Thu, Sep 1: Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. – Proverbs 4:25 CD’s father and friends are pressuring him to take a second wife; that is what is expected of someone of his social status and stage in life. But as he studies with other followers of Christ, he appreciates that God’s word does not favor the multiple wife system. CD’s family has been patiently waiting and enduring this Jesus phase of his, and they believe the time has come for him to return to Islam and the MNK traditions. Pray for believers like CD who daily face societal pressures regarding the way they live their lives; pray they will be able to keep their eyes on Jesus, and Jesus alone.
Fri, Sep 2: Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. – Deuteronomy 11:19 EF’s wife delivered a baby boy. Almost immediately she tied a small red string around the baby’s wrist to protect him from evil. And when the grandmother came to visit, she also brought things to protect the infant. In MNK society, EF is basically powerless to stop this practice until his wife becomes a believer or until the child matures. Pray for EF and other MNK believing fathers to stand firm against all practices that are contrary to God’s word.
Sat, Sep 3: All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. – Acts 2:44-45 At this point in time, there is no MNK church; therefore, the believers do not yet have everything in common as described in the first church. While MNK believers may be growing spiritually, but they do not yet see themselves united as a body of Christ. Still there are needs among the believers; AB’s family is hungry and he doesn’t have the money to buy rice. Who should help? How should we (as a community) help? Pray for MNK believers and those of us who live and work among the MNK to seek God’s face in light of these kinds of situations.
Sun, Sep 4: The eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. – Acts 8:37-38 CD is a believer; he has been a believer for several years, yet he has not followed through with believer’s baptism. This act will be a clear declaration to the MNK community that CD has truly left Islam and is seriously following Christ. Hardships are sure to ensue. CD desires to wait until there are more believers so they will be able to support one another. Pray for believers like CD who are hesitant about stepping out into the limelight; pray they will have the courage and faith to follow all of God’s commands.
Mon, Sep 5: On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. – Luke 2:21 It is time for GH’s seven-year old son to be circumcised. In MNK society this is more than just the physical cutting of the foreskin. This is when MNK boys learn what it means to be an MNK man. Much of the teaching is Islamic, and much of it is animistic. GH desires for his son to be an accepted part of the community, but he resists having him spend time in the bush learning ways contrary to the Word of God. Pray for believing MNK men and women who aspire to raise their children in the true ways of God in this oppressive society.
Tue, Sep 6: Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad.” – Matthew 5:11 EF is having a difficult time rejoicing in the insults being hurled his way. He is called an infidel, a dog who neither prays nor is able to keep fast. And these comments originate from young men his age, ones he considers friends. His close friends don’t say those kinds of things; they quietly exclude him from their functions. Pray for believers like EF as they face the loneliness that comes from leaving the religion of the MNK; pray they will find joy and sufficiency in Christ Jesus and the albeit small fellowship of believers.
Wed, Sep 7: Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved! I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” – John 10:9,11 Tonight’s radio broadcast (#78) is entitled The Good Shepherd. Being an agrarian society, the MNK understand what it means to protect one’s flock. Pray for MNK men and women as they listen to the words Jesus spoke in the Gospel of John; pray that their hearts and minds will be open to accepting the Good Shepherd.
Thu, Sep 8: Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:20 As GH walks home from the market, he hears men speaking of the power of the visiting marabout (witch doctor). They believe this man can cause the dumb to speak and the blind to see. There is a much chatter about this man, but only a select few actually get to see him “in action”. GH has heard of these kinds of miracles in the Bible and wonders if God is still active in this MNK world in 2005. Pray for believers like GH to utilize the power and authority God has given them to glorify and honor His name; pray for the faith of all believers who live in this dark, Islamic society.
Fri, Sep 9: Every word of God is flawless, he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. – Proverbs 30:5 One of the standard arguments against Christianity is that the Bible is flawed, that it has been changed, that it is fraught with errors. As CD was trying to share Truth with one of his friends, these surfaced again. MNK men are taught to stand forcefully against everything non-Muslim utilizing these argumentative methods. CD stood there, not sure quite what to say. Then he remembered a verse he heard on the radio broadcast and repeated it for his friend. Hard to argue with this verse! Pray for MNK believers like CD to hold tightly onto God’s Word.
Sat, Sep 10: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24 In western society we promote loyalty and strong bonds between a husband and wife against the outside world. Is this a Biblical view or a western view? In MNK society, men and women’s roles are clearly separated and divided. What will this remain so in the MNK church? Will men and women continue to live basically separate lives? As EF contemplates his financial problem, he wonders if he should ask his wife, as a believer, for her thoughts. This is completely contrary to an MNK man’s way of thinking, but God has given EF and his wife new ways of thinking since they’ve come to Christ. Pray for MNK believers as they endeavor to follow Biblical models in all things, including marriage.
