Note from the Network: December update

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Note from the Network

December update

Christmas greetings to all across the Mahabba network! May we know, in a deeper way, Immanuel – the one who has ‘moved into the neighbourhood’ – for ourselves and our Muslim friends.

Friendships with Muslims have enriched my life beyond all I could ever have anticipated, and yet there was a time when I didn’t know how to start making connections. Mahabba creates a bridge across the chasm of the unknown, and can equip you to start friendships that will enrich your life and those of your new-found friends.
— Lynn Green, YWAM

At the heart of the Mahabba network vision is the enabling and equipping of all Christians. We certainly need experts and specialists - Mahabba draws on the understanding of those with deep cross cultural experience. But befriending Muslims can’t be the responsibility of just a few. We know it is through the everyday encounters of all Christians that Jesus will be made known to countless Muslim neighbours, colleagues and friends. Every local expression of Mahabba seeks to enable local Christians – help them to see the opportunities, grow in confidence, build bridges of friendship and share Jesus with Muslims. Here are a couple of quotes from the network:

At the beginning of this year we ran a Friendship First course in Watford with 10 people from one church who all had significant involvement with Muslims most weeks during the course, and many of those contacts are continuing. In January, we are going with a second course.
‘How to Share your Faith with your Muslim Neighbour’ is a booklet and half day training. The training, which we have run in London, includes testimony, teaching and insights on how to answer the common questions asked by Muslims. The goal is to initiate friendships in our workplace and neighbourhood and share our faith effectively.

These are just two of the courses and resources available. Find out more and think about planning a course or training with others near you in the new year.

https://www.mahabbanetwork.com/friendship-first

The booklet is downloadable free at https://www.mahabbanetwork.com/bookshelf/share-faith-muslim-neighbour

A means for learning from one another across the network is the on-line forum – Mahabba Discourse. This will be fully operational from 1st Jan and we invite you to sign-up now…

There are many ways equipping is happening and it would be great to hear what you have tried – what training has worked well and not so well. Please add a comment below.


This is part of a series of regular updates from all involved with the Mahabba Network. They will be published here on the blog, but the best way to stay up to date is to sign up for our newsletter; you will receive a prompt when the latest one is available. Previous updates can be found here.


Your turn

  • Pass this update on to those you know and encourage them to

  • We value your prayers for this and welcome your feedback here.

  • Feel free to leave any comments below or send them via the Contact Us page

  • Subscribe to the maillist so that you get further news as soon as it is published

Winter is coming

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Winter is coming

It’s that time of year when clocks are changed and we recognise ‘winter is coming’.

The Celtic festival of Samhain, marks the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year, coinciding with Halloween or All Hallows Eve. Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. That’s why people dressed in masks to fool the spirits.

And in this darkness, we celebrate with Light and fire. Bonfires and Fireworks. And burning a guy!

For Hindus Diwali, the Festival of light (Nov8th) symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

In the words of the sufi mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi,

 There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness.

In the Qur’an, Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth - Al Nur (Surah 24:35) And Hasrat. Isa (Jesus) is also called Light of God Nurullah ((4:174).

And Jesus is known as the ‘Light of the World’…

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5) 

With so much ‘Light’ in common it is so important in these dark days to strive to maintain the bonds of peace. To spread the light and help create interfaith harmony and community cohesion. To overcome hatred with LOVE (mahabba). 

We want to be able to Coexist,  and live together without killing each other!  

The opposite of xenophobia, the hatred of the ‘other’ is Phileo-xenia, love for stranger, the biblical word for hospitality. Practice hospitality. And thus entertain angels unawares… This is the way of Love.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
— Martin Luther King Jr

Or in the words of J.K.Rowling’s Albus Dumbledore:

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times…. If one only remembers to turn on the light.

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Note from the Network: November update

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Note from the Network

November update

The ministry of Mahabba is preparing the ground, the hearts of dear friends from Muslim background - whether long term citizens or recent refugees. It’s happening through the cry of intercession breaking up hard ground and through friendships of trust being formed - building foundations on which the Lord can do a great work.

