Lovefast

Lovefast 18: The journey

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 18 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
— Romans 12:15

Thought for the day

The journey & the messenger

As we read in Acts 8, a man made the journey from Ethiopia to Jerusalem.

On his way back with scripture in his hands, God sent him a messenger.

That was nearly 2000 years ago. He probably came from a territory that includes modern Eritrea.
Today, many people are making the journey from Eritrea to Libya, crossing the Mediterranean in unsafe vessels and trekking across Europe and some arrive in the UK. I met a young woman who had made that journey.

She had lost a brother on the way. She was very anxious about family left behind and the dangers they lived with. She was a Christian.

Many others who make the journey are Muslims, also seeking safety, peace and a new life.
The Eritrean church in the UK is growing. Pray that all Eritreans arriving here will sooner or later have scriptures in their hands and be met by messengers sent by God.


Prayer for the day

Lord, here I am. Connect me to seekers on the journey.


Daily action

Do some research on line. Where is your nearest Eritrean or Ethiopian church?


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 17: Weep

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 17 of 30

By Chas from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
— Romans 12:15

Thought for the day

Weep with those who weep

Recently a Believer from a Muslim Background had several bereavements in her family and found herself in numerous Muslim funeral gatherings.

During these she sat respectfully and prayed in her heart to Jesus while the Imam performed the prayers. Here is her testimony of what happened next:

'Observing the rituals I had questions that I wanted to ask the Imam. He was in a hurry and did not seem interested in what I was asking about the Muslim faith.

However, fifty women could hear me ask these questions. As he had to rush off I began a conversation regarding my Christian faith with the women there.

I had a captive audience and I gave my testimony as a lot of them did not know I was a Christian.

There are many Muslim women who have no faith or who are simply keeping the rituals of Islam but don't understand what they practice'.


Prayer for the day

Pray for Muslims that you know personally, or have heard about through the news, who are suffering bereavement or loss of any kind.


Daily action

Would you be ready to answer questions Muslims might have about your faith? Not everyone is as they ask different questions to secularists. Prepare yourself by reading 'Seeking Allah Finding Jesus' or 'No God but one' both by Nabeel Qureshi.


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 16: Hospitality with a moustache

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 16 of 30

By Adam from Mahabba’s Board of Trustees

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the labourer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.
— Luke 10:7-8

Thought for the day

Hospitality with a moustache

There was something different about the guy on the doors at our local supermarket. He was always smiling and friendly - and he had the most amazing bushy moustache!

One evening I was visiting a Kurdish friend and there in his living room was the guy with the moustache. I discovered he was Kaka'i and had fled to the UK as an asylum seeker from Iraq. Now whenever I see him at the supermarket I'm greeted with a warm hug to the astonishment of the other shoppers!

I recently had the opportunity to spend a week among the Kurds in their homeland and experienced their legendary hospitality first hand. I was amazed at their hunger to hear stories about Jesus and their openness to receive prayer.

Jesus trained his disciples to look out for homes where they would be warmly welcomed and to enjoy the hospitality (Luke 10:7). In those homes they were to share the message of the Kingdom, pray for the sick and share the peace that God had given them.

I don't know about you, but I'm not always very good at receiving someone's hospitality. I'm often in too much of a hurry, or feel that I'll be indebted to them. however, I'm slowly learning to slow down enough to be a guest - whether in the home of refugee or enjoying a hug in the doorway of my supermarket!


Prayer for the day

Give thanks for the opportunities we have today to meet people like my Kaka'i friend in our neighbourhoods. Ask God to help us give and receive hospitality and to be a bridge for our Muslim neighbours to discover the peace that comes through Jesus.


Daily action

Look out for an opportunity to visit a Muslim friend or neighbour in their home. Even slowing down enough to chat to someone at the shops can lead to an opportunity to share the peace you've received from 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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 15: This city

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 15 of 30

By Chas from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
— Acts 18:9-10

Thought for the day

You’re the God of this city

London, Birmingham, Leeds. Bradford... many of our cities have high concentrations of Muslims.

This means they are able to form strong supportive communities which protect their faith and culture.

This is a natural thing to do for any ex pat group and we can see British people doing exactly the same when they live in other countries.

Another feature of our cities is the variety of ethnic groupings of Muslims.

