2017

Lovefast out 🎤

Lovefast out 🎤

Thanks for following Lovefast over the last 30 days - it's been great!

We love to know what you've liked and what we can improve. Let us know your thoughts.

Other than that, we've put some of the highlights below.

 

Participants' stories

Lovefast 18 (Ties) suggested we seek to pray with a Muslim. I told the Lord I was willing, but didn’t know any Muslims. However, God responded to my willingness and brought in a very needy lady to our Church coffee morning who just happened to be a Muslim. We had a very good chat. As she poured out her heart I offered prayer. It turned out her Father is an imam, but she nervously allowed prayer. I am hoping she will come again.
I am really enjoying praying through the 30 Days of Prayer book and reading your Lovefast e-mails. I have been able to speak to some Muslims and some new converts from Iran, who have requested prayer. Be encouraged! I avidly read the information given. Thank you for your ministry.
Today I received a prayer request for a Muslim young man in Iran who is addicted to hashish, and for his father who desperately wants his son to give up the drugs. His brother has become a Christian and is making the request
I have lots of conversations with Muslims and pray with them regularly, even if they don’t believe in Jesus. Some have been baptised. Nearby we have seen many Iranians in particular (you won’t be surprised!) pray to receive Jesus and be baptised.
 

Comments on the blog

Many thanks for this thoughtful bulletin.
Lovefast day 1 done... Got to keep prejudicial thoughts at bay... and remember Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis that they too where set apart by God and their descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Especially after Manchester it’s so easy to judge and condemn an entire religion... when in reality that task is only God’s place to do so. I must remember these people... and just pray for my witness of salvation through the blood of Jesus.

Most popular entry

Outside the first week, which normally attracts the highest engagement levels (while the campaign is still novel) Lovefast 11: Terror on 6 June was the most popular day. This followed the terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market, so struck a chord, and we hope gave encouragement to respond in a positive way.

 

Lovefast 30: Love

vlad-tchompalov-219131.jpg

Lovefast 30: Love

By Elliot from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by 'France: praying for those who persecute you' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
— Matthew 5:44, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Remembering birthdays, special events, and celebrations are all tricky for me - even if these happen every year.

I’m not good at sending cards or buying gifts.

So it will be no surprise or huge confession to state that to be honest I’m not much good at loving my friends.

Yet Jesus tells us to go even further and tells us to love our enemies.

It’s not a suggestion, a handy hint, a possibility but a command.

Not only did Jesus instruct us with his words but he lived out his life as an example.

One response to extremism is fear of others - xenophobia.

Another response is love of strangers - phileoxenia.

 

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray for courage to live out this teaching today.

 

Daily action

Read this challenging article: http://www.preemptivelove.org/loving_your_enemy_isis_detainees

 

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 29: Change

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Lovefast 29: Change

By Alice
Inspired by 'The Komering of Indonesia' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’
— Hebrews 12:25-29, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Change

The everyday lives of the Komering people of Western Indonesia have undergone rapid change over the past decade.

And there is no end in sight for the 'future shock' they are experiencing.

New roads are being built.

These will establish more connections between the Komering lands and the rest of the island of Sumatra.

Cellphone towers are popping up across the region, bringing the Internet to areas which had only just received landline phones.

Rubber and other traditional forest plantations are giving way to palm oil plantations.

Change is everywhere, and more and more young people are going to the city to seek their fortune.

Will a new generation of leaders avoid the traps of corruption and vain ambition, and instead pour themselves out for the good of their neighbours and communities?

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that during this tumultuous period, believers in the surrounding areas will have the wisdom to take full advantage of the changes occurring. May the gospel come in power to Komering men and women.

 

Daily action

Take note of every product that contains palm oil in your homes: cosmetics, food, etc. Use these as a reminder of how the lives of the Komering are being ‘shaken up’.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 28: Divided

Lovefast 28: Divided

By Chas from Mahabba Croydon
Inspired by 'The Gonja of North Ghana' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

For I have come to turn

‘“a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
— Matthew 10:35-36, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Divided

Families form strong attachments.

