May 24 2017
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
Let us break bread together
The website gotquestions.org describes three biblical meanings for breaking bread:
- Early Christians coming together in their homes to share meals (Ac 2:42-46)
- Disciples remembering Christ’s death by celebrating communion, according to His instructions (1 Co 11:23-26)
- A symbol of the brokenness of Christ, the Bread of Life, on the cross (read the explanation here: http://www.gotquestions.org/breaking-of-bread.html).
These three meanings give a picture of fellowship, both vertical and horizontal. Are we experiencing that fellowship fully in the Body of Christ?
Ramadan begins on May 27. One of the five pillars of Islam, it is a month of daylight fasting from food and drink and other sensual pleasures to commemorate when Muhammad began to receive revelations of the Qur’an. Muslims believe prayers, devotions and good deeds during Ramadan have much more value than at other times. But, like Christmas, in many ways Ramadan has become a socio-cultural festival.
After the hardship of fasting from even water during the day, people love to get together in family groups for the iftar meal (pictured above), which breaks the fast in the evening. In some countries, the best of food is brought in for the festival and the family will eat through the evening and watch special high quality television programs together. Many former Muslims (including Nabeel Qureshi in Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) find Ramadan difficult because they miss the family and community coming together around food every evening. There is also a strong element of fellowship when an entire community suffers together for a spiritual cause.
Our God describes Himself as Father. He names Himself as the God of an intergenerational family – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is building a family, many brothers and sisters for His firstborn, Jesus (Ro 8:29). Families break bread together and have everything in common (Ac 2:44-45).
Do you know any Christians from Muslim background? Can you be family to them this month by inviting these brothers and sisters to your home for a family meal?
Pray for Christians from Muslim background to
- Experience true fellowship in the Body of Christ (Mt 20:25-28; Jn 17:20-23; Eph 4:3-6, 5:15-21; Php 2:1-4)
- Have opportunities to share their faith stories and listen to those of others as equal members of Jesus’ family
- Participate with us in a Kingdom culture that overcomes cultural isolation
- Serve the Lord alongside us in the church, making their unique contributions to the Body of Christ
“Kneel before the Father [Gk Pater] from whom every family [Gk patria] in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Eph 3:14-15) and pray Ephesians 3:16-19 for Christians from Muslim background.
Thank God with joy for these first fruits from the great harvest that the Lord of the Harvest has begun to bring in from the fields of Islam!
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