Fri, Jul 1: Blessed are the merciful, for they will
be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7 As Bakary prepares
to go to town, he thinks about these words he heard
on the radio…blessed are the merciful. “Mercy
isn’t that difficult; we always tell one another
to forgive and to keep the peace,” he thinks
to himself. Yet Bakary knows his own heart. He knows
since childhood he has been taught to pay back evil,
to defend his name, that mercy is for those weak in
body and resolve. Yet why did he hear that if he is
merciful, God would show him mercy? Sometimes this
is so confusing. Pray for MNKs as they hear more and
more Scripture to allow the Truth will permeate their
minds and understand the heavenly definition of Mercy:
God’s unmerited favor and forgiveness.
Sat, Jul 2: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they
will be called the sons of God. – Matthew 5:9 “Sons
of God?” Thoughts run rampant through Bakary’s
mind. There go those Christians again, implying that
God has children! God never married so how can he
have children? Those infidels really have some strange
ideas! Bakary’s young sons know all the arguments
to refute the claim that Jesus is the Son of God;
now they have heard a new one – peacemakers
will be called sons of God. Everyone knows God is
not interested in peacemakers; as his slaves, we MNK
Muslims are commanded to defend him and fight for
him on earth! Pray that this truth of God will become
personal to the MNK: that God does not need us to
fight for Him; rather our responsibility is to worship
Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Sun, Jul 3: Blessed are those who are persecuted because
of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew
5:10 One of Fatou’s childhood friends has married
a man from another tribe. That’s not so bad,
but now her friend has left Islam to become a Christian!
How can she do that to her family and friends? How
can she become a pig-eating, alcohol-drinking heathen,
who neither prays nor fasts, and worships three Gods?
Pray for Fatou to see the personal relationship with
God her friend now has instead of holding to the strong
taboos of the do’s and don’ts of Islam.
Mon, Jul 4: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd
lays down his life for the sheep. – John 10:11
Lamin is listening to the radio. “Now there’s
a strange saying. Who said that? Jesus? How was Jesus
a shepherd? He was a carpenter, not a shepherd. At
least that’s what Christians teach. How could
he know anything about sheep?” Traditional MNK
thought regards Jesus as a type of magician. He spoke
from the cradle; he made animals from clay; he did
all kinds of things. But he was NOT a shepherd. Pray
that the Holy Spirit will open for Lamin the ability
to clearly understand the words of Jesus as recorded
Tue, Jul 5: I am the resurrection and the life. He
who believes in me will live, even though he dies. – John
11:25 How can you live even though you die? Kadi has
just heard on the radio that her brother has died.
Now she hears a car coming to the village to enable
her to attend his funeral. Just last night she heard
a commercial on the radio that talked about life in
death…does this mean her brother could be alive?
Kadi’s mind is so confused; it must be the grief.
He was so young to die. Who is going to take care
of his wife and children? Pray that the Holy Spirit
will enable all of us to comprehend those things that
are outside of our human understanding, that we will
come to grips with spiritual truths.
Wed, Jul 6: Jesus said, “I tell you the truth,
no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born
again.” – John 3:3 Tonight’s radio
broadcast, #69, is entitled You Must Be Born Again.
Just as this saying was difficult for Nicodemus to
comprehend, so it is difficult for MNKs to grasp its
meaning. The key is believing His Good News of salvation.
As MNKs listen to this broadcast they are going to
be asking the same questions Nicodemus asked. Pray
they will be able to hear the answer and accept God
at His word.
Thu, Jul 7: And whoever lives in me will never die.
Do you believe this? – John 11:26 When Kadi
heard this, she was baffled. “Do I believe what?” Kadi
is overcome with grief. She just buried her brother;
everyone was wailing and crying; people were praying
and reading and reciting the Qu’ran. No one
had any real hope or knowledge of where her brother
is…whether or not he is in heaven…whether
or not he is in hell…whether or not he is somewhere
in between. And now she hears that Jesus said whoever
lives in me will never die… Where is truth?
Where is reality? Where is her brother? Pray that
Kadi and others who hear the words of Jesus on the
radio will find Truth and Hope in them.
Fri, Jul 8: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they
will see God. – Matthew 5:8 Pure in heart…my
heart is pure. I am seeking after God. I am keeping
fast. I am not swallowing my spit. I am not smoking
during the day. I am not sneaking food. I am doing
everything God requires of me. In my own strength,
I will get to God. Sali is keeping fast today to “repay” some
days she missed during last year’s fast month.
Pray for Kadi to appreciate that the One True God
is not a God impressed by what she does or doesn’t
do; rather He calls us to worship and fellowship with
Sat, Jul 9: I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me. – John
14:6 If this statement is true, then it stands in
direct contradiction to the teachings of Islam. Jesus
was a prophet, but not the last one. How can God allow
these false teachings to spread? Yesterday in the
mosque, Bakary heard all kinds of talk about the claims
of Christians, about Jesus equating himself with God.