When someone considers becoming a follower of Jesus they are contemplating breaking these ties.

This is such a hard thing to do! Nevertheless, Jesus said it is the only way to grow as his follower.

It is also the only way that the rest of their family can have an opportunity to see the light of Jesus for themselves (Matthew 5:14-16).

Ramadan and Eid is a time when Muslim background believers are painfully aware of being separated from their families.

During Ramadan Muslims break their fast together, enjoying favourite meals and family time.

At Eid presents are bought for all the family. Rather like Christmas for us!

When a Muslim becomes a follower of Jesus all this is lost.

It leaves a gaping hole.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that as Muslims put Jesus first in their lives that many others in their family would come to trust in Jesus too. Pray for strength and comfort for those who are separated from their families because of their faith.

 

Daily action

What could you do to support followers of Jesus from a Muslim background? Consider inviting them for a meal, buying them a gift or simply calling them to ask how they are.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 27: Fear

Image: Katie Chase,  Unsplash

Image: Katie Chase, Unsplash

Lovefast 27: Fear

By Elliot from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by 'Protecting Muslim youth in Europe' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
— Psalm 91:15, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Fear

I’m afraid of watching the news and seeing the latest atrocities.

I just don’t want to face the reality of the latest tragedy.

Whilst I write this at my desk police in London have carried out raids and arrested seven people in connection with the Westminster attack that killed a policeman, an assailant, and pedestrians crossing Westminster Bridge.

As yet no one has accepted responsibility for the attack.

Many will be more nervous on their way to work today.

Many families will also be worried that their children could be radicalised by friends, over the internet or in prison.

Let’s pray for those waging peace and for those at all levels attempting to formulate effective strategies.

Update: Since writing the above, there have been attacks in Sweden and on a bus in Germany.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Let’s pray for those waging peace and for those at all levels attempting to formulate effective strategies.

 

Daily action

Perhaps the best strategy is showing there is more to life and living a life of radically following Jesus. Watch the clip, 'How can love radically today?'

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 26: Destiny

Image: nurus_salam_aupi,  Flickr

Image: nurus_salam_aupi, Flickr

Lovefast 26: Destiny

By Gordon from Mahabba Oxford
Inspired by 'Night of destiny' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

And afterwards,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
— Joel 2:28, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Destiny

I love being among people of radical faith and passion!

Strangely recently I have encountered many young Muslims with that same radical passion and hunger for God.

They are longing for a personal encounter with God, or a moment of divine revelation which will change their lives.

Sadly, God seems a million miles away from them, so this Night of Power is traditionally the one night in which their earnest prayer might breakthrough to God.

“Seek and you will find” is our invitation from Jesus: and the truth is that the hunger and desperation for God among millions of Muslims, has resulted in an unprecedented release of dreams and visions, where Jesus has appeared to them.

In middle eastern cities, the word on the street is “have you seen the man in white?”.

So many have seen him, and our responsibility is to explain these dreams and visions to them!

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Father, tonight I am standing in unity and agreement with millions of fellow believers, and we thank you on this special night for an outpouring of your spirit across the whole Muslim world. As they seek you, will you reveal yourself to them in dreams and visions, and may countless millions have a life changing encounter with you, where they will come to know you as “Father” and Jesus as “Isa Al-Massih” - Jesus the Messiah

 

Daily action

Get together with a group of Christians from your local churches and spend a few hours tonight praying for dreams and visions to come to many of the local Muslims. Pray that you will then have the chance to meet them and explain their dreams.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 25: Guardian

Image: barbasia,  Flickr

Image: barbasia, Flickr

Lovefast 25: Guardian

By Georgina from Mahabba Cheltenham
Inspired by 'The people of Saudi Arabia' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.’
— Psalm 91
 

Thought for the day

Guardian

In strict Muslim communities women are not allowed to venture out of their homes without being accompanied by a male guardian.

