Friday, June 10, 2016

Iman's Prayer Request

The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of the saints, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake. Revelation 8:4-5

"Amal, I will pray for you during Ramadan," I shared. Muslims will not automatically know that we pray unless we tell them we pray. Frequently I tell my friends that I go to a prayer meeting at church or that Ed and I pray together every day. When Muslims realize that we pray they are usually eager to have us pray for them. I have heard all kinds of prayer requests from them. The requests may be for a successful result from an upcoming exam, to be able to conceive, healing for a sick child, for peace of mind and comfort from a death or loss, safety in travel, for a husband to find a job, for a sibling to find a suitable spouse, to be able to sponsor a family member to come here, and so forth. Their prayer requests often resemble our requests which affirms a common sense of humanity between us. After a request has been answered by God I suggest we now thank God for answering her prayer.

Iman’s prayer request caught me by surprise. She is fixated on the daily news of what is happening with ISIS and has become quite fearful. “Where is it all going, Joy?” she asked. That led into a long fruitful discussion.  Iman does not appear spiritually hungry and I don’t want to frighten her away too quickly. On this visit I decided to just make it mostly a friendly time of connecting and told her after some time that I should go. Suddenly she begged, “Please pray.”  “What would you like me to pray for, Iman?” I asked. “Pray that ISIS will stop,” she pleaded. Well, I’ll be!  I have not heard much of such a request in churches but I was hearing it from a Muslim!  Who did she think I was that I could pray for such a big thing like that and God would answer my prayer? How should I pray for her request? How would you pray about that with a Muslim friend?  I forged ahead.

God has given us His authority to bind up Satan’s work on earth. We just don’t use His authority much. We tend to rely on the government to take care of evil things in the world. I explained to Iman that the government is limited in what they can do to end ISIS. This is more a spiritual problem than a political one. And then I prayed in the powerful name of Jesus for her request. She sat there stunned and lost in thought when prayer ended. “Thanks,” she whispered.

It is important to use the authority God has given us. It is a powerful testimony to our Muslim friends. We are not just mumbling a please bless so and so or please give her a good exam result. Praying with authority in Jesus’ name is something entirely unknown to them. It is like the rumbling of thunder lets loose in the heavenly realms.  Something gets shaken and stirred up. God’s army gets in place, ready to do His bidding on earth.  He is, was, and always will be Jehovah Sabaoth.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the way Muslims often stretch my faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.