This recent reflection shared by a UK missions leader is encouraging. We don’t always see the results of our praying, our reaching out in love - but we can be sure God is at work and responding to the prayers of his people. He’s moving in Muslim communities, working in hearts and drawing people to himself. Be encouraged! Our sowing in prayer and in love will reap a harvest.

Last month’s update introduced the restated Mahabba vision:

Loving all Muslims - A relational network giving Muslims the opportunity to find and follow Jesus

  • Encouraging prayer

  • Enabling all Christians

  • Envisioning the Christian community

  • Engaging with Muslims

Mahabba, in the first place, is about encouraging prayer - helping to grow regular persistent prayer for Muslims. This happens primarily through:

  • Helping to start and support local prayer networks.  There are now 60, and growing, local networks of prayer and ministry

  • Sharing ‘fuel’ for prayer.  We can encourage, build faith and give thanks together through sharing across the network our testimonies and reports of God at work. We can stand together to pray for new initiatives, specific needs and current struggles. The new Discourse on-line forum will be a great place for this to happen from the new year. Also look out for the new Jumaa prayer updates coming in the new year

  • Ideas and models for prayer.  A challenge for us all is keeping prayer focused and alive, and we need different ways to do that. Here are a few experiences from one local network: 

We are finding our prayer times more God-centred through building in more worship, intentionally making time to listen for God’s priorities before praying those back to him, and praying scripture - applying God’s word to pray for different situations. We’ve established a pattern for town-wide prayer - fortnightly meetings with people from five or six churches . This we’ve extended to termly prayer gatherings hosted by each of those churches in turn, the most recent taking over a Sunday evening service with around 80 attending. Annually during Ramadan a prayer concert attracts a larger number still. These bigger events have served to draw more to the fortnightly prayer times.

Maybe something there could be helpful for your situation.  May all we do be grounded in fervent prayer.

These updates will reflect more on the 4Es (encourage, enable, envision, engage) in coming months. Do add your thoughts and comments below. It would be great to hear something about prayer for you locally - struggles as well as successes. We want to be real in relating!


This is part of a series of regular updates from all involved with the Mahabba Network. They will be published here on the blog, but the best way to stay up to date is to sign up for our newsletter; you will receive a prompt when the latest one is available. Previous updates can be found here.


Your turn

  • Pass this update on to those you know and encourage them to

  • We value your prayers for this and welcome your feedback here.

  • Feel free to leave any comments below or send them via the Contact Us page

  • Subscribe to the maillist so that you get further news as soon as it is published

Note from the Network: October update

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Note from the Network

October update

The main take-aways for those attending the recent ‘Engage’ training day in Edinburgh were: to be more bold; more intentional; to just go for it; seize the moment; and be less afraid in stepping out and speaking up. This is so encouraging and so central to what Mahabba is about – ordinary Christians (not that such a person exists!), all Christians, taking every opportunity to ‘sow’ widely and befriend Muslims. 

A few weeks ago we mentioned the Mahabba vision review which has been on-going across the summer. Thank you to many - local coordinators, regional facilitators, trustees and others connected (and not connected) with Mahabba - for valuable input.

We were seeking greater clarity and focus in restating what the network is about. We felt God’s clear confirmation that Mahabba has a unique and strategic place in his purposes and of the distinctives and objectives we should hold and pursue. It’s more than six years since the network was formally launched and we’re grateful for all God is doing - yet sensed his push to go again with renewed expectation.

Loving all Muslims - this ‘strapline’ highlights an overriding value for all we do - in prayer, in reaching out, in discipling precious Muslims… There will be many and varied approaches across the network but it’s always in love and with respect that we engage Muslims and their communities.

A relational network giving Muslims the opportunity to find and follow Jesus - here is a restated vision-mission statement. Mahabba is not an organisation or agency, rather a network where there is sharing, mutual encouragement and support, relationship and resourcing. Our desire is that Muslims have the opportunity to discover Jesus for themselves and decide to follow him.

The vision is worked out through:

  • Encouraging prayer - helping to grow regular persistent prayer for Muslims  

  • Enabling all Christians - helping Christians to see the opportunities, grow in confidence, build friendships and share Jesus with Muslims 

  • Envisioning the Christian community - inspiring Christians with what God is doing and helping church leaders see their vision fulfilled for Muslims following Jesus

  • Engaging with Muslims - building bridges with local Muslim communities, reaching out in love, sharing Jesus and making disciples who reach their own community

We’ll expand on each of these four Es in the coming months with stories of how they are being worked out across the network, seeking to encourage greater sharing and learning from one another.    