The guardian, or mahram, is a man she is not allowed to marry because of close family ties, such as a father, brother, son or uncle.

This Islamic ruling means that women are seen as legal minors.

For example, in Saudi Arabia women cannot drive a car or make their own decisions about their health care because they are not legally regarded as an adult.

Women cannot go on pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) without a mahram (male guardian), for which they have to pay extra.

Even at a time of heightened spiritual awareness, such as the hajj, women still have to rely on a male to protect her honour and safety.

Thank God for the promise in his Word that he is our guardian, whether we’re male or female, adult or child:

If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

Psalm 91:9-11

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that the bonds of Wahabbi Islam will be broken and that the influence of Saudi Arabia will wain in the world.

 

Daily action

Read about women’s experiences on hajj.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 24: Reality

Image: Jan Tinneberg,  Unsplash

Image: Jan Tinneberg, Unsplash

Lovefast 24: Reality

By Phil from Mahabba Woking
Inspired by 'Uzbeks in Tajikistan' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
— Leviticus 19:34, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Reality

Today in #30dop we are thinking about parents working abroad to support their families (from Tajikistan).

Some people view migrant workers as somehow stealing our lifestyle and wanting to benefit from our system.

But the reality is economies need migrant workers.

Jonathan Simpson, a British photographer, visited Singapore and met migrant workers from Bangladesh.

He took messages from them to their families back home and recorded their response and messages back to the migrant workers.

You can read more here.

He produced a short film, ‘I am fine’, describing the emotions of two families whose sons had become economic migrants in order to support their families.

It helps us to understand some of the personal cost of migration.

So, instead of reacting, let us respond to the people and treat them with respect.

In Scripture, we are told to treat the stranger in our land as a native, for we were all strangers once.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray for migrant workers - who are struggling to support their wider families. Pray about their isolation and exploitation.

 

Daily action

Simply greet people you meet and find out more of their story. Maybe in your local supermarket or coffee shop or health workers in our hospitals. If you get the chance to befriend a migrant worker, maybe you can help them fill in a bewildering form or write a letter home.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 23: Peace

Image: quinndombrowski,  Flickr

Image: quinndombrowski, Flickr

Lovefast 23: Peace

By Gordon from Mahabba Oxford
Inspired by 'The Beja of Sudan' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
— Ephesians 2:14-16, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Peace

The Beja people whom we are praying for today, have a strong spirit of independence.

They were initially Christianised in the 6th Century, but later Islamised in the 15th Century, joining the fierce movement to Islamise Sudan.

My uncle was part of the Sudan Political Service almost 70 years ago, largely located in the Christian south.

He told me that in those days it only took 150 British diplomats to bring peace and order to the whole of Sudan!

How times have changed!

The spirits of independence, tribal and religious rivalry, and the clash of militant Islam, have left the north and south of Sudan deeply wounded and divided.

About 20 years ago, many Sudanese diplomats across Europe gathered at the office of the mission I was working with.

Their question was how we as Christians managed to bring peace between Muslims and Christians.

They recognised Christians have the answer to peace!

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Father, we recognize that Jesus is our Peace and that we can be carriers of the spirit of peace within our community. We can be the reconcilers and mediators in this divided world. Anoint us for this work, and open up doors of opportunity for us to help bring peace to the wounded and divided Muslim communities around us.

 

Daily action

Ask any local Muslim to tell you about the disparate Islamic communities living in your area. Ask them which people group are struggling the most to integrate in the community: be bold and seek to befriend a leader from that community with a view to helping them facilitate a greater level of social cohesion where you live. You could be the vital missing catalyst who brings peace to their families who are attempting to integrate.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 22: Ripple

Image: manu schwendener,  Unsplash

Image: manu schwendener, Unsplash

Lovefast : 

By Georgina from Mahabba Cheltenham
Inspired by 'When faith changes a family' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life
— Matthew 19:29, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Ripple

Churches across Europe and the UK have been reporting that migrants and refugees have transformed the heart of their churches.

