christian community, especially those who are unable to build churches and those confined to “re-education camps” where torture and propaganda are used to force them to return to Islam.

Day 17 (Monday, April 18):

MBBs. Our worker in Turkey and his family celebrated Resurrection Sunday with incredible joy. “I am very happy that my Jesus Christ will come to the earth for us again,” his young daughter said, “and I am very happy to see Him.” This family and the many other families and individuals God used them to lead to Him are Muslim background believers (MBBs). “This is my first Easter,” one sister proclaimed on Good Friday, “I will read the Bible all day for our Jesus Christ.” MBBs can face extreme persecution for converting from the religion of their birth and culture. But they have experienced a freedom that only Jesus can offer. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).

PRAYER: Father, we ask You to protect the hearts of MBBs. Allow them to grow from baby believers to spiritually mature followers. Teach them with Your Word and embolden them to share Your love with others around them.

Day 16 (Resurrection Sunday, April 17):

Fethullah Gülen.

FETHULLAH GÜLEN MOVEMENT. Live TV coverage showed us the alleged coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Turkey’s autocratic president later pointed a finger at followers of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who has been in self-exile from his country living in Pennsylvania since 1999. Gülen has denied the charges that he was behind the supposed insurrection. The Turkish government used this so-called conspiracy to round up journalists, lawyers, judges, professors, and any number of Kurdish people, releasing convicts from prisons to make room for these enemies of the state. It is estimated that 70,000 people were imprisoned for being sympathizers of the Gülen Movement and more than 150,000 civil servants were dismissed from their jobs. Followers of the Gülen Movement refer to themselves as “Hizmet,” which means service. “The Gülen Movement hold to orthodox Sunni teaching, with strong Sufi overtones,” according to World Prayer Guides’ 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World. “Their particular concern is for a modern interpretation of Islam, so they place a strong emphasis on science, education, and dialogue with other religions. Their influence spread through student hostels, schools, and universities. Many Hizmet students rose to key positions in the military, judiciary, media, and business. Estimates suggest that at one time up to 4 million people identified with the movement.”

PRAYER: Father, You have taught us to love our enemies. May Your lessons of peace move in the hearts of Gülen followers who violently oppose and are opposed by Turkey’s government. May their willingness to dialogue with other religions shine a Light on what is the Truth.

Day 15 (Saturday, April 16):

ANATOLIAN ALEVIS of TURKEY. There is a large group of Muslims in Turkey who are not fasting during this or any Ramadan. They are the Anatolian Alevis. There are about 20 million Anatolian Alevis made up of three groups: Turkish, Kurdish, and Zaza. They originated in Central Asia among the Turkmen and they form the largest religious minority in Turkey. The Alevis are considered a sect, which follow “a mystical interpretation of Islam,” according to World Prayer Guides’ 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World. They fast during “the Ten Days of Muharram, when Shi’a Muslims commemorate Imam Hussein’s martyrdom. They do not prostrate themselves during prayer or meet in mosques but in small places of worship, called cemevis. They do not give alms like traditional Islam requires [as part of the Five Pillars], but regard loving God and man as more important than Islamic law. Their theology and beliefs are not written down, they are passed through generations through poems and songs.”

PRAYER: Father, may the Alevis who love God and man discover Your greater love for them. May they be filled with the Spirit and shown that You so loved the world You gave your only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Day 14 (Good Friday, April 15):

Our co-worker sharing about Jesus’ crucifixion with a group of youth in a village shortly after his own conversion. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

TURKEY. Our Kingdom worker, himself a Muslim background believer, was scheduled to visit believers in the eastern part of this country in April. “They said, ‘You are welcome to come. We would love to see you. But it is Ramadan. If you come during Ramadan maybe this is not great timing because of the village people.’” Turkish identity is tied to Islam. “All Christians are under pressure in Turkey, but converts from Islam are certainly the most vulnerable,” Open Doors ministry wrote in its 2022 World Watch List, which ranked Turkey 42nd among the worst countries for persecution. MBBs are harassed and pressured from all sides – by families, communities, and all levels of government. Climbing For Christ has conducted eight expeditions – six to Mount Ararat and two in the Aladaglar mountains in the Taurus range. We have witnessed the joyful conversion of several dozen Kurds in the past three years. There are said to be fewer than one-half million Christians in this country that is 96.2 percent Muslim, according to Joshua Project.

PRAY: Father, we praise You for the ways you have been moving through us among the Kurdish people and we ask for Your continued protection of new believers. Allow them to grow strong in their faith. Be with our co-worker and make him wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Open doors for our ministry to expand in eastern, southeastern, and southern Turkey. We ask that You would bless us with a return to see “family” on and around Mount Ararat. Turn those who might oppose us into brothers and sisters who are willing to stand with us.