Please feel free to add below more of your thoughts and reflections.

Look out for news of the new Mahabba online forum coming soon. Replacing The City, it will enable secure discussion, sharing of ideas and questions, news of resources, courses and events…


This is part of a series of regular updates from all involved with the Mahabba Network. They will be published here on the blog, but the best way to stay up to date is to sign up for our newsletter; you will receive a prompt when the latest one is available. Previous updates can be found here.


Your turn

  • Pass this update on to those you know and encourage them to

  • We value your prayers for this and welcome your feedback here.

  • Feel free to leave any comments below or send them via the Contact Us page

  • Subscribe to the maillist so that you get further news as soon as it is published

Borrow a pastor

Borrow a pastor - a blog from Mahabba Network; helping Christians engage positively with Muslims

Borrow a pastor

This is a blog from a friend of Mahabba Network. Names and details have been deliberately removed to protect the identity of those involved, but praise God - he is working in the lives of Muslims to reveal Jesus!

 

Can we borrow another pastor?

“What will we do now that the pastor has moved on?”

…they asked.

This was not a worried congregation but rather some church members who had boarded the roller coaster of befriending Iranian asylum seekers.

The pastor had pitched in by leading a private Bible study for them, but he was moving away.

“Can we borrow another pastor?”

…was one question that was asked.

We found another solution.

With a little coaching, the ladies started using Come Follow Me.

The participants work through the lesson on their own in English, Farsi or Arabic and then once a week they all come together to discuss, share and pray for each other.

The material does not take them off into theological puzzles or doctrinal disputes but focusses on living as followers of Christ.

If we go back to the Great Commission we find that Jesus himself put the emphasis on teaching people to obey all that he had commanded – most of which was the stuff of living.

So they started.

A retired office worker and a lady who irons clothes for a living were engaged in cross cultural discipleship.

We are all familiar with the cry that the labourers are few (Matthew 9:36-38).

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
— Matthew 9:36-38 New International Version (NIV)

Oh, how we would love to see an army of multi-lingual, highly trained, specialist workers of proven experience turning up on our doorsteps asking what we have for them to do.

The people Jesus called that day to pray for labourers became the labourers.

The truth is that for the most part we do not need more bodies, but we need the bodies we already have to be equipped and to discover that they can do the work.

Come Follow Me is a wonderful piece of kit which enables non-experts to engage with confidence in helping new believers grow in Christ.

The next training day is in Wakefield, Yorkshire, 27 October. Maybe request one near you?

Upcoming events

Come Follow Me training day

Saturday 27 October
Wakefield
For full details, contact Flora

Regional gathering

Monday 1 December

For full details, contact Gillie

 
 

Joining the dots

Joining the dots - a blog from Mahabba Network

Joining the dots

This is a blog from a friend of Mahabba Network. Names and details have been deliberately removed to protect the identity of those involved, but praise God - he is working in the lives of Muslims to reveal Jesus!

 

Reflecting on the dots

 A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

In the 1880s French artist Georges Seurat introduced an art form known as pointillism. As the name suggests, Seurat used small dots, or points, of colour to create an artistic image.

Up close, his work looks like groupings of individual dots. Yet as the observer steps back, the human eye blends the dots into brightly coloured portraits or landscapes.

We can think of September as a month when we start filling the picture of our year with dots. Each day fills with greys, reds, ambers and greens, that may fill us with trepidation or excitement, and leave us feeling anywhere between exhausted or invigorated at the end of the day.

It’s only when we step back and reflect that we start to see patterns and shapes.

The picture that emerges may square up to the one we had in mind at the start. But more often, it has unexpected shades of light and dark that present us with a different image to the one we planned.

In the same way, the two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13) were reflecting on the ‘dots’ of events that had happened over the Passover weekend in Jerusalem.

They saw only dark and sombre tones of violence and death. The picture of Jesus, as they left Jerusalem, did not square up to the picture they had planned for Jesus, the prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and the people (v. 19).

