Lovefast 8: Live

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 8: Live

By Phil G from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:9-11 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Live

My dentist is an Ismaili Muslim. Like other Ismailis, he is peace loving and wants to do what he can to improve the quality of life of others. He and his wife are keen supporters of work among poor communities in Central Asia like the Chiwar people featured today in the guide.

When in South Asia I met and worked with Ismailis - gracious people establishing schools, health centres and a variety of community development projects for the common good of all as encouraged by their Imam-spiritual leader, the Aga Khan. He is the 49th Imam and a British national.

The Ismailis, a branch of Shia Islam, are the only Muslims to have as their leader a hereditary descendant of Muhammad; it is the presence of ‘the living Imam’ that makes the community unique.

Ismailis need to encounter Jesus and come to know him, the only living Lord and Saviour. Let’s make that our prayer today for those living here in the UK.

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that Ismaili Muslims will meet followers of Jesus, hear spiritual truth, have revelation of who Jesus is and come to know him as their living Saviour and Lord.

 

Daily action

How about hosting a Night of Power prayer time later in Ramadan? Follow the link for an outline to help lead Christians in praying on a special night for Muslims.

 

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 7: Home

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 7: Home

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

And they sang a new song, saying:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
— Revelation 5:9 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Home

Last year I found myself in a traffic jam in London.

In front of me was a van offering door to door deliveries, London to Accra, Ghana. Africa is connected with the UK as never before.

In the 30 Day booklet we read of some African Muslims who have never met a Christian.

Have any of us never met an African Christian?

The fire of African Christianity is burning in the UK and many of our readers are African.

I recently met  three Nigerian pastors working in the UK . “How,” they were asking each other “Do we help our people win their neighbours? They have faith, and zeal but they mainly win their own.”

They are often living side by side with Muslims. The attraction of a home-from-home-type church is great and leaders wrestle with the challenge of  unreached neighbours all around them.

People like these three African pastors have a real role in restoring faith in Britain.

 

Prayer for the day

Lord, bless the many diaspora churches in the UK and make them ever more fruitful.

 

Daily action

Read this article on ‘reverse mission’ 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 6: Fish

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 6: Fish

By Phil G from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’
— Luke 5:10 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Fish

We’re praying today for the Pattani people of South Thailand.

Many are making their living from fishing - we’re praying that many follow Jesus and become fishers of Pattani men and women, and beyond.  

When Jesus calls us to follow it’s also a call to fish (Mark 1:17). We can’t separate the two. ‘Let down the nets for a catch’ Jesus says (Luke 5:1-11).

Experienced fisherman Simon wants to question the carpenter teacher. We’ve worked hard, it won’t work here – wrong waters, wrong time of day, wrong nets…

Does it feel that way for us as we seek to connect and share with Muslim neighbours? Be encouraged today – it isn’t all down to us! We can be sure God is already at work in our local Muslim communities, in homes and hearts, speaking, revealing and drawing precious Muslims to himself.

Muslim people are often open to talk about spiritual things. Some will be ready to hear good news. ‘Because you say so I will let down the nets’.

 

Prayer for the day

Lord, thank you that you are already at work among Muslim people here. Thank you for calling us to partner with you in that work. Thank you that many will see you for who you are and follow. Who have you prepared for me to meet today? Help me not to be afraid or slow to share, but to be seen as someone who loves and is following you.

 

Daily action

Even if it’s just a passing opportunity, let’s be ready today to fish to find those who are open and responsive. How might you cast a net to start or turn a conversation to spiritual things? Think ahead of time what you could say – perhaps something like ‘I saw something amazing about God this morning’ that will catch the interest of someone open and lead to a deeper conversation.

 

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 5: Taboo

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 5: Taboo

By Gillie from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.
— Psalm 84:12 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Taboo

Selma was afraid.

Things were going badly for her family; her husband had lost his job and her baby was not well.

Had someone cursed them? Had she broken some taboo?

She knew what she must do; she had heard the ‘pir’ (holy man) was visiting her town so she would go and visit him; he would intercede for her and bestow ‘baraka’ (blessing) on her and her family.

She would take some money as a gift for him, and maybe he would give her a charm to ward off evil.

Many of our Muslim friends and neighbours live in fear and want to protect themselves from the powers of darkness.

Most Muslims have this ‘folk Islam’ worldview.