Day 13 (Thursday, April 14):

MOZAMBIQUE. Pastor Felix was introduced to us by ministry partner Duncan Nyozani in Malawi. Felix needed help building a church and God sent Climbing For Christ in 2013. He is blessed to serve in a part of his southeastern Africa country that is not plagued with Muslim extremists. Only cyclones. Sadly, three tropical storms have destroyed Pastor Felix’s church. “They have found another place on a highland to build a church in the future,” Duncan reported. Higher ground is a safer place to be no matter the source of the storm. In the northern province of Cabo Delgado, along the Tanzania border, an Islamist insurgency seeks to establish an Islamic state. Thousands of people have been killed and a million others displaced by violence. Half of Mozambique is Christian and fewer than two in 10 people are Muslim, but the brutality of Islamic oppressors has the country ranked 41st on the World Watch List.

PRAYER: Father, we ask You to protect Christians, including MBBs, facing attacks in northern Mozambique. We pray that extremists will turn from their evil acts, repent, and work to restore the damage they have done. We lift Pastor Felix and his church, asking that they would be blessed to build another house of worship on higher ground to glorify Your name.

Day 12 (Wednesday, April 13):

NORTH AFRICA. We’ve prayed for Morocco and Tunisia, but there is even more to pray for and about across the uninviting North Africa landscape. From Morocco to Egypt, all five countries stand shoulder-to-shoulder against Christianity. Each is on the World Watch List for persecution: Morocco at 27th, Algeria 22nd, Tunisia 35th, Libya 4th, and Egypt 20th. We need more heroes of the faith like mission lion Greg Livingstone who, upon attending a prayer meeting in 1959, was asked what country he was claiming. He didn’t know what “claiming” meant, but he pretended he did and said, “What’s left?” “Libya. You’ve got Libya.” He didn’t even know where in the world Libya was located. But he found out and ended up serving there. “Why not serve God where the workers (are) the fewest?” Livingstone asked. The Lord of the harvest is calling pioneer workers like Livingstone to say, “Here am I!”

PRAYER: Father, we know that Morocco is 99.6-percent Muslim, Algeria 95.4 percent, Tunisia 99 percent, Libya 97.1 percent, and Egypt 86.7 percent. We know there are millions of people out there with no access to a church and no Christian friends to tell them the Good News. What are we going to do about it? Lord, use us to reach the unreached, to be your hands and feet in parts of the world that are hostile to Your Son, Jesus.

Day 11 (Tuesday, April 12):

Mosque in the Berber ruins of Chenini. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

TUNISIA. The pastor from the Sub-Saharan serving in this North African country posed a question about how “restricted” Tunisia could be. “We say ‘closed country,’” the pastor said to us during a 2019 survey trip. “Who is big enough to close a country to God?” God can and will do what He wants. There was a time when He raised up church fathers Tertullian and Cyprian. The port city of Carthage was where the New Testament canon was ratified. But, like Turkey, there are now few Christians or churches in this 99-percent Muslim country. Religious freedom blossomed out of the Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia in 2011. But the pressure on Muslim background believers is intense and earns Tunisia the No. 35 position among the 50 most-persecuted countries on the 2022 World Watch List.

Prayer: Father, You have shown us in Tunisia that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37). We ask You, the Lord of the harvest, to send more workers and grow indigenous workers who will bring in this harvest that is ripe. Protect the remnant of Your Church and encourage those who must follow You in secret.

Day 10 (Monday, April 11):

C4C Indonesia leader, left, speaks to a “radical” Muslim in West Java while other Climbing For Christ members (Indonesian and American) look on.

INDONESIA. The largest Muslim population in the world is found here: 220 million strong. Indonesia accounts for 13 percent of the world’s Muslims. Often the people practice “folk” Islam, mixing animistic and superstitious practices with Muslim beliefs. However, “fanatical” Muslims, as our indigenous members refer to them, are responsible for attacks on the Church. As a result, this country ranks 28th on the 2022 World Watch List for persecution – moving up 19 spots from last year! Evangelism is illegal, but it is legal for Muslims to convert to Christianity. That said, there are many challenges for Muslim background believers. We have met with and prayed for MBBs on our eight missions to Indonesia since 2007. We continue to lift them and those believers who have been emboldened by the Spirit to share the Gospel in their expansive country.

PRAYER: Father, we do pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are ministering to the lost in this vast island nation. We pray also for those who attack believers – that their angry and violent hearts would be softened by the love of Jesus. We pray for another opportunity to carry out an Evangelic Expedition here, and we lift our C4C Indonesia leader and his life-project of developing a farm and coffee shop on the island of Lombok. May many new believers be reached!