For instance, you can visit predominantly Turkish, Bangladeshi, Somali, Iranian, Pakistani and Arab areas in London.

This means that the Christians sharing their faith not only need to penetrate an entrenched community but also a specific cultural group.

Are churches ready to meet this challenge?

Often they can be overwhelmed by the needs of their own congregations and may struggle to penetrate the Muslim community around them.


Prayer for the day

Pray that Churches in our cities would be strengthened to go on speaking and that they would meet people whose hearts God has prepared.


Daily action

Watch the video ‘God of this city’ by Chris Tomlin and pray for the cities 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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 14: Feast

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 14 of 30

By Biddy from a local Mahabba group

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”
— Revelation 19:9

Thought for the day

Wedding feast

Just as in the 30 Days booklet, many Bengali Muslim weddings in the UK are lavish affairs.

Some families share the wedding expenses but traditionally one celebration is given by the bride’s and another by the groom’s family and there is a sort-of henna party too.

One young girl told me that her parents had spent £35,000 on car rental alone, and showed me photos of the very smart vehicles too.

Her parents lived in a modest 2 bedroomed terraced house in a northern town.

People go into debt but it is a matter of honour to entertain many friends and acquaintances well.

Jesus understood about weddings. One of the first miracles he did was at a wedding.

Although some Bangladeshis have come to know Christ in recent years many more don’t yet know the riches of a relationship with God through Christ and the promise of a heavenly feast.


Prayer for the day

May many Bangladeshis receive the invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb and not be put off the by the cost!


Daily action

Read stages of planning a Bengali wedding and watch wedding highlights to get an idea of how elaborate weddings are. Decide now that if you are invited to Muslim social event, you will not chicken out!


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 13: Provide

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 13 of 30

By Gillie from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
— Acts 17:26-27

Thought for the day

God will provide

Ann had to leave the remote part of Central Asia where she had lived for many years among a small unreached people group. She had learned their language and culture – but now it all seemed for no purpose.

Imagine her surprise when back here in the UK she met someone from that people group – someone who welcomed her warmly into the community of about 250 people from that remote place. She is able to continue her ministry – within a few miles of her home!

In our towns and cities there are increasing pockets of unreached people, from places that are virtually impossible to access. We see God moving people, so that they may seek him and find him.

If we befriend one family and build a relationship of trust and understanding, then we will soon be connected with all their relatives and friends. As one person starts to follow Jesus, then the good news can flow along these connections – and back to the remote homelands!


Prayer for the day

Ask God to bring a Muslim across your path who is open to talk.


Daily action

Ask a Muslim about their people group. Rather than ask where are you from (which implies they are different and not from here) you could simply say: tell me your story… and be willing to listen…


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 12: Strangers

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 12 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
— Leviticus 19: 33-34

Thought for the day

Strangers in a strange land

This year, on two different occasions in my little English town that no one has ever heard of (well, nearly no one!) individuals have turned up from the remote Sudanese region of Darfur.

Both, for different reasons, entered a church for the first time in their lives.

Many years ago, I heard that a group of people had been praying earnestly for 50 years for the Gospel to be made known in Darfur.

And still there was no permanent Christian witness.

Much has changed since then but it is still a hard place to get into.

God has responded to those prayers in a variety of ways.

One of them is that people from Darfur are turning up in our towns and cities, many of them lost and alone, seeking peace and acceptance.

Let’s be there for them.


Prayer for the day

Lord, please connect me with those you are bringing from remote places and help me to show your love.


Daily action

Be on the look out to welcome Muslims from the remotest places in the world.


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 11: Friends

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 11 of 30

By Philip Duncalf from Friends International

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
— Isaiah 25:6

Thought for the day

International friendships

Isaiah 25 speaks of the hope that we have of a future without pain or death with all nations having a great feast.

At Friends International we believe the local church reaching international students is a glimpse of that hope.

Friends International set up events and link volunteers from local churches with international students while also encouraging and equipping the local church in their own international ministries.

We also seek to set up new projects to help engage more students, one new project is an Ifthar meal on campus during Ramadan. Through friendship and food, we find that conversations about faith and the hope we have come naturally. International students are open and interested.

A was brought up in an Indian catholic family but is unsure what he believes and what is cultural, he has been attending our events and started going to a local church and their introduction to Christianity course. He is continually asking good questions and seeking the truth.