This is especially true of women - they often feel helpless and turn to holy men and charms for help.

God rescues us from the kingdom of darkness and brings us into the kingdom of light – this is good news for Muslims!

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that Muslims who are looking to charms and holy men for protection would see that Jesus is the only one who can deliver them from their fears; that their trust would be in him alone.

Amen

 

Daily action

When you are talking to a Muslim, ask if you can pray a blessing on them and their family in the name of Jesus

 

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 4: Change

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 4: Change

By Bryan from Mahabba's Board of Trustees
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.’
— John 16:13-15 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Change

I have never ‘quite’ been to Saudi Arabia.

Recently I visited Bahrain and while there we drove out along the 16 mile causeway.

Before crossing the border on a small island, we parked and prayed for the nation of Saudi that we saw in the distance.

What an emotional experience!

Saudi Arabia has been the only country in the Arab World not to allow any churches. Other countries allow churches for expatriates, even if nationals could not attend. Taking an Arabic Bible into Saudi Arabia was very dangerous.

Today, everything is changing.

Television, social media, the causeway to Bahrain are all amazingly effective ways of getting biblical truth into Saudi.

But also, Saudis in the UK are showing a greater openness to the gospel than previously.

Saudi students are doing Bible Studies in many university cities and a Saudi businessman I know about wants to talk about Jesus.

 

Prayer for the day

Almighty God, we pray for the thousands of people in Saudi Arabic who know you as Father and love Jesus, but are not free to tell anyone about their faith.  May your Holy Spirit be very near to them, protect them, guide them in the truth and help them to understand and enjoy the glorious mystery and love of the Trinity.

Amen

 

Daily action

Saudis are no harder for the Holy Spirit to reach than anyone else.  If you know of a Saudi, demonstrate God’s love and don’t hesitate to share your faith.

 

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 3: Fear

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 3: Fear

By Georgina from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
— Luke 22:50-51 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Fear

People from the Caucasus formed one of the largest groups of fighters on the side of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. They claimed to be fighting for the honour of their people and their religion.

Charles Spurgeon asks:

What are God’s battles? Let us here carefully distinguish between the battles of God and our own. Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, it is not your business to fight your own battles, not even in defence of your own character…
Frequently, when we get into little strifes, and our blood is roused, we are apt to think that we are fighting the cause of truth, when we are really maintaining our own pride. We imagine that we are defending our Master, but we are defending our own little selves...
Oh! let us not be so little as to fight our own battles! Depend upon it, the noblest means of conquest for a Christian in the matter of calumny and falsehood, is to stand still and see the salvation of God. Sheathe your own sword, put away all your own weapons when you come to fight your own battle, and let God fight for you, and you shall be more than conqueror.
 

Prayer for the day

Lord, when I hear criticism, help me to discern whether it’s me or whether it’s You being offended, and give me courage to be fearless for You

 

Daily action

Respond to a critic on social media with grace.

 

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 2: Cloth

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 2: Cloth

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’
— Luke 10:29 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Cloth

Many years ago I lived in Brussels. Among other nationalities, there were Turks, North Africans and Iranians.

While there was usually nothing remarkable about the clothing the men wore, the women almost wore distinctive clothing that marked them as Turk, North African or Iranian.

The same was true in the UK. However, things are changing.

Many young Muslim women are adopting styles of head covering their mothers and grandmothers never wore.

New fashions are emerging which are distinctly Muslim but not associated with any particular national heritage.

This is all part of the rise of a truly British Muslim population.

For many the land of their parents is not in any sense home. Clothing that says “I am from Pakistan” no longer meets their need.

They grow up acquainted with secular culture, agnostics and atheists but very few have meaningful friendships with real Christians.

 

Prayer for the day

Lord give me (more) British Muslim friends!

 

Daily action

Watch this clip from the BBC - 7 questions British Muslims are tired of hearing.

 

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

Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims

Global Connections

Simply Mobilising

Hope for Muslims

Operation Mobilisation

Interserve

Open Doors

WEC

Interserve

Frontiers

London City Mission

Arab World Ministry

Elam

Frontiers Ireland

Mahabba Network

Lovefast 1: Symbols

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast 1: Symbols

By Steve Bell, National Director for Interserve England & Wales
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
— 1 Corinthians 13 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Symbols

I happen to be non-Caucasian!

So people tell me I’m ‘wired’ slightly differently to them. This may be why I often feel an instinctive bond with non-westerners.