Day 9 (Sunday, April 10):

Muslim background believers in the mountains often are secret believers, refusing to meet with other Christians or share their new-found faith with anyone, including family members. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)

MOROCCO. The Climbing For Christ member who served full-time in this North African nation warned us of the spirit (or demon) of apathy that plagued the Berber men in the Atlas Mountains. Islam came to this country after the Romans, and the mountainous Berbers still refer to anything new as “Roman.” They think their people have always been Muslim. “There’s a veil there that hasn’t been lifted,” the C4C member said. The reality is invading Arabs forced the Berbers into Islam in the eighth century. Today, less than 2/10ths of one percent of the population follow Jesus; the country is 99.6-percent Muslim. It is ranked 27th on the 2022 World Watch List because of the law that criminalizes “shaking the faith of a Muslim.” Foreign Christians found out by the government are frequently asked to leave. In 2010, hundreds of missionaries were expelled. C4C has conducted three Evangelic Expeditions in the years since, and a few of our members have served there full-time.

PRAYER: Father, we pray for those believers (perhaps 70,000) who are scattered around Morocco, asking that they would not feel isolated in and by their faith in You. We ask that the veil be lifted on the people of this country and the Truth revealed. That the demon of apathy would be expelled, and persistent workers could touch hearts that are ready to receive Jesus. Grow Your church here and glorify Your name!

Day 8 (Saturday, April 9):

QATAR. The 2022 World Cup will be played in this Middle East country despite a checkered human rights record. It was a controversial choice made by FIFA 12 years ago. Qatar moved up the World Watch List to No. 18 this year because of increased violence against Christians. Foreign migrant workers, some of whom are Christian, are said to be treated horribly. One C4C member was counted among those. Christians who are not citizens must worship in a government-controlled compound that is closed to Qatari citizens. Nearly all Qatar nationals are Muslim.

PRAYER: Father, we ask for divine appointments and the growth of secret believers in Qatar. May opportunities for the sharing of Your Son be made possible. When the football world’s eyes turn to this country may we see a loosening of restrictions and an improvement in the lives of foreign believers and those You will use to reach the Qatari people.

Day 7 (Friday, April 8):

SAUDI ARABIA. This is the birthplace of Islam and home to the religion’s two holiest places, Mecca and Medina. Islam founder Muhammad declared no other religion should exist on the Arabian Peninsula. The population is 92 percent Muslim. Although there are more than 1.4 million Christians, most are foreigners who live and work temporarily in this Middle East country. Foreign Christians, including some C4C members, are heavily restricted from sharing their faith. Saudi Arabia ranks 11th on the World Watch List for persecution. It is also the financial backer of most of the new mosques and growth of Islam worldwide.

PRAYER: Father, where Your workers cannot be, we ask that You appear in dreams and visions. May Saudis be filled with a desire to know who You are, and may You put believers in their path to grow the Church.

Day 6 (Thursday, April 7):

INDIA. This South Asia country is the largest Hindu nation in the world with 80 percent of its 1.4 billion people adhering to Hinduism. The second-largest religion is Islam (with 193 million followers). Christians account for just 2.3 percent of the population. Climbing For Christ has active members and a ministry partner in this country, which is ranked 10th on the World Watch List for persecution. Hindu nationalists, including the country’s president, have led the charge for anti-conversion laws in numerous states, including the mountainous north. “They seek to appease Hindu deities by eliminating by eliminating Christians,” Voice of the Martyrs stated in its 2022 Global Prayer Guide, “and they view Christian converts as traitors to the Hindu homeland.” They also oppose and persecute Muslims.

PRAYER: Father, we ask that You use our ministry partner and members to reveal Yourself as the One True God to Hindus and Muslims alike. May Muslims experience the love of Christ in the face of Hindu extremism and recognize Why we love – because You first loved us.

Day 5 (Wednesday, April 6):

This pastor was beaten by a Muslim brick factory manager for helping a young Christian woman, who was a slave. The manger had been sexually harassing the woman. Climbing For Christ helped free the woman.

PAKISTAN. This South Asia country of 224 million people is 97.5 percent Muslim and the Christian population, which is thought to number about four million, is treated as second-class citizenry. Believers are forced to work menial jobs, long hours, and hard labor, while being ruthlessly duped into bondage by employers. All Pakistani Christians face difficulty – from discrimination to violent persecution – because of Who they follow. Women and girls endure the threat of abduction, rape, and forced marriage to Muslim men resulting in conversion by force. This all adds up to make Pakistan the eighth-worst place to be a Christian, according to the 2022 World Watch List. We have numerous members in Pakistan, including two ministry partners. We work to free Christians who are slaves in brick factories and are praying we will be able to assist in the construction of our second house of worship, which would give us access to the remote mountains in the north.