B was brought up in a Lebanese Muslim family though some in his family are Christian. He has attended Friends International Walking events as well as the CU mission week events. Though he is still questioning which faith to follow, he is keen to seek truth and discuss Christianity.

C is a Chinese student who hasn’t yet shared what she believes but has attended church and a meal and talk regarding what Christians believe hosted by Friends International volunteers. She has received a mandarin New Testament and really enjoys the songs played at church, so much so she goes and finds them on Spotify to play in her own time. Please pray that they will come to know Jesus personally.

These are just three stories of the 6000 international students who attend the University of Surrey. There are many stories like these across the nation in the 40 branches of Friends International. Many who have not had the invitations that these 3 students have had.


Prayer for the day

Will you pray and support Friends International’s vision to grow to 60 branches by 2025 so that many more would come to know the hope of eternal life through Jesus? Students will then be able to take the good news back to their home countries when they finish studying here.


Daily action

Consider getting involved in hosting an international student - maybe receiving them in your home doing a festival, or joining in an activity run by Friends International at a local university.


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 10: Lift

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 10 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honour.
— 1 Samuel 2:8

Thought for the day

God lifts up the humble

He thrust the Arabic Bible back at my friend.

“This is nonsense,”

he hissed.

He had seemed so friendly at first. My friend was at a loss.

The passage that enraged the young man was 1 Samuel 2:8: ‘He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honour.’

“That’s not nonsense,”

my friend said.

“It is the Gospel.”

In Romans 13:7, Paul says: ‘Give to everyone what you owe them: … if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.’

In many cultures this elicits a loud 'Amen'. That it is right to show honour to those whom it is due is just so obvious.

The fact that God would show his favour to the unworthy, that he would lift up lowly and seat them with princes – that is shocking.

It needs to be experienced to be believed.


Prayer for the day

Lord, open our eyes to the fullness of your Gospel and teach us how to share it with all.


Daily action

As you read scripture, look for references to honour and shame. Reflect on the strength of feeling behind them.


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 9: Turkish delight

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 9 of 30

By John from a local Mahabba group

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you must not oppress him. You must treat the foreigner living among you as native-born and love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
— Leviticus 19:33-34

Thought for the day

Turks in the UK

After the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016 the government clamped down on anyone even vaguely associated with it. Some were able to flee the country, even leaving their families behind. None can return without likely arrest.

For over a year a group of local Christians in our town has been meeting with some of these Muslims from Turkey to discuss the Scriptures. This is something they were very keen to do. The local Mahabba Group wrote about these encounters:

We have looked at the significance of Abraham and Joseph, some psalms and issues of hospitality, life-style, forgiveness, grace, judgement and eternity. All of us have come to understand ourselves and each other better from these encounters. We have enjoyed celebrating Christmas and Easter together and joining in Iftar parties. Friendships have developed and we have been able to give support to this group of relative newcomers to this country.

This is an example of what Mahabba love for the 'foreigner in your midst' can achieve when you love them as yourself..... It has been a source of real delight.


Prayer for the day

Pray that people find Jesus as they seek to understand and integrate into British society and who face great difficulties as they cannot visit family members back on their country of origin (like these friends from Turkey).


Daily action

Are you and your church ready to welcome refugees? Visit Welcome Churches below to see what you could do.


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 8: Pearls

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Day 8 of 30

By Georgina from Mahabba’s Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
— Matthew 13:45-46

Thought for the day

A pearl of great price

The pearl industry in United Arab Emirates flourished throughout most of the nineteenth century after establishing a Treaty of Maritime Peace with Britain in 1853.

The Imperial State Crown worn by Queen Elizabeth for her coronation has 269 pearls. The crown is made up of many precious stones and metals that were brought to the UK from across the Empire; their beauty and value sufficient to be given to a king or queen.

The Quran tells of pearls that will be given in the Hereafter to the faithful and those who have done good works (see chapters 22:23, 35:33).

The Bible likewise places value on pearls and precious stones, e.g. the city gates of pearl in Revelation 21:21.

Jesus uses pearls to explain what the Kingdom of Heaven is like in Matthew 13:45-6. He likens it to a merchant who sells everything to obtain one pearl of great value.