Then Jesus joins up the dots for them, bringing the light and shade of Moses and the prophets, and all the things the scriptures had been saying about the Messiah (v. 27).

As Jesus breaks the bread at home in Emmaus, they are given a moment to stand back and see the full, beautiful picture.

In the same way, our ministries may push us right up against the canvas with busy schedules, scarce resources and a lack of workers for the harvest.

We might have only our own dot and a couple surrounding in sight (and their colours might even be on the opposite side of the colour spectrum to ours). But are we perhaps forming a beautiful image together?

On 13 October, Birmingham wants to have such a day of standing back and joining the dots of those working to engage with Muslims in our city.

 

Note from the Network: Lift up your eyes

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Note from the Network: 

This is part of a series of regular updates from the leadership team within the Mahabba Network. They will be published here on the blog, but the best way to stay up to date is to sign up for our newsletter; you will receive a prompt when the latest one is available. Previous updates can be found here.

 

Lift up your eyes

A Mahabba update from the leadership team – August 2018

A Mahabba update for everyone involved with Mahabba. 

1. Introduction

‘Lift up your eyes’, was the title and theme of Mahabba regional gatherings this year – to be inspired by what we’re seeing God doing among Muslims and encouraged and equipped in hearing from Mahabba groups in the regions.

These were great events with very positive feedback from attendees and we would love to see more gatherings of this kind.

Total numbers were well up on attendance at the national gathering in 2017 and learning from one another in ways like this is so much part of why the network exists.

Here are some reports and quotes.


2. South and West event in Gloucester with Georgina and Phil S

Despite a few practical hitches the day worked well in drawing together new and existing friends and other networks.

There was a great buzz of conversation going on throughout.

A highlight and standout impression was of people getting to know about things happening closer to home and hearing from people who are not specialists or ‘professionals'.

This is what Mahabba is about.

Stories of what people are doing as part of their everyday lives are encouraging and need to be heard.

So often Christians have contact with Muslims but don’t do anything with them because they are lacking confidence or don’t know where to start.

Days like this can be so helpful to take inspiration from others in taking steps towards Muslims.

Some commented that they wish they'd invited others – there’s always next time!


3. London event with Chas

More than 60 attended, mostly from London but also from a bit further afield.

We heard encouraging stories from eight different London Mahabba prayer groups.

Some are still small and struggling with lack of interest from churches.

Yet they also told amazing stories of running successful 'Meetings for Understanding', of church leaders getting involved, evangelistic events being hosted and engagement with Muslims in their communities and local Mosques.

We shared on the different resources available to help the groups engage in reaching out, sharing good news and making disciples (such as Friendship First, Come Follow Me, Joining the Family, Al Massira, Discovery Bible Studies…).

A successful day.


4. North event in Oldham with Ted

About 60 people came from across the North, from Liverpool in the west and Hull in the East.

Steve, John, Deborah and Phil R were among the contributors and the event was greatly enhanced by the presence of the Resonance Band leading multilingual worship.

As always, for many participants it was hearing from other Mahabba groups that was the main encouragement.

So three quite different events but with the same outcomes – people inspired, encouraged and equipped for renewed commitment to prayer and reaching out locally.

We would love to hear from you how something from the event you attended spoke to your situation – please see below to submit feedback.

There are more gatherings to follow; first for Birmingham and the Midlands on 13th October - ‘Joining the Dots’, connecting and equipping the church to reach out to Muslims.

See below to find out more.


5. Vision Update

We are making really good progress with the Mahabba vision process.

We’ll come back with more next month and look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.


Thank you so much for your prayers and have a good summer.

Bryan Knell on behalf of Mahabba Board and Executive Team

 

Your turn

  • Pass this update on to those you know and encourage them to

  • We value your prayers for this and welcome your feedback here.

  • Feel free to leave any comments below or send them via the Contact Us page

  • Subscribe to the maillist so that you get further news as soon as it is published

Note from the Network: clarity and focus

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Note from the Network: clarity and focus

This is the first of a series of regular updates from the leadership team within the Mahabba Network. They will be published here on the blog, but the best way to stay up to date is to sign up for our newsletter; you will receive a prompt when the latest one is available.