Several UK churches offer drop-in centres, English lessons or places to meet fellow-travellers on the road to peace and security, even featured on Songs of Praise.

Some of the refugees are individuals, some have managed to stay together as a family.

Many are affected by the love and testimony they receive from Christians on this hazardous trip, and they turn their hearts towards Christ.

But some had already made the transformation in their home countries, such as Ramin, an Iranian in a French refugee camp.

Ramin was changed by God in Iran but he did not keep it for himself despite threats to his life.

He says,

I spoke to my wife. And my wife spoke to her sister, her sister spoke to her husband, her husband spoke to his uncle… many family and friends became Christians and they were in our house a lot to pray, and I was happy.

Ramin’s faith not only affected his life and destiny, but also that of his extended family

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that families will be touched by the transformation they see in new believers so that they will be drawn to the love of Christ

 

Daily action

Draw a family tree of the people of faith that made a difference to your life

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 21: Outcast

Image: s2ublack,  Flickr

Image: s2ublack, Flickr

Lovefast 21: Outcast

By Simon from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by 'Domari Gypsies of the Middle East' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’

‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’

Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’
— John 4:7-15, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Outcast

There are outcasts in every society, including the UK and the West.

In our communities and where we are used to the social norms, we can struggle to relate to others both individually and corporately.

Having read today's entry about the gypsy community in the Middle East, can you relate?

Take a moment to consider when you struggled to relate to someone, whether because of their clothes, upbringing or worldview.

Perhaps you recalled a conversation with a Muslim.

Let's be honest - many Muslims retain a strong cultural and language connection with their ancestral home, often Pakistan.

Culture and language in Pakistan is different to the UK, which can make it hard for us to build deep relationships.

The reality though is that communities of Muslims - and others - bring a rich diversity to where we live, without which we would be the poorer.

Statistically, Muslims also tend to be concentrated in the areas of highest deprivation, so have many needs.

Putting aside our differences and things that may cause us to want to retreat, let's consider how we can build bridges into the Muslim community.

How can we pray and act to bring about transformation where Muslims live, being a channel of the water of life to those that thirst?

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Lord Jesus, help me to put aside my insecurities and fears of the unfamiliar. Thank you for the diversity and richness in the Muslim community around me. Help me to grow in love and appreciation for Muslims and their cultural and heritage. I pray that you would continue to come close to them in Ramadan; reveal your son, Jesus Christ, to Muslims, that they might know you fully.

 

Daily action

Go to your neighbour or the house of a Muslim family locally. Ask whether they need any help with their garden or taking any household items to the local tip. If not, do a litter pick on your street and look for opportunities to talk to neighbours you might see. Aim to strike up conversations and start building relationships with those you don't know.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 20: An education

Image: usembassyta,  Flickr

Image: usembassyta, Flickr

Lovefast 20: An education

By Phil from Mahabba Woking
Inspired by 'Educating girls' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
— Luke 2:40, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

An education

Nobel Peace prizewinner, Malala Yousefzai, was shot by Taliban and became an icon for girls’ education.  

This young campaigner from the Swat valley in Pakistan wrote for BBC Urdu service about life under the Taliban, using a pen name Gul Makai.

She wrote about her family’s fight for girls’ education.

In October 2012 she was shot in the head by Taliban when returning from school on a bus.

She miraculously survived and continues to campaign for girls’ education, the youngest nominee for the Nobel peace prize.

You can read more of her remarkable story in her book ‘I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban’ (with Christina Lamb) or watch the trailer of the film: ‘He named me Malala’ (2015).

Another project in Sind, Pakistan promotes girls education.

Read this photo-journalist's article: ‘The girls who will change Pakistan’ (by Jonathan Simpson).

You can follow the work of the Primary Education Project on Facebook.