Here we see that the Kingdom/pearl is not the reward that awaits us for good works, it is in the willingness to give up everything that we receive Him as our greatest joy.


Prayer for the day

Make us courageous and willing, Lord, to seek you with all that we have and all that we are.


Daily action

Look out for the beautiful description of pearls as 'raindrops filled with moonlight' in this video:


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 7: Sharing my faith

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 7 of 30

By Charlotte from Frontiers

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.
— 1 Peter 3:15-16

Thought for the day

Sharing my faith

I had a friend from the Maldives at school. She and two of her cousins had been sent to a boarding school in the UK. At the time I didn’t even realise she was Muslim or how different her life growing up in the Maldives was from mine.

I first made a commitment to follow Jesus when I was a teenager and I remember telling her all about my faith in Jesus. I may not have done this in the most culturally sensitive way, but I was unhindered by any preconceptions of how as a Muslim she would respond to my faith.

I hope that today I would be just as bold, but sometimes my preconceptions and fear of rejection get in the way. I want to be prepared to share my faith with any Muslims I meet today with gentleness and respect but with a certainty that what I have to share with them is truly life changing.


Prayer for the day

Lord help me to be bold in sharing my faith with Muslims that I meet. Help me to always be ready to give an answer to those who ask about my faith, sharing with them with gentleness and respect.


Daily action

God brings people from far flung places across our paths every day. Think about a simple way you can introduce faith into conversation with any Muslims you meet today. Then give it a try. Let us know how it goes!


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 6: Another cuppa

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 6 of 30

By Simon from Mahabba's Hub

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
— Romans 12:12-14

Thought for the day

Another cuppa

We often hear about the importance of tea in Muslim contexts. One that struck me was warfare.

I remember news reports about British Army officers sitting down for tea with tribal elders in Afghanistan before discussing local matters and issues.

The tea often comes with mint in it; sometimes it's coffee, highly spiced with cardamon, depending on which region you are in.

Among Muslims in the UK, the tea might be less important, but the act of hospitality certainly isn't.

While Brits might be worried to pop in unannounced to a friend or neighbour, this is not a concern to Muslims.

The honour and privilege lies with the host; you bestow a blessing on your guest by visiting them, as you've set aside space and time to be with them.

This is a way that we can all show the love of Jesus Christ to Muslims.

Perhaps you need to get into the habit of dropping round to your Muslim neighbours more often, and take a little sweet something too.

Clearing out your diary and being less busy might help too!

By sharing time, homes and tea with Muslims you are able to build relationships and may even be invited to share your faith in the fullness of time.

All that because of a cup of tea - not bad!


Prayer for the day

Father God, thank you that we can learn a lot about Jesus’ command to show hospitality through our Muslim friends and neighbours. Help us to take that command seriously and as we do so, bless our relationships with Muslims that they might see Jesus in our heart, words and actions.


Daily action

Look at your diary, as suggest above, and think about how you can build space in your week to visit Muslim friends and neighbours. It might be on a Sunday afternoon or perhaps you’ve got some space mid-week. If you need more structure, are there local places or events where you can start to build relationships? Ask yourself what is getting in the way of you finding a little time for a cup of tea?


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 5: Refuge & restoration

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 5 of 30

By Georgina from Mahabba's Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God...
— Isaiah 43:1-3

Thought for the day

Refugees: finding refuge and restoration

My Arabic teacher is a refugee from Syria who managed to flee with her 3 children to a refugee camp while her husband made his way to the UK across the Mediterranean.

They were reconnected 2 years later in an English city after a lengthy asylum seeking process.

Their children have adapted to school and social life, and the family tries their hand at anything to earn an income.

Mobile phones connect them to family and friends back home, sharing snippets of good and bad news.

She has lost all her worldly possessions but most of all, my teacher feels the loss of social networks and connections - people who would have helped her to find work and connect her children to marriage partners as they grew up.

She once exclaimed that she has lost all honour and the only thing that might restore it is if her children excel at school.


Prayer for the day

Lord, give us awareness of the pressures refugee children face to restore their families' honour. May those who have found safety with us also find refuge and restoration in the God in whose sight they are precious and honoured as Isaiah 43 promises.