A spin-off is that I can grasp why many people from the global south, live their lives by the symbols of their faith. They act as annual social markers; add communal identity and serve as reassurance. For Christians it might be the Cross, the sign of a fish, bread and wine or a lamb.

We can gain a fascinating insight into the world of ordinary Muslims, through some of their key symbols such as Arabic “calligraphy”; the star and crescent motif; and the use of the colour green.

I pray that this year’s 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet and Lovefast will help you relate more easily to visual symbols and be inspired to pray for Muslim peoples for whom the symbols are so meaningful. Please pray that they will become a vehicle for God to speak directly to their hearts during Ramadan 2018.

 

Prayer for the day

Father God, forgive me when I am quick to judge and to assume. Thank you for your love for all Muslims. Stir in my today a growing love for my Muslim friend, neighbour or colleague, and use me, flawed as I am, to share a little of your all-surpassing love.

 

Daily action

Make a conscious effort to stop to talk to your Muslim friend or neighbour today and wish them well for Ramadan. If you can, ask what their hope is for the 30 days

 

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

Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims

Global Connections

Simply Mobilising

Hope for Muslims

Operation Mobilisation

Interserve

Open Doors

WEC

Interserve

Frontiers

London City Mission

Arab World Ministry

Elam

Frontiers Ireland

Mahabba Network

Lovefast -1: On fasting

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast -1: On fasting

By Phil S from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

‘When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
— Matthew 6:16-18 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

On fasting

Christians have 40 days of Lent (14 February - 29 March 2018) and Muslims have 30 days of Ramadan (15 May - 14 June 2018).

And for the contemporary generation, some form of detox has also become popular.

But Lent was not just about giving up chocolate or cheese. Or other forms of abstinence.

As we read in the passage today, Jesus talked about not making a song and dance about fasting, but it being personal and secret.

The rewards may indeed be physical benefits such as losing weight, feeling healthier, even food tasting better afterwards.

But it can also have a deeper, more hidden, impact.

‘Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself’ (Jelauddin Rumi)

Fasting can also help to re-orientate ourselves spiritually, strengthen our spirits and refresh us and help us regain that lost sense of purpose.

'And your Father who sees in secret will reward you'

 

Prayer for the day

Coming soon! [from Day 1]

 

Daily action

During Ramadan you might like to fast with your Muslim friends in solidarity. Don’t make a song and dance of 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

Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims

Global Connections

Simply Mobilising

Hope for Muslims

Operation Mobilisation

Interserve

Open Doors

WEC

Interserve

Frontiers

London City Mission

Arab World Ministry

Elam

Frontiers Ireland

Mahabba Network

Lovefast -2: On prayer

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Lovefast -2: On prayer

By Phil S from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

‘This, then, is how you should pray:

‘“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
— Matthew 6:5-15 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

On prayer

Jesus taught his disciples to pray. What we call the Lord’s Prayer, or the Family Prayer.

One of the most prayed prayers around the world.

It has been usefully re-framed as ‘four movements of the heart’ (see more in Brian McLaren’s book).

  1. Orientation (upward movement): Father in heaven; Name be hallowed
  2. Alignment (downward movement): Your Kingdom come; Will be done
  3. Empowerment (inward movement): Give us bread; Forgive our sins
  4. Engagement (outward movement): Lead not temptation; Deliver from evil

Why not find out more about the Thy Kingdom Come prayer campaign as a warm up?

 

Prayer for the day

Coming soon! [from Day 1]

 

Daily action

Watch the Thy Kingdom Come advert that was banned in cinemas.

 

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

Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims

Global Connections

Simply Mobilising

Hope for Muslims

Operation Mobilisation

Interserve

Open Doors

WEC

Interserve

Frontiers

London City Mission

Arab World Ministry

Elam

Frontiers Ireland

Mahabba Network

Lovefast -3: Right hand

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from Mahabba Network

Lovefast -3: Right hand

By Phil S from Mahabba's Network Team
Inspired by today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer, but with a UK twist!

 

Daily verse

‘Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

‘So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
— Matthew 6:1-4 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
 

Thought for the day

Right hand

Stewardship’s 40 days of Lent generosity campaign inspired and influenced Lovefast.

We are told: it is more blessed to give than receive - and we have a unique opportunity to bless and be blessed during this holy month (for Muslims) of Ramadan.