Yet the Qu’ran does teach that Jesus was sinless
and did not lie. So, if He didn’t lie, then
what about this verse in John? Critical thinking and
independent thought are strongly discouraged within
this communal MNK society. Pray that Bakary and other
men who are trying to listen to God’s voice
will have the gift of hearing and believing from the
One who hears all.
Sun, Jul 10: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give
you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not
let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John
14:27 There is a young MNK woman who has become a
believer. She and her husband in the village where
she was born. Her husband is also a believer, but
from another tribe. They were kicked out of their
rental compound for having worship services in it.
They have tried to purchase their own compound, but
no one will sell to them. They are being ostracized
from the community because of their faith. All she
wants is her own compound in which to raise her children
and live out her faith. Pray for this family to believe
that God will provide all of their needs. Pray for
them to be at peace with whatever God does provide.
Pray that they will hear these words of Jesus and
be completely at rest in His promises.
Mon, Jul 11: I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep
and my sheep know me. – John 10:14 Lamin read
these words in Arabic script, but they spoke to him
in the MNK language! How exciting to be able to understand
what he is reading. But what do these words really
mean? Does Jesus talk to animals? Many verses his
friend gives him to read imply a knowledge of or relationship
with God. Lamin’s understanding of God is that
he is too far away, too important, too capricious
to know mankind. Pray for the MNK as God’s Word
is read and distributed to understand that God is
not only knowable, but also desirous of a personal
relationship with every human being.
Tue, Jul 12: I am the bread of life. He who comes
to me will never go hungry. – John 6:35 That
is an easy verse for Christians; they never keep fast!
As the children listen to teachings about fasting
by their religious instructor, they begin thinking
about whether or not they will keep fast...whether
or not God will accept their fast...whether or not
they will “cheat”. Now they hear about
the bread of life? If they leave Islam does that mean
they will never be hungry again? Food is already scarce
these days; the crops are planted but the stores are
empty. Pray for those who are waiting for the crops
to be harvested to be looking to God to supply all
their needs, especially the bread of life.
Wed, Jul 13: The Samaritans said, “We no longer
believe just because of what you said; now we have
heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really
is the Savior of the world.” – John 4:42
Tonight’s radio broadcast, #70, is entitled
The Savior of the World. The teaching centers on two
different responses to Jesus’ claim of Messiahship.
The first are the Samaritans, outcasts, who accepted
Jesus’ teachings. The second are the religious
teachers of Nazareth who despised the message. MNKs
most probably fit into the second category. Pray for
MNKs as they listen to this teaching to realize that
without Christ, they are outcasts of heaven; pray
they will accept the Truth of the Messiah.
Thu, Jul 14: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide
is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction,
and many enter through it. – Matthew 7:13 The
boys have been going to the Qu’ranic teacher
ever since they were very small. He teaches them many
things, but they have never heard about any gates.
Then today they saw a piece of paper on the ground
in the market that had a picture of a gate on it.
When they picked it up they hid it in their pocket
until they could find an older boy from the high school
who would read it to them. He assumed it was an Islamic
teaching because Islam teaches that many people will
go down the wrong path. Pray for Scripture distributions
to land in the hands of those who are seeking Truth.
Fri, Jul 15: Small is the gate and narrow the road
that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew
7:14 On the way home last night, the boys went back
through the market. And they found another piece of
paper that looked like the one they picked up earlier
in the day. Someone had taken this pamphlet and torn
it up. They couldn’t understand why. Now they
are anxious to ask their Qu’ranic teacher if
they will be able to find the road that leads to life.
But they are taught NOT to ask him questions. That
is a sign of disrespect. Perhaps they could ask one
of the foreign teachers at the high school. They are
scared; they do not desire the rod. Pray that the
Holy Spirit will so burden MNKs that they will go
against all of their teachings, all of their understandings,
all of their relatives, all of their culture, to find
the Truth and the narrow road.
Sat, Jul 16: He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he
did not open his mouth. He was assigned a grave with
the wicked though he had done no violence, nor was
any deceit in his mouth. – Isaiah 53:7,9 Mohammed
is revered as a mighty warrior who fought for God,
defended God, and turned many (by the sword) to God
from paganism. This is respected and imitated by MNKs
and other Muslims around the world. But in Christianity
there is no talk about Jesus’ victories in battle
or his heroic deeds. This is very confusing to Bakary’s
children as they learn to respect and admire Mohammed,
as well as ancient MNK warriors, who were ferocious
in battle. Pray for MNKs to accept prophecies about
the Messiah found in Scripture as fulfilled in the
person of Jesus Christ.