Sun, Sep 11: Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. –Philippians 4:5-6 AB is a craftsman; he depends upon the needs of the town to make a living. He is not the only craftsman of his type in town. Because he is a believer, however, people often take their work elsewhere so as to support a Muslim over a non-Muslim. Today during worship, he asked the fellowship of believers to pray that he would have adequate work. Pray for AB and other believers to be able to earn a decent and honest living within this Islamic society.
Mon, Sep 12: Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. – 1 Corinthians 12:27 Horrible news! GH has just learned his father has died. GH’s love and attachment to his father was more than what is common among the MNK. They were very good friends, as well as being father and son. GH depended on his father for advice in so many areas. Who will he chat with now? GH needs to let his friends know about this tragedy. Pray for MNK men and women to come to depend upon the Body of Christ in sorrow and in joy, thereby solidifying the Body and encouraging one another.
Tue, Sep 13: Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. – Psalm 127:1 CD desires for peace to come to his household. He gives advice to his wife, but she isn’t heeding it. His children are running wild, ignoring his admonitions. CD’s mother spends all her time complaining about this and that, and his father berates his son in front of the elders. CD is despairing of what to do next. Suddenly God reveals to him the real situation: his wife, his children, his father and his mother all need to become believers! Pray for CD and other believers to have the courage and fortitude to declare that Jesus is Lord, and to live lives that exemplify Christ.
Wed, Sep 14: Isaiah wrote: “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” – Isaiah 30:18 Tonight’s radio broadcast (#79) is entitled The Heart of God. (In MNK it is translated What Jesus’ Heart is Like.) This lesson focuses on two parables Jesus told that teach about the great mercy that fills God’s heart and how sinners can receive that mercy. MNK men and women desire that mercy, but they believe that God ekes it out to those who take adequate steps to earn it. Pray for MNK men and women to come to know the true Heart of God.
Thu, Sep 15: Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. – Malachi 3:10 Tithing, as such, is not a new concept to AB, though Islam teaches it more in the context of taxation. Alms are given to the poor, but only whatever coins might be found in one’s pocket. AB wonders what it is he is supposed to tithe; he has no income. This idea of giving 10% back to God is quite something. To whom would the money go? Who would keep it? What would be done with it? Pray for believing MNK men and women to desire to learn and obey all of God’s laws, and to put into practice what they learn; pray for believers like AB to be honest and Spirit filled.
Fri, Sep 16: The prophet Elisha answered, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And he prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” – 2 Kings 6:16-17 As a believer, EF is definitely a numerical minority. Those who follow Christ in his town number less than ten! At times he despairs, wondering how the MNK elders will ever come to Christ. How will they ever be able to see and understand the truth? Then one day he heard the story of Elisha and the Arameans, and was encouraged and emboldened! Pray for believers like EF to hang on to the tremendous power that is his through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Sat, Sep 17: When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 8:18-19 Money is always paid to those within MNK society who pray for the impoverished, provide “medicine” for those who are sick, or offer blessings on families and homes. For a former Islamic teacher who has become a believer, not accepting money for prayers was at first foreign to GH. Now he realizes as MNKs receive prayer for free from followers of Christ, and these prayers are answered, men in his former profession are going to feel threatened and challenged. Pray for the MNK religious community to become unsettled at the evidences of God’s power in the lives of believing MNKs!
Sun, Sep 18: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work. – Exodus 20:8-10 Praise God He has answered AB’s prayer for work! AB now has so much work, he is feeling compelled to work on Sundays and not attend corporate worship. Thank God for His faithfulness, His care of MNK believers and answered prayer! Now pray for MNK believers to make choices that honor God.
Mon, Sep 19: Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” – Matthew 8:20 CD desires to build his own house in his family compound, but he is facing resistance from members of his family. So they have allocated him a plot of land on the outskirts of town; neither electric lines nor piped water have reached there yet, but that doesn’t seem to bother the family. CD is being quietly ostracized by his community for his stand as a believer. Pray for believers like CD to have joy in the midst of these difficult circumstances; pray for CD to have the finances and strength to build his own compound.
Tue, Sep 20: When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. They were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” – Luke 1:57-60 In MNK society, the name of a child is an important part of his future. He will always be known for being named after someone of importance within the family or village. There are many traditions associated with MNK naming ceremonies, such as shaving the child’s head just as the Islamic teacher slaughters an animal. How should GH hold the naming ceremony for his daughter? He needs to do what is expected and acceptable within the society, yet he desires to honor God. Pray for believing MNK men as they discern how to honor God with these important rights of passage without infuriating their community.