And consider supporting through JustGiving.

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen; they can change the world
— Malala Yousefzai
 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray for those providing education for girls: Lord, we pray for girls who have never seen the inside of the classroom. We pray you will break into their world and remove the obstacles that lie in their way. Teach them how precious they are. Strengthen and resource educators as they seek to raise all children to reach the potential you gave them

Educating girls is the single most powerful investment for development. When you educate a girl, you educate a nation
 

Daily action

 

Spend a penny! One of the simplest things that can be done to improve girls education is to provide access to toilets. Raise funds for a toilet twinning project or sponsor a loo yourself through Tearfund

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 19: Send

Image: Wiliam Bout,  Unsplash

Image: Wiliam Bout, Unsplash

Lovefast 19: Send

By Elliot from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by 'Muslim refugees in Sweden' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’
And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’
— Isaiah 6:8, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Send

There are many seeking asylum in Europe, maybe even in your city.

Many of whom have fled unimaginable situations.

Stories abound of supernatural interventions - motors restarting, survival without water whilst crossing the desert are just two examples.

Throughout their long journeys often the first to offer to help have been followers of Jesus.

Jesus has already been seeking, feeding, pursuing, loving his sheep.

Jesus is already at work in the lives of many asylum seekers whether they acknowledge Him yet or not.

What can I do to join Him in his mission?

Could I teach English, help them to understand their post, go for a coffee together?

Many, many people are lonely and have never set foot in someone else’s home in the UK.

What are you going to do about it?

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

People from many nations are in the UK. Let's pray for the church to be a blessing to the refugees. Pray what your role should be.

 

Daily action

Watch the video:

Research what is the church doing in your area to help refugees.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 18: Ties

Image: Estiaque Emon,  Unsplash

Image: Estiaque Emon, Unsplash

Lovefast 18: Ties

By Simon from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by today's entry from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 8:38-39
 

Thought for the day

Ties

Once again we read about the strength of family ties in the Muslim community - this time in Indonesia.

The same is true in Britain.

The vast majority of Muslims in the UK are from Pakistan, and from a very particular region.

They may not share the same view of the female bloodline, but family is in their blood and treasured highly.

Equally, families are just as quick to cut their ties with members who leave Islam - known as ‘apostates’ - because of the shame it brings on not only them but the wider community.

What then ties us into community?

We each have family, of course, and wider circles of community, such as church, sports teams, colleagues etc, but at the core is Jesus.

Jesus’ love never fails - when we sin he forgives, when we falter he supports, when we fail he steps in.

This is a precious gift that we can offer to Muslims.

The choice to leave Islam is life-changing, and shouldn’t be offered or taken lightly, but the reward of knowing Christ and coming to Father God are even greater.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray that God would give you an opportunity to share about how your life has changed as a result of coming to know Jesus and being part of his family

 

Daily action

Offer to pray for the family of a Muslim you may know. Ask whether there is any illness, issue or worry that you can pray for in the name of Jesus. When you have prayed, follow up at another point; ask whether anything has changed. Keep on praying!

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 17: Family guy

Image: modenadude,  Flickr

Image: modenadude, Flickr

Lovefast 17: Family guy

By Simon from Mahabba
Inspired by 'The Ishelhayn Berbers' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.
— Ephesians 1:13-14
 

Thought for the day

Family guy

Family means everything to the Muslim community - securing a good marriage; having healthy children; financial security; and keeping it all together.

It's a worthy ideal in many ways, and something that Western societies have much to learn from.

In Britain and the West, we are so individualistic - just look at how many family-sized homes have been carved up into one or two room apartments.

Muslims invariably spend their weekends visiting family and relatives, cooking food and hanging out - compare that with how we pursue our personal hobbies in relative isolation.

As we have explored earlier in Lovefast, whether we gain identity and security in family, finance or position, nothing compares with knowing our inheritance in Christ.