Acts of generosity can have great impact. Hence our emphasis on prayer and action. Or ‘practising righteouness’ as Jesus puts it.

We focus our time and effort during these 30 days of prayer on both prayer and action.

It is a secret, personal thing - an attitude as much as anything. Don’t blow your own trumpet. Don’t let your right hand know what the left hand is doing.

But there’s the rub... we do want to engage with each other to encourage participation... so please do tell us your stories.

Lovefast is after all trying to be a social media campaign so that it can grow and increase impact!

 

Prayer for the day

Coming soon! [from Day 1]

 

Daily action

Find out more about Mahabba in our animation.

 

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

Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims

Global Connections

Simply Mobilising

Hope for Muslims

Operation Mobilisation

Interserve

Open Doors

WEC

Interserve

Frontiers

London City Mission

Arab World Ministry

Elam

Frontiers Ireland

Mahabba Network

Lost, asleep & on the wrong path

Lost, asleep & on the wrong path - a blog from Mahabba Network

God is moving among Muslims

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!

Lost, asleep & on the wrong path

Hello everyone, I was born in Iran. I thank God that he hasn’t left me lost and asleep on the wrong path. From childhood I was brought up as a strict Shia Muslim however I always felt weak. I used to pray and worship but I wasn’t able to reach God in the way I wanted to.

I was always looking for a God of love and friendship and so finally I decided to look for God in another way. For this reason I started looking into Sufi Islam. I felt I was lost and I was looking to find the right way. Many times I went to Sufi meetings however I was still not satisfied.

When I had a problem with my job, I decided to go into a church and light a candle. After a few days, the problem was solved. A short time later, when a different problem arose, I had to leave my country.

When I arrived in England, I got to know some new Iranian Christian friends and I got a lot of information from them. Little by little, I began to feel that following Jesus was a better way and understand that Christianity is a complete way to reach God, until God accepted me and I came to faith in Jesus.

I understood that all my life I had been following the wrong way and that there was no other way than following Jesus to reach the God of love because all the other ways put distance between me and God. However, following Jesus enabled me to become a friend of God. Now I am a son of God and he has become my Father – I’m not a slave of God.

The teachings of Jesus have taught me about life and how to live in love. He taught me how to relate to people around me, who I used to think were my enemies, and be at peace with them; how to live in freedom and help others to live freely too; how to find when Satan was working against me; how to put to death my selfish pride; that God is a God of love we can relate to, not a God of fear.

He answered my childlike questions and gave me a new outlook. Through my words, those who oppose the Gospel can understand and get to know God, whether they’ve had information before or not. The Lord’s return is near and he has given us a great responsibility to go and make disciples of all the nations, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, I confess that I’m a sinner. I know I cannot attain salvation and become righteous through my own power or good works. I believe you were killed on the cross for my sins, were buried in the grave and after three days you rose again from the dead.

I believe that you’re alive and have the authority to forgive my sins and count me righteous before you. I surrender my whole heart and life to you. Thank you for hearing my prayer, Amen.

 

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

Hope & healing

Hope & healing - a blog from Mahabba Network

God is moving among Muslims

This is a real-life story of recent events from one of the local Mahabba groups in the 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!

Our contact in a church in London, tells us what happened...

Hope & healing

About 75 people came to our church event for people of other faith backgrounds. It was lovely to see about fifteen Muslim women there in their hijabs. Other less religious Muslims were also there and many Hindus. All invited by Christian friends.

The whole evening was very enjoyable and peaceful. People stayed for a long time even though we were very challenging in plainly sharing the Gospel with them, but in a gracious way.

We began with refreshments, and a fun quiz. This was followed by a free halal and vegetarian meal. After this we gave the quiz results and prizes. 

We then gave a fifty minute presentation on the theme of hope. People listened attentively to someone from a Muslim background sharing his testimony of coming to faith, boldly and lovingly.

There was a short talk on the reasons for our Christian hope. This was followed by an invitation for prayer for healing. Two healing testimonies were shared, one of a healing from a cyst. Later a lady came for prayer with the same condition.

About 25 to 30 people came forward for prayer for healing. There was a queue!

One person said their post cancer operation pain had left. Another who had pain in their foot said it was gone.

All the guests stayed well past the finish time as we ended the evening with coffee and cake. 

Lots of people came at the end and said how much they had enjoyed the programme. We are now planning our next event!