Sun, Jul 17: Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble
of its own. – Matthew 6:24 But Bakary IS worried.
Does this verse mean that he never has to be concerned
about anything ever again? That God will take care
of everything? Or that difficulties will just take
care of themselves? Bakary borrowed a lot of money
to plant his fields. How is he going to repay it?
He’ll go ask his brother for the money; his
brother works for that Toubob in town and he can always
get money from him. Pray for Bakary to see his responsibility
for his own actions and debts. Pray that God will
bless Bakary’s fields with an abundant harvest
adequate to repay his debts and take care of his family.
Pray that he will give glory and honor to the Living
Mon, Jul 18: We look for light, but all is darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. – Isaiah
59:9 As Binta was coming home from the health center,
she felt as if she was walking in deep shadows. Dusk
was coming; the baby on her back was crying; she was
exhausted after waiting all day for the well-baby
injections; she had a two-hour walk in front of her.
Why couldn’t she have been born a Toubob? Why
couldn’t she be rich? Why couldn’t she
have married a wealthy man? Why couldn’t she
have a car? Why? Why? Why? The darkness was becoming
oppressive and she pondered what the foreign nurse
said: “Jesus is the light of the world.” Pray
for expatriate Christians as they go about their daily
lives among the MNK, as teachers, as nurses, as neighbors,
to find ways of sharing the truths of the Gospel succinctly.
Tue, Jul 19: God has given us eternal life, and this
life is in his Son. – 1 John 5:11 As Lamin ages,
he thinks more and more about death. Muslims have
no assurance of life after death. MNKs are taught
to perform all the pillars required in Islam (praying
five times a day, keeping the fast month, giving alms
to the poor, reciting the creed <There is one God,
Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.>, and making
the pilgrimage to Mecca if financially able); still
God may decide to send them to hell when they die.
Or God may leave them out there in limbo somewhere
until enough prayers are said on their behalf. Or
He may send them to hell for a time and then let them
into heaven. Pray for Lamin as he searches for the
Truth; pray that he will hear and understand this
verse, and believe that the gift of eternal life has
been given already through God’s son, Jesus
Wed, Jul 20: Jesus said, “I have come in my
Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but
if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept
him. If you believed Moses, you would believe me,
for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe
what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I
say?” – John 5:43,46-47 Tonight’s
radio broadcast, #71, is entitled The Authority of
Jesus. All of the prophets pointed to Jesus, yet MNKs
do not accept Him as the Son of God. They believe
what is comfortable about the prophets and leave the
hard teachings. Pray as MNKs listen to this lesson
tonight, that they might be enthralled by the authority
of Jesus and convicted of the Truth found in His teachings.
Thu, Jul 21: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling
among us. – John 1:14 The Word. This is another
name that Christians use for Jesus. So is Counselor.
So is Prince of Peace. So is Wonderful. Sometimes
it seems to the boys at school that the foreign teachers
are talking about more than one person; there are
just too many names; how do they keep them straight?
Pray for the MNK, including the youth, to understand
that the different names given to Jesus are simply
descriptions of His character, and that Christians
worship only One God, not three.
Fri, Jul 22: Do not break your oath; simply let your “Yes” be “yes,” and
your “No,” “No;” anything
beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew
5:37 While Binta was in the market this morning she
heard two women gossiping. But in their speech, there
was a lot of “swearing” to signify that
each was telling the truth. On her way home, she heard
a man tell a shopkeeper that “if God agrees” he
would pay for the bag of rice he was taking home today
next week. Many MNK believe that if they “swear” by
the Holy Qu’ran or by Mohammed’s name
or some other religious icon, they will not be held
responsible for the lie or failure to follow through
with a commitment. Pray that Binta and other MNK women
will be able to break this habit and learn to not
only tell the truth, but to be faithful in all things.
Sat, Jul 23: Look to the Lord and his strength; seek
his face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11 One very
attractive aspect of Islam is that it has prescribed
ways of doing every part of your life: marriage, death,
baby-naming ceremonies, prayers, fasting, etc. To
Bakary’s way of thinking, why would you leave
something so comfortable and familiar to hold on to
something more nebulous? Christians do not observe
a universal fast, they do not all pray in the same
manner, there is no prescription for performing a
wedding or funeral. Yet, Bakary’s Toubob friend
continually admonishes him to look to the Lord and
his strength. Pray for Bakary to truly look to the
Lord; pray that he will seek the fellowship and relationship
with God that is missing in his life over the apparent
comfort and stability he sees in Islam.