Let's learn all that we can from our Muslim friends about how we can be more community-minded and model inclusive-family, drawing in those outside our immediate families.

Let's also seek to share about what we know about Jesus - the only way truly to know our Father God in heaven.

 

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Give thanks for your family and your relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ. Pray that God would open the eyes of your Muslim friends this Ramadan, that Jesus be revealed to them in a new way. Pray for a fuller revelation of Jesus Christ as he or she reads about Isa in the Qur'an this Ramadan.

 

Daily action

Ask a Muslim you know about what they know of Isa (Jesus) in the Qur'an. Share a few things that you know of Jesus from the Bible. Ask your friend what he or she thinks about the portrayal of Jesus in the Bible. Ask your Muslim friend if he or she would like to read more about Jesus in the Bible.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 16: Addiction

Image: aljazeeraenglish,  Flickr

Image: aljazeeraenglish, Flickr

Lovefast 16: Addiction

By Phil from Mahabba Woking
Inspired by 'Bakar's story' in the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit
— Ephesians 5:17-18, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Addiction

We used to work in Pakistan among heroin addicts in Karachi.

Pakistan is still one of the most addicted countries on the planet.

In the project we were involved in IBTIDA (Urdu for beginning) addicts were supported off drugs through prayer and support whist they went through cold turkey.

Christians Muslims and Hindus would all come for prayer for their addiction since they were all in the same boat.

One rickshaw driver, Yousef described how he had been filling the ‘tank’ of his life with heroin and all the problems that caused.

And his struggle to leave his addiction.

He came off drugs with the help of IBTIDA ‘brothers’ who prayed for him and he was then filled up with the Spirit.

I used to fill up with Heroin and now I fill up with the holy spirit,

he said,

and the Holy Spirit is much better than heroin, with no bad after-effects.
 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Sami Yousef’s song supplication could so easily be the prayer of an addict. It expresses the desire of many Muslims during Ramadan for forgiveness. It also appeared in the movie ‘the kite runner’. Pray for those addicted to substances that God would hear their cry.  

 

Daily action

The focus of 30 Days of Prayer is an addict in Malaysia. Malaysian Care based in Kuala Lumpur describes its prisons drugs and Aids initiative (currently they are not allowed to work with Muslims). Find out more about drug programmes in your area. If you are interested you can read about the work or IBTIDA in an old edition of Footsteps magazine from the mid-90s.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 15: Identity

Image: chrisjohnbeckett,  Flickr

Image: chrisjohnbeckett, Flickr

Lovefast 15: Identity

By Simon from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by 'Disability among tribal families of the Middle East' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
— Colossians 3:2-4, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Identity

Honour, shame, fear - each of these is woven into the lives of Muslim families around the world.

As we read today, the shame factor surrounding disability - the shame felt by parents that they have not borne a fully healthy child.

Fear and honour are an equally important part part of life for Muslims, and one influences the other as life causes imbalance and families scrabble to put in place counterbalances.

As Christians, we can identify with this: on a personal level we experience these emotions, and we see this life and culture through stories in the Bible.

And yet we know that in Christ we find our ultimate identity and calling in life, wherever our imperfections may lie.

Jesus accepts us as we are, but calls us to great things.

This is the hope that we have in Jesus that we can share with Muslims during the 30 days of Ramadan.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray for a Muslim friend, colleague or neighbour that you would get an opportunity to share about how your identity in Christ changes your outlook to life. Pray that the Holy Spirit would plant a seed in that individual's life.

 

Daily action

Look for an opportunity off the back of the prayer above. Ask a Muslim about his or her weekend. If you went to church, mention what you did and share something that God said to you or did. Ask your Muslim friend if there is anything he or she would like God to do today.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 14: Waiting

Image: Hello Lightbulb,  Unsplash

Image: Hello Lightbulb, Unsplash

Lovefast 14: Waiting

By Elliot from Mahabba Derby
Inspired by 'A Syrian refugee family waits' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
— Psalm 27:2
 

Thought for the day

Waiting

We can wait with a sense of excitement or we can wait hopelessly caught up in despair.