 

Clarity and focus

A Mahabba update from the leadership team – July 2018

Welcome to the first of a new series of Mahabba Updates for everyone involved with Mahabba. 

1. Vision day

The trustees called a Vision Day with the aim of bringing clarity and focus to Mahabba’s vision, structure and operation. Understandably, this ‘day’ has developed into a process, which involved a very significant and well-led discussion on 12th June, but which is still ongoing.

All involved believe that the Mahabba initiative, emphasising a relational engagement with Muslims, is crucially important for our country at this time, for the UK church, for the long-standing Muslim community here and for Muslims arriving as refugees.   

We now have a better understanding of what we are about and over the summer we aim to identify the right words to express that clearly in both a comprehensive and memorable statements.  This is crucial to achieving clarity and focus and we ask for your prayers.


2. Leadership

Since Gordon Hickson focused on the growth of Mahabba International, Mahabba UK has sought to function with leadership teams, but there have been misunderstandings and different expectations. We have decided to strengthen leadership in these ways:

  1. The Board will start the process of exploring leadership options and looking for the personnel needed to give long-term leadership

  2. The Executive Team (made up of the Board chair and treasurer, two facilitators and the Hub Manager) will provide day to day decisions about the organisation and provide leadership for Mahabba UK. Bryan Knell will lead the Executive Team, as a way of providing leadership in the short-term. (The Board recognises that it is not good practice for the chair of the trustees to lead the Executive Team in the long-term.)

  3. The Network Team of facilitators will engage with Mahabba’s network of groups in the UK and continue to connect with local coordinators in cities. This team will be led by Phil G


3. Finance

Mahabba is rapidly running out of money. Despite numerous applications, we have not had any significant grant income for several months. The trustees decided that recent experience suggests we cannot rely on, assume or plan for any grant income but need to reduce our expenditure to match the £1,000 that comes in regularly from individual donors.

The trustees have decided that from the end of June:

  • Facilitators will function on a self-supporting basis, although expenses will be claimable

  • The Hub Manager, Simon, will be reduced to one day a week

  • We cannot at this stage afford to hire a fundraiser

These decisions are inevitable if the trustees are to act responsibly, but it will bring financial difficulty and uncertainty to several people and some may feel they have to look for paid employment elsewhere.


Thanks for your interest and support. God is doing amazing things and it is a great time to be alive.

Pass it on to those you know and encourage them to join the distribution list here.

We value your prayers for this and welcome your input to bryanjknell@gmail.com.

Bryan Knell on behalf of Mahabba Board and Executive Team

 

Your turn

  • Please do leave any comments below, or send them privately to Bryan via his address above

  • Subscribe to the maillist so that you get further news as soon as it is published

A place of peas

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A place of peas

This is a real-life story of recent events from friends of Mahabba Network. Names and details have been deliberately removed to protect the identity of those involved, but praise God - he is working in the lives of Muslims to reveal Jesus!

 

Vandalism to Vegetables

About 5 years ago one of our regulars got involved in a sort of city farm project.

It is in an area of stark terraces almost entirely occupied by Bangladeshis.

The project was secular but with several white Christians heavily involved.

When we met to pray, we heard tales of plastic tunnels being vandalised and project personnel being threatened.

All we could do was pray.

The other evening, I  went to the site for a prayer meeting.

The gate was open. There were no high fences, no barbed wire, no security measures of any kind.

Some Asian teenagers sitting on the benches greeted us politely.

The project is highly valued by the community. Members of many families use the project. They grow vegetables. Children come to learn about nature.

It is a place of peace and harmony. God has answered prayer.

 

Your turn

Have you been touched by this story? If so, you can play your part.

  • Share the amazing news of God moving among Muslim with your friends via e-mail or social media, using the links below

  • Support Mahabba in its work to equip everyday Christians to build relationships and share Jesus with Muslims

It's a wrap - Ramadan 2018!

We've just finished our fifth annual Lovefast campaign, which complements the 30 Days of Prayer booklet.

Lovefast is designed to help Christians not only pray but engage with Muslims practically during the month of Ramandan.

We've had some great feedback, which we wanted to share.

Here are some of the comments:

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From Louise on Day 29

I have really appreciated these daily additions to the 30 Days booklet. It has been great to have a UK twist and to have specific action steps to consider too.

