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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Praying for the Conversion of the Islamic Peoples.



CALL TO PRAYER: 

The horrific news form Pakistan on the school children’s massacre should be a trigger for Christians to pray in unison for the Conversion of the Islamic peoples to Christianity. Let this demonic incident backfire on the “Principalities and Powers” over Islam. Let it be the “last straw” for many in the Islamic world who are deeply demoralized and in despair over the chaos and evil of radical Islam. The situation in Pakistan is particularly grim. There the Shia-Sunni war that is going on in Syria and Iraq is flaring up. Inter-Islamic car bombs are common (as well as atrocities against Christians). If you are rich in Pakistan you are in danger, as ransom kidnappings are common. Sectarian gangs often control sections of Pakistan's largest cities. Meanwhile the police are corrupt and ineffective. There is a pall of despair all over Pakistan - this means the people are ripe for the Gospel.

Many in other Islamic countries are also seeking something else. In Iran, for instance, many have gone into the New Age movement to seek solace. Many others all over the Islamic world are being converted to Christianity by visions and dreams of Jesus, as detailed in the book by Tom Doyle, Dreams and Visions, available HERE.  Millions have also been converted by several excellent Christian ministries that come into their living rooms via satellite. I highlighted one of these ministries in particular, that of Fr. Zacharias Botors, in an earlier blog posting, linked HERE. He has been responsible for the conversion of several MILLION Muslims to Christianity. Pray that his satellite ministry, and the books and pamphlets he offers, will have every increasing success.

If you are a pastor, or prayer group leader consider calling a special prayer time, as in for instance a Friday evening, to specifically pray for the conversion of Pakistan Muslims who are now deeply shocked over this atrocity. Invite Christians from other churches and denominations to join in. Pray that the peoples of Islam increasingly tune into Christian television, that they download the Bible and Christian materials from the web on their many laptops and smart phones. Pray that millions of the sons and daughters of Islam cross over from believing that Jesus is prophet to accepting him as Son of God and savior. Pray that the “secret churches” in the Muslim countries be multiplied and new pastors birthed by this horrendous killing of innocent school children.

On the Difficulty of Interceding for Our enemies:

Matt 5: 43-45
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

But praying for our enemies, especially those who are manifestly ugly and hateful, is difficult. In the “flesh” we are all tempted to think, “Hey, if they car-bomb each other it’s OK with me, they are all going to hell!” But of course, this is not what Jesus wants of His people.

This came home to me several years ago when I was serving as hospital visitation minister and healing “coach” at a local Pentecostal Church. The pastor was an extremely anointed preacher, and a very Southern in his ways. He preached against drinking a beer as if it were adultery. I suggested to him that the church use the back wall to set up “intercession stations.” These have become increasingly common in Evangelical and Pentecostal churches.  They are posters of various intercession focuses the Christian should pray for. One was a picture of a public school, another of American troops in battle gear, another of President Obama and his cabinet. I gave the pastor a set of these posters I had already composed with pictures clipped from the web and appropriate captions and biblical quotations. (Doing these is not difficult.) He mostly liked them, but when he saw the one I had prepared on Islamic terrorists he flinched, and put it aside. He informed me that his secretary would “work on them.”

The one I had prepared on the Islamic terrorists was a picture of the meanest looking, bunch of Taliban terrorists I could find. They were loaded down with AK-47 and RPGs (rocket launchers). Their hateful looks were as threatening as their weapons. The bold caption underneath read “Pray for us. We need Jesus!”

When they were put on the wall certain interesting changes had taken place. Obama and his cabinet was replaced by a picture of the White House. Actually, this was a prudent change. Many (a majority?) of his congregation had a visceral dislike for Obama, and his picture would have been a distraction to prayer. But the change to the Taliban poster was disturbing. It had been changed to “Pray for the Lost” and showed our pastor, reaching down and snatching up persons who were on the way to the flames of hell. Well, he was indeed an anointed preacher who gave effective altar calls and was responsible for thousands coming into the Kingdom. But where were our enemies? There was an element of vanity in that change, but more seriously it indicated that he was not willing to pray specifically and with focus on our Islamic enemies.


We need to do better. Last year I composed a psalm (as commended by Paul in 1 Cor 14: 26-33) for the conversion of the Muslims of Pakistan after an earlier horrific car bombing at a food market. I have modified it and present it anew:

Psalm for the People of Islam

Let the TV videos show the killed and maimed
Let nothing be hid, of the ghastly assault.

Let Al-Jazeera show them again and again,
Let the people of the Muslim World be amazed.
Let them suffer depression, despair and consternation in their hearts

Let them murmur among themselves
Thinking secret thoughts,
“Is this Islam? Is this what we want in the great Caliphate?
Is the Koran truly God's book, or is there another?"

Give grace, power and anointing to the message of Fr. Botros
Let his programs shower down form the heaves
And come from the satellites to everywhere in the Muslim world

Give him the best of translators,
That every program be repeated
To reach the Muslims everywhere.

Let other ministers be anointed in this great work,
And their Gospel message proclaimed in all Islamic countries
With the power of the Spirit. 

Thank you Lord that in the twinkling of an eye
New Churches will form in Pakistan, Algerian, Iran and
Everywhere the deceptive crescent casts its shadow.
And the Principalities and Powers of Islam overthrown.

Concerts of Prayer:

In November I had the privilege of addressing pastor’s group meeting at Pastor Alan Didio’s Encounter Christ Church in North Carolina. Encounter Christ Church is a wonderful Pentecostal congregation in Albemarle, east of Charlotte. The Holy Spirit fell on that group as I urged them to unite their congregations in “concerts of prayers.” That is, that they combine on days other than Sunday, which is for normal church worship and ministry, to become mighty intercessory churches. I suggested that these pastors consider it an obligation of the American Church to have special united, inter-denominational intercessory prayer sessions for three general categories.

·         Praying for revival in America. Have you noticed? We lost the culture wars. Many Christians believed that by capturing the Republican Party a Christian agenda would arise and change our laws and morals. That did not happen. In fact, Republican politicians have retreated from confronting cultural issues and have accommodated to the secular view on most issues. But this is to be expected. Revival comes from a praying Church, not from a political party.
·        Praying for the conversion of the Islamic peoples. As suggested above, this is the OPPORTUNE  time to pray the conversion of the Islamic peoples, and against the “principalities and powers” that rule over them.
·         Praying for the overthrow of the demonic drug “pirate states” that are forming in Mexico and Central America, and which are the major source of our immigration crisis. Pray that all the churches in the region experience a strong revival and infilling of the Holy Spirit. Actually, praying for revival in America is related to this issue, as a true revival, such as the Second Great Awakening (1797-1820) will change the culture, and in the case of the United States, dry up the demand for illegal drugs.


Pastors, lay leaders, DO THIS!

Addendum:

A recent article on how Jesus is appearing to Muslims all over the world HERE

A article in the Turkish press on the crisis in Islam HERE

Announcement:

The noted Pentecostal scholar Dr. Jon Ruthven wrote a very positive review of my latest book, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal. You can access it HERE.




The book may be purchased on Amazon, either print or inexpensive Kindle HERE You can purchase the print version at a discount from the publisher HERE

My wife has written a funny and inspiring story of how she transited from a cessionist and Baptist to a Spirit-filled Believer. The book has many stories of our three decades of ministry together.  It may be purchased HERE.

Watching God Work: The Stuff of Miracles by [DeArteaga, Carolyn Koontz]