Sep 06 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!
Choices for children
September already – back to school! As children mature and venture out into society, they become more vulnerable to outside influences. These days, the Internet brings many of those influences into the home, even at a very young age.
Internet influences are an issue for Muslim parents. The main way most Muslim children learn about Islam is from what their parents tell them. The parents learned it from their parents and the imams. (See Nabeel Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Ali A. Rizvi, The Atheist Muslim.) Until recently, few Muslims had read the Qur’an, let alone the hadith (collected sayings of Muhammad). Now, researchable versions of Islamic texts are available on-line, along with sermons of various persuasions and many other influences.
This is the first generation of young Muslims aware of alternative mindsets and ideas and having the technology to explore them through conversations not under their parents’ supervision or control. Christian ministries are active on the Internet. I’m not aware of sites tailored specifically for Muslim children, but youth and adult sites are accessible and Muslims become Christians because of them. Light for All Nations, which broadcasts on Sat7 into the Middle East and North Africa, is undertaking to produce a new children’s TV program (https://www.lfan.org/our-ministry/ministry-activities).
Recruiters for Islamic jihad are savvy and effective in using the Internet to lure young people to their causes without their parents’ knowledge. Various communities in the West are trying to respond to the dangers of radicalization with information, studies and other resources. (For example, see “How to Spot Signs of Radicalization in Your Kids” https://clarionproject.org/spot-signs-radicalization-children/.)
We’ve been less aware about atheism as a significant option for Muslims. In his 2016 book, The Atheist Muslim, Ali Rizvi describes two major factors leading to his rejection of Islam for atheism. As a child, his inquiring mind questioned his parents’ passive acceptance of contradictions in their faith which he found intolerable. He was traumatized by watching his 3-yr-old cousin die of leukemia with no understanding of why God would torture her so. Rizvi describes the desire of today’s young Muslims (globally, but especially in the West) to be given reasons and to be convinced that they’re being told the truth, and projects that this generation may hold the key to the secularization of Muslims (Chapter 8).
A few weeks ago, I attended the North American Prayer Summit where a long-time missionary spoke on Islamization of the West. He concluded, “Pray for the children of the Islamic world. Our children go to school with them.” While in an Islamic country, he saw countless children radicalized within months by being trained in madrasas (Islamic schools). Some of these children come here.
Are we aware of the potential of every child created by the Father to know, love and serve Him? That Jesus admonishes his disciples for hindering children from coming to Him and entering the Kingdom (Mt 19:14, Mk 10:14-15, Lk 18:16-17)? That young Ishmael cried and God heard (Ge 21:17-18)?
The adversary is seeking to devour Muslim children. “Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Pe 5:8-9a). Command breaches in the walls of the fortress of Islam that keep them in darkness. Declare that Light will enter!
Ask God to give you His love for Muslim kids and pray with the desire of His heart for their hearts, that
- they would know God as a good Father who loves them,
- Jesus would reveal Himself to them as the Son of God who has gone before and made a way for them to become children of God (Jn 1:12-13),
- God would give them divine appointments through media and people-in-the-flesh who can speak the truth to them in love, pray for them and disciple them.
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