Sun, Jul 24: Jesus said: All who draw the sword will
die by the sword. – Matthew 26:52 Every afternoon,
the men stop what they are doing and turn on their
radios. They listen to Focus on Africa, a program
produced by the BBC. They learn about life in other
African nations; they hear about wars, outbreaks of
diseases, etc. They hear about sports across the continent,
as well as brief world news updates. But as with most
news programs, rarely do they hear anything good!
Bakary contemplates these words as he considers just
how many African leaders have come to power through
violent means. Then he considers religions and religious
wars. Pray for Bakary and all MNK men to understand
that while God is all-powerful, just, and righteous,
He is also patient, loving, and forgiving, desiring
that none should perish!
Mon, Jul 25: Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding. – Proverbs
3:5 The rainy season is a very hard time of year.
Stores of food run out; prices for rice and other
goods in the market go up; illnesses like malaria
and upper respiratory infections abound but lack of
cash makes purchasing medicine nearly impossible.
And the Toubob keeps admonishing Bakary and Lamin
and Sali and Kadi and others to trust in the Lord.
Pray for those of us who live and work among the MNK
to be faithful, loving, caring and discerning about
our role in supplying physical needs to our friends
and neighbors...for indeed, those needs are never-ending!
Tue, Jul 26: For the wages of sin is death, but the
gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans
6:23 Lamin would like the gift of God this week, but
he isn’t thinking about eternal life. Rather
he’s thinking about a 50-kilo bag of rice that
will feed his family for about two weeks. But this
bag will cost $22.00 and he hasn’t got it. As
he begins his afternoon prayers, he prays for his
son to find the money to provide for the family. And
he prays that God will send a gift his family’s
way. Pray for workers among the MNK to be alert to
God’s prompting to visit, pray for, speak God’s
truth to any MNK family He puts into our hearts and
Wed, Jul 27: In Christ all the fullness of the Deity
lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness
in Christ, who is the head over every power an authority!” – Colossians
2:9,10 Tonight’s radio broadcast, #72, is entitled
The Power of Jesus. This lesson is sure to capture
people’s attention! MNKs are always asking about
Jesus’ power, because Mohammed’s prowess
as a raider and as a warrior are well know. Jesus’ power
extends beyond the earthly realm; His power can even
overcome the spirits that inhabit MNK homes, families
and villages. Pray for MNKs to become excited about
the veracity of Scripture and the irrefutable power
Thu, Jul 28: Job declared, “I know that my Redeemer
lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the
earth.” – Job 19:25 Though called to this
work, missionaries are not above the frustrations
and cares of this life. We are concerned for our children
and their formal, informal and spiritual education.
We are concerned for our aging parents and grandparents.
We experience the hurt of being separated from siblings,
relatives and our children and grandchildren. Some
of us do not yet have a spouse. Yet with Job we declare
that our Redeemer lives and in the end will stand
upon the earth. Our obedience does not come without
a price, but then neither did Jesus’! Pray for
those who live and work among the MNK to do so with
joy and conviction, aware that God comprehends all
of our concerns and frustrations.
Fri, Jul 29: Whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent
or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians
4:8 Kadi has been angry with Fatou all day. She has
thought about nothing else; it has colored everything
she has said and done. In her mid-day prayers she
asked God to help her pay Fatou back for the insult
laid on Kadi’s mother. It is her responsibility
to defend her mother’s name, and therefore her
own name. The agitation within her continues to grow.
Lunch was not well cooked because of her preoccupation
with this matter. Pray for Kadi to allow God the privilege
of being God. And pray that all MNKs will allow the
Holy Spirit to fill their hearts, minds and thoughts,
for when we are focused on the things of God, there
is no room for Satan’s lies.
Sat, Jul 30: I tell you the truth, until heaven and
earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the
least stroke of a pen, will be any means disappear
from the Law until everything is accomplished. – Matthew
5:18 When Binta’s Toubob friend read this verse
to her, she was completely surprised. Everyone knows
that the Bible has been altered and that it is no
longer complete and correct; that is why the Qu’ran
was given to Mohammed. Binta wonders how to tell her
friend that she is going down the wrong path. She
doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. Pray for
Binta to express her thoughts and concerns honestly
to her Toubob friend; pray that workers among the
MNK will have the insight and language skills to present
God’s Word clearly.
Sun, Jul 31: My word that goes out from my mouth will
not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I
desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. – Isaiah
55:11 It’s easy to create Roman script tracts
in Mandinka. It’s easy to create Arabic script
tracts in Mandinka. It’s easy to purchase Arabic
language tracts. But what is difficult is putting
a plan in place to constructively distribute Scripture
among an illiterate, rural people group. Pray for
those of us working among the MNK to find creative
ways of distributing God’s Word. It speaks for
itself and He Himself has promised that it will accomplish
His work. Pray that we will be diligent and faithful.