Daily action

Sing together with Casting Crowns for Jesus to break our hearts for what breaks His


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 4: The power of forgiveness

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 4 of 30

By Gillie from Mahabba's Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
— Matthew 6:12

Thought for the day

The power of forgiveness

In Bosnia, people meet and talk over tiny cups of thick, strong Bosnian coffee. Where I live, my Pakistani friends and I meet and talk over cups of milky chai, flavoured with cardamom and fennel. My Syrian friends and I meet and talk over cups of black tea, flavoured with mint and lots of sugar! Whatever the drink, talk often drifts to the problems people have getting on with each other. Sometimes it is family issues, sometimes problems with neighbours, and sometimes national and international concerns.

Amina is a new believer who reads the Bible hungrily. God’s word is changing her, and changing her relationships. One day, prompted by reading Jesus’ words about forgiveness, she sat down with her mother and forgave her for past hurts. Amina talked about her hope in Jesus and, with tears, her mother said, “These words about Jesus must be true.”

The power of forgiveness is huge in Muslim cultures, where grudges and resentment can damage relationships for years. As people like Amina are transformed by Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven advances.


Prayer for the day

St Francis’ prayer:

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;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


Daily action

What story could you have ready to share if a Muslim friend asks you about forgiveness?


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!


Resources

Do you want to involve your church in blessing Muslim people through prayer and friendship?

There are new 30 Days of Prayer church resources available for you:

  • Pray Together as a Congregation

  • Small Group Session

  • Night of Power Prayer Meeting

  • Prayer Walk Guide

What’s your next step after 30 Days? There are loads of resources to help you on your journey.


Partners of 30 Days of Prayer

Lovefast 3: Fancy a cuppa?

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 3 of 30

By Ted from Mahabba's Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.
— Romans 15:2

Thought for the day

Fancy a cuppa?

My friend was far from home on a three-month course. Tea was served at regular intervals. The trouble was it wasn't real tea so far as he was concerned. He needed his tea at least once a day and drinking it alone was just not right. Making it was a whole palava. The result, the perfect tea that was just right for him, it was disgusting to me.

Years ago, sitting on the ground eating with some Muslims in a former French colony, my host lent across to me and said “You people are OK. You eat our food. The French never would.” I don’t know how fair that was on the French but I learnt that loving our neighbours includes eating their food and drink.

Jesus did. Whether he enjoyed it or not, we are not told.


Prayer for the day

Lord, help me bless people by being their guest just as you did.


Daily action

Accept an invitation from a Muslim to eat or drink with them.


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: Generous hospitality

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 2 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!


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
— Hebrews 13:2

Thought for the day

Generous hospitality

Jesus spent a lot of time in homes eating with ordinary people (eg in Bethany John 12:1-8) When he sent out the 12 apostles and then 72 disciples, he told them to eat with ordinary people and receive hospitality as part of their mission. (Luke 9:4 & 10:5-19)

Eating together breaks down barriers; people tell stories and share lives as they share food together.

Whilst Ramadan is all about fasting from dawn to dusk for Muslims, there is also the joy of breaking fast – iftar – at sunset. This is usually a shared public event. And an opportunity for 'us' to share with 'them' and become 'we'. There will be opportunities later to return the hospitality and invite your Muslim friends to your own table.

The Biblical word for hospitality is philo-xenia ‘kindness to strangers’. It is the opposite to xeno-phobia, ‘fear of the other’. As xenophobia seems to be on the increase in our country, let us come in the opposite spirit and practice hospitality (both giving and receiving), and have a go at ‘entertaining angels’.


Prayer for the day

Pray this Celtic prayer - BRIGIT’S FEAST

I should like a great lake of finest ale, for the King of Kings
I should like a table of the choicest food, for the family of heaven.
Let the ale be made from the fruits of faith, and the food be forgiving love.

I should welcome the poor to my feast, for they are God’s children.
I should welcome the sick to my feast, for they are God’s joy.
Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place, and the sick dance with the angels

God bless the poor, God bless the sick, and bless our human race.
God bless our food, God bless our drink, all homes, O God, embrace.


Daily action

Watch the video ('The British') and enjoy the diversity of both people and food, that we have in Britain. Find out about an Iftar meal in your area (put on by the mosque or as part of the BigIftar http://thebigiftar.org and resolve to attend.