PRAYER: Father, we lift those enslaved by a society in which false accusations of blasphemy (against Islam, the Quran, or Muhammad) result in harsh punishment. Give them strength. We pray for greater access to Your Word, especially for those living in the mountains. Send workers to do outreach in a population that is 98.9-percent unreached, and train believers in Your ways. Change the hearts of those who own and manage brick factories that enslave thousands because of debts.

Day 4 (Tuesday, April 5):

NIGERIA. This West Africa nation is divided between Jesus and Muhammad with 51 percent claiming to be Christian and 43 percent Muslim. It is divided geographically – with Muslims in the north and Christians in the south. Christians living in the north are faced with some of the most brutal violence in the world – earning Nigeria a No. 7 ranking on the 2022 World Watch List. Open Doors, the ministry that serves the persecuted church and keep tabs on the World Watch List, said Christians in the north “live their lives under the constant threat of attack from Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Fulani militants, and criminals who kidnap and murder with few consequences. The violence is so bad it has begun to travel south, as well.” Northern states live under Shariah law, based on the writings in the Quran and Hadith. Climbing For Christ has had members in Nigeria since 2009 and conducted mission work in the northeast for several years.

PRAYER: Father, we lift those believers being attacked on all sides by evil. As David wrote in Psalm 91, may “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High … find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” And may those doing the attacking meet Jesus along the road, see the scales fall from their eyes, and turn from evil.

Day 3 (Monday, April 4):

Mount Kilimanjaro in northeastern Tanzania. The guides and porters who work on the mountain are about half Muslim and half Christian. C4C has done outreach here since 2007. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

TANZANIA. More than half (51.1 percent) of this East Africa country’s population is Christian. Nearly three in 10 people are Muslim (29.8 percent), making Islam the second-largest religion. But some parts of the country have experienced or are facing Islamization. Zanzibar, a popular resort destination, is predominantly Muslim and southern Tanzania (the Mtwara Region) is facing a greater threat of terrorism because of the rise of Mozambican jihadists across the border. Voice of the Martyrs acknowledges, “Like many countries in Africa, Tanzania is being targeted by Muslim groups outside the country that work to Islamize Tanzania by establishing Muslim businesses and schools, helping Muslims get elected to office and passing laws that favor Islam. Even so, local churches in Tanzania boldly work to spread the Gospel.”

PRAYER: Father, we ask that our disciple-making training of Kilimanjaro Chapter guides and porters continues to impact families, communities, visiting trekkers, and Muslim co-workers. We pray for more fruit in Tanzania.

Day 2 (Sunday, April 3):

PERSECUTION and PERSECUTORS. In the days ahead, we are going to pray for Climbing For Christ members living and working in persecuted countries. We are going to ask the Lord of the harvest to give them strength, perseverance, and boldness in sharing the love of Jesus. May they be a light in the darkness. But we’re also going to pray for those who persecute our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus taught us to pray for our “enemies.” In Matthew 5:44b-48, He instructed: “Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

PRAYER: Father, give us hearts to forgive, a willingness to love our enemies, as Your Son instructed in Luke 6:27-29. “Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” If someone slaps us on one cheek, may we offer the other as well. May the love we exhibit for those who hate be used to change wayward hearts. In the name of Jesus!

Day 1 (Saturday, April 2)

ISLAM. At sundown today many of the 1.9 billion devoted to Islam will begin observing Ramadan, the holy month of prayer, fasting, and reflecting on God. Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam – ritual obligations consisting of the Shahada (declaration of faith), Salah (prayer five times a day), Zakat (giving), Sawm (fasting), and Hajj (pilgrimage). During Ramadan, adherents fast from dawn to sunset. Muslims refrain from food, drink, tobacco, sexual relations, and “sinful behavior” during daylight hours, focusing on prayer and reciting the Quran. Muslims often tell us that we (Christians) are the same; we believe in the same God, and we are on the same path to heaven. This is partially true. We are created in God’s image, and He loves each of us. But God’s heart grieves for those who are apart from Him. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10).

PRAYER: Father, we thank You for being the hound of heaven, a God – THE God – who does not give up on His children. We thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to redeem us from our sins. We begin this Ramadan in prayer to You, asking You to reach the lost in the Muslim world. Show them the Truth in the 30 days ahead.

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Gary FallesenGary Fallesen

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