Wed, Sep 21: Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies! Do you believe this?” – John 11:25,26 Tonight’s radio broadcast (#80) is entitled The Resurrection and the Life. The account in John 11 of raising Lazarus from the dead is an amazing story of faith and miraculous power; it is also recounted in the Qu’ran with much similarity. Pray for MNK men and women as they listen to a familiar story to truly hear Jesus words...do you believe this?
Thu, Sep 22: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11 From a literate society’s perspective, this verse means we read, study and memorize Scripture. But what does this verse mean from an illiterate society? More than 85% of MNKs cannot read or write. How can AB hide God’s word in his heart if he can’t read it for himself? Pray for those MNK believers who desire to know God’s word; pray as a body of Christ we will find appropriate ways to enable Scripture memorization.
Fri, Sep 23: Jesus said, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24 Where does an MNK believer worship? There is no established church within this Islamic society, and often believers are prohibited from worshipping in their rented homes. EF has had this problem more than once. He started having times of prayer with other believers, but soon the landlord had so many complaints from his Muslim tenants, he forced EF to stop the gatherings. Still, EF praises God in his own room. Pray for EF and other believers to be able to find times and places to worship God in spirit and in truth.
Sat, Sep 24: Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35 GH and AB are very different personalities. They come from similar Islamic, MNK backgrounds, but that is all they have in common...outside their professed love for Christ. MNKs do an excellent job of hiding their dislike of others, but it bothers both these followers since they know Jesus’ command. Pray for MNK believers to develop a Godly love for other believers, whether they like them or not. Pray the same thing for the fellowship of believers you know!
Sun, Sep 25: Jesus said, “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 During this time of year, an older boy dresses up in a grass-type costume and runs around the community. He slaps two machetes together and screams! This is done to keep the evil spirits away from the children recently circumcised in the bush. Sometimes children dress up like this as a game, running around town in the daytime. But when this creature comes out at night, it is no game. As a child, CD ran in fear from the kan-kurang. Now, as a follower of Christ, he knows he need not fear this or any other spirit, for the Spirit that lives in him is greater than the one that lives in the world! Praise the Living God! Pray for believing MNK men and women to be freed from the multitude of fears they learned as children and lived under as adults before their salvation; pray they will hold to the peace Christ provides.
Mon, Sep 26: Jacob said, “Do not bury me in Egypt, but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” – Genesis 47:30 Burial is as important to MNKs as naming ceremonies. Preparation of the body must be done in a specific way, or your soul is in jeopardy. For the Christian, the corpse is simply the empty shell that once housed a soul now reunited with God Himself. EF considers these truths as he contemplates who will prepare his body for burial, and where it will be laid. With only a handful of believers, traditions are not yet set, and uncertainty plagues his mind. Pray for MNK believers to search God’s word and discover His plan for the pattern of the MNK church.
Tue, Sep 27: Jesus said, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18 With the Islamic fast month of Ramadan approaching, GH wonders what he should do. All his friends and neighbors will be keeping the sun-up-to-sun-down fast, and if he does not, he faces constant ridicule. If he does keep fast, is he doing so just to save face, or is he fasting for the glory of God? Pray for MNK believers as they search how to demonstrate and observe a Godly fast.
Wed, Sep 28: As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem! – Luke 9:51 Tonight’s radio broadcast (#81) is entitled Jesus Enters Jerusalem. The following analogy is what MNKs will hear: if you knew you were going to be tortured and killed if you traveled to another city, would you go? The human response is of course not! This begs the question, then, what kind of man would do this? MNKs will hear the description of Jesus’ entry on a donkey and his teachings in the temple. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him! (John 1:10) Pray for MNK men and women to discern the truth in the words they will hear tonight; pray that they will recognize Jesus as the Savior of the World.
Thu, Sep 29: The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18 EF is a young man who is a few years beyond the typical marrying age of MNK men. As a believer, EF has committed to marry a woman who is a follower of Christ. Since he does not know any believing women, he remains single, much to the embarrassment and chagrin of his family, and the sadness of his own heart. Still he waits in faith. Pray for male and female believers to seek one another out for marriage; pray that the MNK church will be filled with believing and serving families.
Fri, Sep 30: Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. – Proverbs 30:5 AB often accompanies the missionaries to villages to share God’s word. When asked point blank, AB will say he is “on the Jesus road” and that he holds to God’s Word. But these answers rarely satisfy the one who desires to argue; the question invariably comes up, what about Mohammed? Why don’t you teach about Mohammed? Why don’t you teach about the Qu’ran? AB will answer, “Because there are lots of people in this village who can teach about Mohammed and the Qu’ran. But how many can teach about the Bible?” Pray for AB to have the faith and courage to truly believe that every word of God is flawless.