 
Thank you so much for these days of Lovefast which have been so inspiring and refreshing daily. It has been a joy to pray along daily for our dear Muslim friends and we must continue to pray for and reach out to them in the days ahead. Thank you and God bless the ministry of Mahabba.
— Margaret on Day 29
 
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From Anne on Day 26

Shared iftar with a Syrian family yesterday. Said to them we have eaten together and played together but not prayed together. So we discussed that we could pray more than four times a day.

 
Thank you so much for the information and encouragements. I have been reaching out to refugees since 2015 in Germany. I have learned a lot and pray my new friends will get to know Jesus Christ as they would not have this chance in their home country. Now I will try to find out the name of our local mosque leader. Thank you and God bless you and protect you!
— Martina on Day 16
 

If you've been involved with Lovefast this year or been touched by what you have heard, please consider giving to the ministry of Mahahha. We need your help to continue and develop as we connect with and equip Christians to engage with Muslims.

Lovefast 30: Peace

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 30 of 30

By Phil S from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!


Feedback and suggestions on the content and layout of Lovefast - see our Trello board →


Daily verse

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
— Romans 12:18 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Peace

We have been looking at symbols all through these 30 days of prayer during Ramadan.

When visiting the Armenian quarter in Jerusalem a saw a tile of a church, a synagogue and a mosque next to each other.

It became a symbol of hope for me.

I also came across the word ‘coexist’, replacing the C, X and T with a crescent, a star of David and a cross.

At the time I had a deep concern about how the Abrahamic faiths could stop attacking and killing each other.

So many wars seemed to have religious dimensions to them.  

One way to ‘coexist’ is to create mutual understanding by reading and reflecting on our sacred texts together.

This has taken many forms:

  • Scriptural reasoning

  • Meetings for better understanding

  • Prophet Stories

  • Holy book clubs

Various ways of reading our Scriptures together and building relationship through the stories of the Bible and Qur’an.


Prayer for the day

Prayer of St Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Daily action

Get hold of a copy of the new Grove booklet on storying Christian and Muslim faith together. Check out if there are any groups mentioned above near you.

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Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with the #lovefast hashtag on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 29: Bread

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 29 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!


Feedback and suggestions on the content and layout of Lovefast - see our Trello board →


Daily verse

Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
— John 6:35 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Bread

There is an Egyptian proverb that says, “He who has the bread has the whole of happiness.”

The story today in the prayer guide illustrates the importance of bread in Middle Eastern culture.

The Arabic for bread aish literally means life.

Of course the image of bread is also important to us as Jesus followers.

He told us to pray for our daily bread and spoke of himself as being the bread of life.

At the last supper he used bread as the ultimate symbol when he spoke of his body, broken and shared, given for the life of the world.

As Muslim friends and neighbours are going without food (bread) and spending more time in praying and reflecting on God, how might we offer spiritual bread?

What words of life could we share that will speak to those who are spiritually hungry?


Prayer for the day

Thank you Lord for your love, mercy and compassion; that your heart is to see many Muslims come into your kingdom. We pray that many will hunger for the one who gives life, and find you, the Bread of Life, who truly satisfies.


Daily action

Choose a story about Jesus meeting a need (from the Gospels or a personal testimony) and plan how you would tell it to a Muslim friend. Pray for the opportunity, and be ready, to tell it.  


Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with the #lovefast hashtag on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 28: Curry

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 28 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 Click to open

Click to open


Feedback and suggestions on the content and layout of Lovefast - see our Trello board →


Daily verse

Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
— Colossians 4:5-6 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Curry

I once came across a tract entitled “Religion is not enough”.

I discovered that it was written by a young British-born man of Bangladeshi heritage.

Today the 30Days booklet focuses on his people, the Sylhetis.

What the text does not say is that the vast majority of Bangladeshis living in the UK are Sylhetis.

They run many of our curry houses. You may have met some.

So far very few have come to Christ in the UK despite the efforts of some workers in a few locations.

The tract told how he came to Christ.

I later got to meet him and heard more about how he grew up in on a street where English was rarely heard.

He almost no contact with Christians, but someone had made the effort to connect with his community.