 

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

Surprising connections

Surprising connections - a blog from Mahabba Network

God is moving among Muslims

This is a real-life story of recent events from one of the local Mahabba groups in the 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!

John, the coordinator, tells us what happened...

Surprising connections

The Mahabba Basingstoke group ran a very successful Easter Party for Muslims in the town recently.

It was at the request of a local Muslim association.

Others invited did not accept or were unable to come, but we did generate some interest and enabled other Christians to do something more to engage with Muslim colleagues or neighbours.

We explained Easter using language that would resonate and help generate discussion.

As we led a tour around a local church as part of the event, there were lots of questions about the furniture, stained glass windows (popular) and especially about the display of the Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments and Creed.

We discovered unrecognised links – children knew each other from school and an older Muslim mum had come to the church carer & toddler group, so was able to recommend it to others.

Some discovered shared sporting interests, so we were able to develop friendships and opportunities to meet more often.

We continue with Scriptural Reasoning, and have found the newly-published Grove booklet very helpful and thought provoking.

We hope to discuss this method of building friendships and sharing faith more at the Regional Gathering in Gloucester! 

 

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

The Easter conundrum

hoach-le-dinh-96823-unsplash.jpg

The Easter conundrum

In this blog from Georgina, she poses the question, 'How can we talk about Easter with our Muslim friends?' The death and resurrection of Christ are crucial to our faith and our understanding of who God is, yet our Muslim friends reject it. How do we deal with this conundrum?


How can we talk about Easter with our Muslim friends?

Our Bible testifies to the crucifixion which is a historical event that even non-Christian historians agree on. The Quran denies the crucifixion in Surah 4:157.

Avoid my holy text against yours

You can use this as a starting point but if the conversation does not move on you are in danger of an impasse, pitting ‘my holy text against your holy text.’

There are many other elements to ‘Easter’ (i prefer ‘Passover’) beside the crucifixion: the Last Supper, Gethsemane, the trial before Pontius Pilate, the testimony of the centurion, RESURRECTION etc.

 

Look for similarities of meaning

I suggest that it is more fruitful to find similarities of meaning, rather than similar texts, symbols or characters. Ask yourself what is the meaning of the crucifixion?

 

The significance of Jesus' death

I focused on the moment of Jesus’ death when the curtain to the Holy of Holies tore – God removed the barrier between Him and his people. We now have direct access to God, i.e. the heavens opened. Jesus is ‘the ladder’ between us and the open heaven – John 1:50-51: “you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

 

What can you find in the Qur'an?

Islamic Comparison: Night of Power, a night when heaven is open to all the Muslim’s prayers IF they get it right: the exact night somewhere in the last 10 days of Ramadhan, with the right prayers, with the right intentions and expectations. 

Similarity between crucifixion and Night of Power: heavens are open

 

Explore meaningful differences

Difference: In Christianity God has made atonement for us (the ‘effort’ is from God down to us) and the heavens are permanently open, I can pray to God anywhere, anytime, He promised that He hears. In Islam, the Muslim must put in all the effort, the heavens are only open at a specific, non-descript time and the Muslim must follow many prescriptions on which many Islamic interpreters differ, to try and ‘catch’ the open heaven (must try and build ‘the ladder’ between them and God).

Spiritual re-orientation

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spiritual re-orientation

In this blog from Phil, he encourages us to use Lent as a time to strengthen ourselves spiritually so we can reach out to others more effectively. There are also ways you can engage practically at the end.


A blog for lent

Christians fast during Lent 1 and Muslims during the month of Ramadan2. And for the contemporary generation, some form of detox has also become popular.

But Lent is not just about giving up chocolate or cheese. Or other forms of abstinence.

Jesus talked about not making a song and dance about fasting, but it being personal & secret.  

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others, but by your Father who is in secret.
— Matthew 6:17-18

The rewards may indeed be physical benefits such as losing weight, feeling healthier, even food tasting better afterwards. 

But it can also have a deeper, more hidden, impact. 

Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself
— Jelauddin Rumi

Fasting can also help us to re-orientate ourselves spiritually, strengthen our spirits and refresh us and help us regain that lost sense of purpose.

And your Father who sees in secret will reward you

Action 

Use Lent as an opportunity to draw near to God and strengthen your own commitment to Jesus.