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 1: Getting together

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 1 of 30

By Georgina from Mahabba's Network Team

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


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and if anyone hears my voice, I will come in to him and eat with him and He with me.
— Revelation 3:20

Thought for the day

Doing things so we can be together

For the past 4 years Christian and Muslim women have been getting together in our town to read their scriptures, to enjoy food and do crafts together.

We've built up relationships that carried on beyond these activities in each other's homes. While the meetings were informal and enjoyable, they do take planning and initiative. Someone needs to take responsibility for booking a venue and printing texts and sourcing crafts.

As (western) Christian women we don't have a particular code of hospitality like the Fulani 'koddirgal.' We sometimes felt burdened by strategic planning for these meetings. However, this changed at one of our recent community events when one of the Muslim women gave us a new perspective.

We were drinking tea and reflecting on the way people seemed to connect in a natural way throughout the day. Her explanation was that 'We want to be together, so we do things.'

Her comment turned our expectations upside down: our aim is no longer the clever planning or the smooth running of events but the being together. My Muslim friend reminded me that Jesus wants to be with us, so he knocks on the door of our hearts to enter in (Rev. 3:20).


Prayer for the day

Lord Jesus, give me a heart of flesh that truly wants to be with people, so that our encounters may lead to them hearing you knocking at the door of their heart.


Daily action

Take time to really listen to someone over a cup of tea (or coffee). Simply find an excuse to 'be together'


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 0: Fasting and prayer

Lovefast prayer and action campaign from the Mahabba Network

Day 0 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!


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Yet even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning….
— Joel 2:12

Thought for the day

Fasting and prayer

The overall theme for this years 30 days of prayer is 'hospitality'.

30 Days of Prayer represents an opportunity to pray for unreached people around the world.

And there seems to be a direct link between this global prayer movement and the rise in interest of followers of Jesus within the house of Islam.

Lovefast is about rooting this to our experience in UK. We will be looking at the same themes, but applied to Muslims in Britain.

The 30 days of Ramadan are a great opportunity to meet Muslims friends as they are desperately seeking Allah, as they fast and pray to draw nearer to God.

You can sympathise as they take ‘nil by mouth’ - no food or drink from sunrise to sunset, and then the joy of breaking their fast with dates and an Iftar meal.

You may be invited to an Iftar meal yourself at a local mosque, or an event run as part of the #BigIftar But use this opportunity to reach out to your muslim friends


Prayer for the day

Pray with Paul from Romans 10:1:

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved

Why not write down the names of five Muslim friends you know and pray for them throughout Ramadan?


Daily action

Ensure you’ve got a 30 Days of Prayer booklet during Ramadan and sign up to Mahabba’s #lovefast so we can pray and act together as a Network for our Muslim friends


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 -1: Hospitality

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Day -1 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!


If you’ve not signed up to receive the daily prompts to your inbox - see here →


Daily verse

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
— 2 Corinthians 9:6

Thought for the day

Hospitality in the Muslim World

Hospitality is an important, almost a central, part of Islamic culture. Offering kindness and generosity to guests is considered a duty which one owes to God. Therefore, many Muslims believe that to honour and welcome a guest is to honour and welcome God.

Hospitality is expressed in different ways in different cultures, but throughout the Islamic world it is characterised by generosity and self-sacrifice. No matter how little one might have, it is a point of honour to share it with guests.

In the prayer 30 day guide contributors to tell us about what hospitality looks like in the Muslim people groups they live among. And in Love Fast we reflect on these themes and apply them to our UK context

Food, of course, plays a significant part and you are warned that some of these articles may make you feel very hungry! Even during the month of Ramadan when fasting is the focus, the feasting that happens after sunset each day is sumptuous and shared freely.

Hospitality brings people together. It invites us to talk with one another and grow in spiritual understanding both as an individual and as a group. We hope you will enjoy these descriptions of hospitality in different Muslim cultures and be inspired to pray in a way that reflects that spirit of generous welcome.


Prayer for the day

Lord we pray that as we identify with our Muslim brothers and sisters during this month of Ramadan. You would help us to pray for them to discover more of You. And help us to find ways to act and get involved with their lives so that together we can discover more of Your Loving Heart.


Daily action

Make sure you have a copy of the 30 Days of Prayer booklet during Ramadan. Check on the website, and sign up with Mahabba for the daily feed of #lovefast prayer and action campaign.


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