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!

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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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 20: Threat

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 20 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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Feedback and suggestions on the content and layout of Lovefast - see our Trello board →


Daily verse

Of David. A psalm.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
— Psalm 24:1 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Threat

How do you feel when you come across a building that was clearly once used as a church now a being used as a mosque?

You see a big sign with strange words like masjid, markaz, ghausia, jalal and so on. Maybe text in a foreign alphabet. Perhaps a sign proclaiming “Islamic Mission”.

If we have any love for the Gospel of Jesus, we must feel something when we see buildings which are the result of the sacrificial faith of folk like us now set apart for Islamic teaching and worship.

In the 30 Days booklet we read of the Bajun whose life is centred around the mosque and who may regard Christians as enemies.

Do we feel threatened when mosques become churches? Are we disturbed?

Here is another question.

Is Jesus Christ any less Lord? Is anyone beyond His reach? When the lost reach out for God, can He not meet them where they are?


Prayer for the day

Lord, deliver us from fear, and resentment. Lead us in love and faith. Glorify your name.


Daily action

Pray that the Lord will meet those who camp in the mosques for the last ten days of Ramadan.


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 19: 7%

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 19 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

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.
— 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

7%

The 30 Days booklet speaks today of the Muslims of Nepal who make up just 7% of the population, a minority by any measure.

Among them some now follow Jesus in the teeth of strong opposition.

Here in the UK, Muslims probably make up less than 7% but their presence is perhaps more prominent than that number suggests.

And here too people born as Muslims are now following Christ.

The UK the legal system provides for much more freedom of religion.

Some believers have even developed public ministries.

Many others feel the need to keep a low profile.

Still others face rejection and even violence from their community.

We have a particular responsibility to pray for these BMBs (Believers of Muslim Background), to welcome them and to support them wherever we might come across them.


Prayer for the day

Pray that those BMBs living in the UK will know grow in faith love and hope and be a powerful witness to their people and others too.


Daily action

If you have not done so already, consider doing Joining The Family


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 18: Suffer

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 18 of 30

By Andrew D from Mahabba's Board of Trustees

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

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
— Isaiah 53:5 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Suffer

Twice each month a group of Christians and Muslims in our town meet at a local Shia mosque to study passages from the Bible and Qur’an.

Our purpose is not to engage in debate over which book contains the truth, or even to try and convert each other to a different religion, but simply to ask God what he would reveal to us through the Scriptures (believing of course that the Bible has much to say to each one of us).

One of the themes that most deeply resonates with them is the betrayal and suffering of Jesus, which reminds them of their own founding narrative of the betrayal of Ali and Hussein, and their own suffering as Shias, which they commemorate each year during the month of Muhurram.

They often talk too of the return of Jesus, alongside the Mahdi. May God truly open Shia eyes to the real import of Jesus' death, resurrection and return.


Prayer for the day

About 5% of the UK Muslim population is Shia. Pray for a harvest amongst them


Daily action

Consider offering to study the Scriptures with local Muslims at a mosque in your neighbourhood.


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 17: Spring

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 17 of 30

By Gordon from Mahabba Network International

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


Daily verse

This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah:
‘This year you will eat what grows by itself,
and the second year what springs from that.
But in the third year sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
— Isaiah 37:30 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Spring

As well as UK, Mahabba has been growing in Europe: France, Belgium, Norway & Austria already going; then working closely with Germany, Switzerland & Sweden; more recently interested established in Denmark & Belgium.

If God is with us, this will spread, so I am in waiting and praying mode until we get clear guidance on the future.

Just as an encouragement from a monastery in Germany: they are working in about 15 cities, mainly with Syrian & Iraqi refugees.

They just started the next discipleship training with about 70 MBBs.

What they are doing is unique in Germany, and last year they gathered over 1000 people to pray for 3 days.

They are sending Arabic speaking missionaries across Germany, and many German churches and Ministries are asking for support with their know-how and man-power.

They have already reached out to more than 20 camps, and 75 churches with Muslim groups…. hundreds of Muslims have become followers and are attending the discipleship schools.

New house cells have also been established.

Also churches with just MBBs have been established.

The head of the Refugee movement in German has asked me to send him material, and he will be encouraging Mahabba prayer.


Prayer for the day

Pray for the Mahabba Network as the message of ‘loving all Muslims’ spreads - with groups springing up themselves and connecting to other groups and ministries (like Al Massira). The desire is that more and more will discover and seek to follow Jesus.


Daily action

Try organising a Prayer Walk  or just go with a friend


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 16: Respect

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 16 of 30

By Mark Handley, serving with Operation Mobilisation in London among the Muslim community for over 20 years

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


Daily verse

As for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
— Philippians 3:6 New International Version (NIV)

Thought for the day

Respect

I met a Libyan in London at Speakers Corner, he was on a ladder telling the world about how great Islam was.

He was older than me and I knew nothing about Islam but he said the Bible had been corrupted or some other polemic against Christianity and I tried to correct him.

This started a relationship that lasted over 10 years as I bumped into him at Speakers Corner and on the Edgeware Road where he came for coffee and in the local park where I was running.

We learnt to respect one another.

As time went on we would talk about mosque/church life, he lamented that there was nothing worse than a convert, young British converts were trying to teach him about Islam!

He was a political refugee, a Muslim evangelist, but also a man with concerns for his children and mother, and concerns for his community.

We have prayed for him for many years, and although I have not seen him recently, I know that the Lord sees him.


Prayer for the day

Please pray for mosque leaders and evangelists that they will have Christian friends that they can respect and who will befriend them.


Daily action

Identify by name who is your local Mosque leader(s) and pray for them by name.


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 15: Secret

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 15 of 30

By Phil S, a member of Mahabba's Network Team

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


Daily verse

So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.
— Luke 7:22 New International Version (NIV)

Thought for the day

Secret

There are Muslim followers of Jesus around the Islamic world. I received this e-mail from somewhere in Asia:

This is the true story of our Lord Jesus, the source of peace recently discovered by Muslim people in our community.

In the last recent week, there has been a very, very intense spiritual battle in my Islamic community where I live.

A blind Muslim woman made tawassul [seeking to draw close to God] to ask Nabi Isa [the prophet Isa = Jesus Christ], son of Mary, to give her vision back.

We called the name of Jesus again and again.

To our great surprise, Jesus answered our tawassul and she was able to see again with her right eye.

She and her whole Muslim community are now very thankful to Nabi Isa, ibn Miriam [son of Mary].

They glorify Nabi Isa excessively. They attribute the healing to Isa.

My house and their house is full of people who are curious to know what happened.

We explain the power of Nabi Isa. We disciple them to be the disciple of Isa.

Physically we have been very tired in discipling people to be the disciple of Nabi Isa, son of Mary.

Prayer for the day

 

Pray for Muslims who have encountered Jesus, for secret believers, Messianic Muslims, Believers from a Muslim Background (BMBs), whatever they are called, and pray that this will happen more in the UK so that more and more people will ‘glorify Isa excessively’.


Daily action

Watch this video of an interview with David Garrison author of ‘Wind in the house of Islam’, or read the book - it’s worth 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 14: Movement

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Day 14 of 30: Movement

By Thomas, a friend of Mahabba working in Germany

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


Daily verse

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
— John 17:20-21 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Thought for the day

Movement

Over the last few years some leaders of unity movements around the world have been connecting together.

They have been sharing what God has been doing, learning from each other and being inspired for further collaborations.

One network ‘Together for Berlin’ hosted an opportunity for leaders from different countries to come together.

I was encouraged to listen to the stories of the 8 city network leaders from the UK who shared many encouraging experiences of what God is doing there.

We were able to pray for one another and for our cities that God's Kingdom would come.

Already more than 54% of the world’s population lives in cities and it’ll continue to rise.

City reaching is a strategic way of reaching the nations at our door steps as more and more immigrants – many from unreached people groups and religions- are moving into our neighbourhoods - yet the church is still not aware of the immense opportunities this presents.

We have people from more than 100 different nations living in all major cities in Europe already.

It’ll bring many challenges to all of us but it’ll also be a strategic way of building God’s Kingdom.

I believe that God is orchestrating these global moves for his purposes.


Prayer for the day

 

Pray for real unity among movements in Europe serving refugees in various cities, that refugees will be attracted by the love they see in Christians who are serving them.


Daily action

Try using the Resource ‘Praying as small group’ or ‘Want to pray for M World in Small group’ (2/2).


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