Follow a daily reading scheme like:

And then use Ramadan as an opportunity to pray:


Footnotes

  1. Lent 2018 runs from 14 February to 29 March ⤴️

  2. Ramadan 2018 runs from 15 May to 14 June 🔙

Administrative Assistant, Friends International, Guildford

 Image Damian Zaleski,  Unsplash

Image Damian Zaleski, Unsplash

Administrative Assistant, Friends International, Guildford

Transforming students, transforming nations

About Friends International

Friends International is a Christian mission agency dedicated to encouraging and equipping UK churches to reach out to international students in friendship and sharing the Gospel. It currently has over 60 Field Staff and Associates working in 30 university towns and cities across the UK.

As the Guildford Administrative Assistant, you will play a vital role in aiding the local Friends International Staff worker in all aspects of administration, data management, communication with students, liaising with volunteers/partners in local churches and general office duties. Please note this role is a new post working primarily from home with equipment provided. 

Essential requirements

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Good office skills and a high level of computer literacy, including the use of social media
  • Excellent time management and prioritising abilities
  • Accept the Christian ethos of Friends International

Hours

12 hours per week. This is a fixed term contract for 12 months, with the possibility of extension.

Salary

Dependent on hours, but pro rata of full time salary (£14,290 for a 35 hour week).

Application deadline

5:00pm on Monday 26 February 2018, with interviews by late March.

For more information

Or an application pack please contact:

Friends International, The Rowan Centre, All Nations Christian College, Easneye, Ware, Herts, SG12 8LX, Tel: 01920 460006

Friends International Ministries is a registered charity no.1094095

Executive Director, Global Connections, Leamington

 Image Damian Zaleski,  Unsplash

Image Damian Zaleski, Unsplash

Executive Director, Global Connections, Leamington

Following the resignation of Anna Bishop, the Board of Global Connections is recruiting a new Executive Director.

You can find the details on the Christian Vocations website. The closing date for applications is 16th February.

This is a unique opportunity for a senior Christian leader to be an ambassador and facilitator across the evangelical spectrum inspiring collaborative partnerships to work towards its vision of ‘mission at the heart of the church, the church at the heart of mission’.

The person appointed will have excellent interpersonal, leadership and people management skills. They need previous CEO or significant senior leadership experience and they will need to be an engaging and inspiring communicator, possessing the ability to inspire others.

Real value

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God is moving among Muslims

This is a real-life story of recent events from one of the local Mahabba groups in the 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!

Real value

One of my friend’s moved recently so I went to visit him. He is originally from a Middle Eastern country. He was brought up as a Muslim.

After a while on Google Maps and a few calls on my mobile I found my friend. We walked to the new place. I took off my shoes as not to spoil the carpet.

My friend showed me around his new accommodation. The flat was pristine and still smelled of fresh paint.

A multitude of ornaments on the window sill sparkled in the morning sunshine. Everything was in its right place - including a meticulously arranged shoe cupboard.

I was offered a cup of tea, then I was shown the pictures of the flat before he moved in. It was unrecognisable from the place I was sitting in.

The carpets were dirty and walls were full of holes. My friend explained that he had scraped off all the old wallpaper, filled the holes in the walls, repainted and scrubbed the carpets.

The ornaments and the pictures had come from a charity shop and been brought to life with some vigorous polishing.

The sofas came from a friend who was storing some surplus furniture in his garage. The place looked very bright and inviting.

He then told me that people from his culture were very proud and looked down on having anything that wasn’t brand new. He gave me the following example.

If someone was cold and you lent them a jacket - you would never wear it again after it had been returned.

He informed me that it was only after he started to follow Jesus as part of a church community that he was able to get a handle on his pride, accept help from others, value things that were not brand new and not care so much about the negative comments of others.

 

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

10/10 Prayer & Fasting for the Muslim World

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10/10 Prayer & Fasting for the Muslim World

An initiative by Vision 5:9 calling Christians to pray and fast for 10 years that 10% of Muslims would come to faith.

There are no measurements, just a simple call for continuous prayer facilitated by a calendar for agencies and individuals to sign up.

Vision 5:9 is a gathering of mission agencies focused on seeing Revelation 5:9 come into being. This initiative was born out of a gathering in October 2017 named, Abide Bear Fruit - inspired by the great promise of John 15.

The calendar can be found here:

To sign up you will need a username and password. Please fill in the form below for details.

Name *
Name
Are you part of a local Mahabba group? *