With greater use of English, the opportunities to share God’s love are increasing.


Prayer for the day

Lord, raise up witnesses from among the Sylheti in the UK.  Visit a curry house and befriend the waiters. And enjoy the food as well… 😛


Daily action

A Sylheti Scripture App is now available for free download on Google Play! Please promote and distribute among your Sylheti contacts as widely as possible.

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Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 27: Night

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 27 of 30

By Chas from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
— Jeremiah 29:13 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Night

I once visited a mosque towards the end of Ramadan.

Inside the mosque were individual sleeping compartments separated out by white cloths, like the inner lining of a tent.

Some Muslims would spend all ten nights here, without any contact with the outside world by mobile phone or any other way.

They come here simply to pray and read the Quran. Such devotion!

During one of the night’s of the last ten days of Ramadan Muslims believe that the blessings and mercy of God are abundant, sins are forgiven, visions and dreams are given and supplications are accepted.

This night is called ‘Laylat al-Qadr’ variously known in English as the Night of Power, Night of Decree, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures.

While not all will be resident in the mosque at this time, many will attend extra prayers and Quranic readings and hope for blessing.


Prayer for the day

As Muslims seek blessing from God during the last ten nights of Ramadan, let’s pray they would have encounters with the true and living God.


Daily action

Why not take some of this evening to pray for Muslims to have encounters with the living God.  You might like to use this Night of Power prayer resource.


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 26: Welcome

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 26 of 30

By Simon from The Hub in Mahabba

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
— John 14:6 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Welcome

There’s something special about a Moroccan welcome, especially a Berber one.

It’s a traveller’s welcome - often after a long, tiring journey, when the hope and excitement of the day is waning into the evening.

Lots of tea, honey, pancake-like treats, and lashings of sugar in every direction!

I remember the same warmth being true when I stumbled across a Moroccan shop in the UK - in Oxford, an academic capital and a world away in terms of culture!

Sometimes we feel we are only worthy to put on a welcome or have people into our home unless everything is pristine and just-so.

That pressure can sometimes prevent our hospitality.

Moroccans feel the same pressure, but after a quick spruce up, even the poorest of the poor would be as proud as punch to usher you through their door.

We honour them by our presence as guests in their home, no matter how lowly it is, and they go to great lengths to provide sustenance.

There’s definitely something of Christ in this welcome, and we see it in Muslim communities in the UK, whether Moroccan or not.

We know too that the invitation from Christ and to come to know Father God is beyond all else.

We may be British and struggle with this one, but how can we be a little be more hospitable and welcoming that Muslims we meet might encounter something of Jesus through us?


Prayer for the day

Father God, thank you that I am part of your family and for the loving embrace that I received through Jesus Christ. Today I pray that Muslim men, women and children in the UK might have the opportunity to experience something of that. Use me to be a channel of your love. Help me to break out of my Britishness and embrace Muslims around me.


Daily action

During Ramadan, it is common practice for Muslims to share food with neighbours after the fast finishes in the evening. Try to find a shop locally that sells Asian sweets. Buy some and take them as a gift to your neighbour. Make sure you go around 9:30 or 10:00pm - it’s not too late or rude, as they will eat after dark and be very awake! Offer them as a blessing and that as a Christian you are praying for them in their fasting.


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 25: Hot

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 24 of 30

By Simon from The Hub in Mahabba

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’
— John 13:35 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Hot

Abraham is Eritrean; a friend of mine and I see him almost every day.

We give each other a big hug in the morning and sometimes at the end of the day - very un-British, but very Eritrean.

I love it - warm, welcoming friendly - what’s sometimes known as ‘hot climate culture’ - and it took me a little while to cotton on!

I saw him the other day at a Christian festival, sporting shiny aviator sunglasses and advocating for a new charity, helping the church to welcome refugees.

He was happy and smiling.

He has found Jesus and a fresh purpose in life - imagine if all the Muslims on your street or in your area had the same encounter.

Let’s be a bit hotter with our faith and warmer with our welcome - start with a Muslim you encounter; today!


Prayer for the day

 

Father God, thank you for the world that is coming to our doorstep. Help us to be warmer in our welcome and embrace of those we do not know. Stir in us more of your love for Muslims around us that we can better demonstrate your love for those from Islam who do not yet know you.


Daily action

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

I once worked with a young Muslim lady who remarked that I was different because I genuinely asked how she was and looked out for her. This one is a longer-burning action. Be intentional in really getting to know a Muslim near you, whether a shopkeeper or colleague. Make a conscious effort to ask consistently about his or her health, family, hopes, dreams etc. When you’ve done that, find out more about Welcome Churches which is helping churches welcome refugees in the UK.


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 24: Seek

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 24 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.
— 1 Timothy 2:5 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Seek

“This is the highlight of my week,”

remarked a young bearded man of Pakistani heritage.

“I would not miss it for anything.”

He was at a gathering of the mureeds (disciples) of a Sufi Sheikh. In a borrowed hall, they gathered to sing their way through an Arabic litany.

They sang stirring hymns, listened to a short exhortation from one of their members and enjoyed a meal together.

For tourists abroad, Sufism is associated with the gilded tombs of mystics long dead, but Sufism is alive and well and thriving in the UK.

Sufi Muslims believe that knowing God is possible and that access to grace and blessing is given through sheikhs who guide those who believe in them.

All that they seek, God has given in Christ but they do not know it.


Prayer for the day

Thank God for all we have in Christ and ask him for opportunities to share it with the spiritually hungry.


Daily action

Think how you would describe all that ‘the man Christ Jesus’ has done and is doing for you and ask God for an opportunity to share it.


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 23: Growth

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 23 of 30

By Chas from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
— Revelation 7:9 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Growth

An African man in London rested on his bed after completing his Muslim prayers.

As he did so a very bright light came into the room.

Within the light he saw the figure of a man who said ‘Islam is not your religion; this is’ showing him a Bible.

He is now a follower of Jesus and a passionate evangelist wherever he goes.

In recent decades there has been a marked increase in the numbers of people attending Pentecostal Churches in London, mainly explained by the growth of African Churches.

Many West African Pentecostals regard the UK as a potential mission field, bringing the gospel back to those who originally provided it.

Simultaneously, about 10% of the UK's Muslim population are of African heritage and a growing number of young black people are converting to Islam.

Will you join our African brothers and sisters to pray for continued conversion growth in their churches?


Prayer for the day

Pray for sustained growth in terms of conversion numbers and quality of fellowship within the black led Churches in the UK and that they might bring many muslims to Jesus too.


Daily action

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Read 'Black Muslims in Britain: Why Are a Growing Number of Young Black People converting to Islam?' by Richard S. Reddie.


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 22: Stop

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 22 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
— Deuteronomy 10:19 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Stop

My car was in an unusually filthy state, even for me.

I took it down to the manual car washing service round the corner where I was welcomed by a man with an accent and a big smile.

He scrubbed the car as if it was a joy. I asked his name. Ali.

Every time I walked that way I stop to greet him. He seems so pleased that someone should just stop and talk to him.

Who takes any notice of a car washer? He is from Iraqi Kurdistan.

He has worked in various places over the last few years.

He is one of the new population of transients that move amongst us, not in a caravan like traditional gypsies but never truly at home either. He too is a neighbour.


Prayer for the day

Open our eyes to notice the people near our homes but far from theirs. Pray blessing for every person you see or think of.


Daily action

Watch God’s heart for the foreigner


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 21: Close

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 21 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team

Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

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Daily verse

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
— Psalm 139:10 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Close

Once we were prayer-walking in Ramadan.

As we passed the central mosque, my companion said “Do you think we could go in?”

As approached a side-door a car drew up. A man got out. We greeted him and asked if anything was going on. “Come and see,” he said.

He led us upstairs where we found a group of men were chanting, seeking closeness to God.

We prayed silently for them.

We were expected elsewhere so after a while we left but not without being invited to comeback and eat with them.

Long story short, we learnt that one of them had a brother dying of cancer.

We asked if we could pray for him in the name of Jesus. “Of course” he replied.

So we prayed for him in the mosque in the name of Jesus. Men build walls: Jesus passes through them.


Prayer for the day

Here am I. Send me.

 


Daily action

Discover your local mosque and look out for invitations.


Your turn

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Partners of 30 Days of Prayer