Waiting is difficult when there is no end in sight.

Asylum seekers in the UK have to wait for an interview with the home office.

They have to wait for the results of the interview.

If granted leave to remain they have to wait for a National Insurance number.

When there are difficulties with housing they can wait months for things to be fixed.

Waiting months for a washing machine to be fixed is hard when you are a mum and you have a new baby in the house.

Waiting for the war to finish that has destroyed your country and separated your family.

Waiting, hoping, but not hearing if your family are still alive is unimaginable to me but a daily reality for many.

This week I’ve come across someone who has been in the UK for less than a year and had his first application rejected, he is now waiting to appeal.

I have also come across someone who has been in the UK for seven years and is on their forth appeal.

They are still waiting.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray for those refugees who are waiting for decisions, for family.

 

Daily action

Use your waiting time today to be aware of the presence of God today.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 13: Cycle

Image: 16nine, Flickr

Image: 16nine, Flickr

Lovefast 13: Cycle

By Chas from Mahabba Croydon
Inspired by 'Families in Kyrgyzstan' from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain – if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham ‘believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.
— Galatians 3:1-7, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Cycle

Muhammed (not his real name) is nearing retirement age.

He is deeply concerned for his children that they correctly follow Islam and so he makes sure they complete their daily Namaz (prayers) and live the Islamic way.

He has been storing up money in his bank account for years, but he’s even more concerned about storing up credit for the afterlife.

So he makes large donations to the mosque and is planning to go on Hajj to Mecca.

He can go to the sites at any time, but to go during the Hajj itself gives maximum credit.

However, he is afraid of the huge crowds and the stampedes.

So he’s afraid that he might die there and will put it off for another year.

Do you think he will hear the gospel and believe during this year?

Or do you think the cycle of religious works continue?

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Pray for Muslims you know who are bound by religious works to gain credit with God.  Pray that they would see and understand the provision of Jesus’ death in their place.  

 

Daily action

Consider ways you could share your faith with Muslims.  What could you give them? A gospel, a DVD?  Get a stock and prayerfully give them away this year one by one.

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Lovefast 12: Weddings

Image: telachhe,  Flickr

Image: telachhe, Flickr

Lovefast 12: Weddings

By Phil from Mahabba Woking
Inspired by 'I want to get married!' in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

 

Daily verse

His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’
— John 2:5, NIVUK
 

Thought for the day

Weddings

Maybe you’ve seen the wedding scenes in a movie like Monsoon Wedding  or The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Or even better you may have attended an Eastern wedding yourself.

Every bride is a princess (rani) and every bridegroom a prince or king (raja).

They are very colourful, and exotic affairs and guest are highly honoured.

They reflect the communal culture of the East, with an emphasis on honour, and putting on a good show.

No expense is spared.

And a lavish banquet is the order of the day, whether the Hui Muslims of China (who we are praying for in #30dop) or maybe its your local British Asian friends in Solihull.

Jesus attended a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11) and his mother had an eye for detail.

This is where he performed his first miracle, so that the banquet and celebration could continue and no one would be shamed.

It also led to the deepening of faith and ongoing discipleship for many of the attendees.

Jesus does his work both unusual and everyday circumstances.

 

Today's entry in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet

Inspiration for today's entry - click to open

 

Prayer for the day

Light a candle and write names of all couples you know who have just married. Pray that God would bless marriages and relationships in the Muslim community. Whenever you see a wedding party pray a quiet prayer of blessing upon them.

 

Daily action

When you visit an international friend ask to see photos of their family, their wedding or pictures of where they are from. Share some of your own pictures with them.  Pictures can speak a thousand words

 

Your turn

Let us know how it went! Leave a comment below, or tag us on social media with #lovefast or #30dop hashtags on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter!