Praying with a Muslim

love_is_the_answer

For the last year or so I have been developing a relationship with a Muslim co-worker. She regularly comes to my office to share her fears and frustrations. She has slowly come to trust me. Just as I know she is devout in adhering to her faith, she knows I am a faithful Christian. In some ways this has been a point of commonality between us. While our two faiths are vastly different from each other, they are both also vastly different from secular Western society and so in our own way, we are each a bit of an outcast here. I think this is part of what drew her to me; she can see that I dress and act differently than the world. What she does not yet realize, is that it is not me, but rather Christ drawing her to Him.winning muslims

I have desired and prayed for her to get a revelation of who Jesus is. At the same time, I have been careful to allow things to progress organically in our relationship. I am aware of many of the misconceptions that Muslims have about Christians (i.e. they think we worship more than one god) and because of this, straight preaching won’t work. Certainly Bible thumping won’t work. She needs to see Christ active in my life. She needs to see the love of Jesus poured out in my life. She needs to see that a true Christian will show care and concern to a Muslim.

A few years ago when I was witnessing to Buddhist friends, God told me to worry less about what to say and concern myself more with what not to say. Bashing someone else’s religion rarely works. We don’t need to disparage what someone else believes, but instead we just need to show Jesus. Live Jesus. And when necessary, speak Jesus. Rather than cutting down what someone else believes, just share what you believe. Share who He is in word and deed to anyone who is willing to listen.

This week, an amazing thing has happened between my Muslim co-worker and I. It may be considered somewhat controversial and no doubt not everyone will agree with my actions, but I believe that God has opened a door for her to feel His presence in a way that she would not otherwise be able to.

As a devout Muslim, my cmuslim girlo-worker must pray five times a day at certain times every day. Usually at least two of these times will occur during her working hours. Yesterday, she came to my office to ask me to open up the conference room for her so that she could do her prayers. When I went to unlock the conference room, I found that it was already occupied, as were some of the nearby offices. Realizing she had nowhere else to pray I offered to allow her to use my office and said that I would come back after she was done. She felt bad about making me leave my office so she said to me, “You could stay and pray with me if you want.” Perhaps she did not expect me to take her up on this highly unusual suggestion, but I have been praying for God to open a door for her to get to know Him. I saw this as God opening the door. So I said to her, “I’ll pray with you, but I’m going to pray to Jesus.” She responded by saying, “Okay, Mama (she uses mama as a term of endearment), you pray to Jesus.” So we did. Side by side, the Muslim praying to Allah and the Christian praying in the name of Jesus.

Never in my life did I expect to pray beside a Muslim like this, but God works in mysterious ways. The difference is that while she went through her rituals of different postures and preset phrases, I was praying for her salvation. I was praying for God to intercede in her life. I was praying for Jesus to reveal Himself to her.

Afterwards she told me that what had happened she could never tell her family, but that it was very special. Muslims will often pray by themselves, but consider it to be an added blessing to pray with other Muslims. Most would consider it a serious affront to Allah to allow a Christian to call on the name of Jesus in front of them during their sacred prayer times. What happened here was huge. Bigger than mere words can explain.

Again today we had the opportunity to pray together. Afterward she reiterated that her family could never know about this, and hinted to me not to let any of our co-workers know. Then with a smile she said she would see me again tomorrow before slipping out my office door. It is clear that while this may be slightly outside the comfort zone for me, it is downright radical for her. And yet, when I offered to leave her alone to pray, she again invited me to stay. God is doing something here.

When I say we prayed together, I use the word “together” very loosely. It is more like we are praying at the same time, rather than praying together. But it is my prayer that she will feel the difference. I’m praying she will feel a move of the spirit when we pray together that she has never felt when she prayed on her own. So while we may not exactly be praying together, I believe she can be influenced by the Christ-centered prayers going on right next to her.

I suppose it is somewhat like two people going to the same restaurant. They may arrive at the same time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be eating together. No, they are seated at different tables and they order different items off the menu. But if they are seated close enough together, perhaps one of the diners will catch the aroma of the other diner’s food. Perhaps, their mouth will start watering and they will find they have a hunger for the other diner’s meal, even while their own food sits in front of them. Perhaps, one day, they will venture out and order that inviting dish and find it so satisfying that they never go back to their old meal.

Dear Jesus,

I pray that you would get a hold of this woman’s heart. I pray that this door you have opened will allow her to develop a hunger to truly know You. Lord, I ask you to protect me and my co-worker from any traps the enemy may try to set for us through these interactions. May You always be the reason, hope, and purpose of all our endeavors. Thank you for your love and care for the lost and misguided sheep in this world. Teach us to be laborers to reach out to a lost and dying world. I love you.

Rebekah L.

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34 thoughts on “Praying with a Muslim

  1. Wow Rebekah…..your words are so obviously inspired by our Lord – Once we offer ourselves to him as an instrument he shows us the way and the words and presents the opportunity. I know that you’re much younger than me and so I also know that you’re wise beyond your years in terms of progress on your spiritual journey. I am blessed to have discovered your blog and the inspiration that comes from your words. You are doing God’s work lady and LIVING YOUR FAITH and I am so proud of you!!

    • Thank you for your kind comments. You’re right, God will present us opportunities to be used by Him if we’re open to them. I’m afraid I have probably missed more opportunities than I have obeyed, but thankfully He gives us second and third chances to be a part of His plan.

  2. Rebekah L, I was struck by 2 things in your post.
    First when witnessing, focus on what NOT to say. This is so useful.
    Second of course is your whole experience of praying together. I will be praying with you through this fragile reaching out. Surely God is with the 2 of you, no matter the outcome.
    Blessings

  3. I think what you did was Christ’s love in action and it was beautiful. I hope you will eventually see fruit from your actions and that she will come to the Lord and be saved untill than I will join you in praying for her. Thank you for stopping by my website and for praying for me. I so value being a christian and being able to lean on my brother and sisters for prayer even when I have not met them face to face

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog, and now I’m here visiting yours. I’m taking a class on our call to missions and discipleship, and our recent discussion was about going to meet the lost rather than expecting them to come to us. You are doing exactly that. I will be praying for you as you are in the heart of the mission field God chose for you!

  5. Reblogged this on clumsilyfollowingtheson and commented:
    This is an excellent example of allowing Christ to shine through you! Although I’m in Moldova most of the students here are from Central Asia and will return to their countries, to the Islamic culture, and try to show the Love of God to their neighbors, friends, and family. They will be missionaries in every sense of the word but we shouldn’t see mission work as something for the people who go into another country or have it as their life’s “calling”. Once we enter into the body of Christ we are called to be a missionary, to take part in the great commission, each in our own way, and this is a great example of taking your life and allowing God to use it in a way beyond what you could ever imagine possible.

    • Thank you so much for the reblog. I love your comments about how all of us in the body of Christ are called to be missionaries. That is so true; Jesus gave us the commandment to go and teach. I had noticed that we had a regular reader in Moldova, but I didn’t know anything about who it was. I’m excited to know now that it is you! I will be praying for you and the students that you are in contact with.

      • Thank you so much for your prayers!!! I always get excited when I have a random reader in a country other than Moldova or the US but I didn’t think about me being the one popping up as a reader in another country. That’s so neat!!! God Bless!!!

  6. This is so encouraging to me. I will be praying for you and your friend and for the work God is doing in both of your lives! It’s also so refreshing to see you taking the what not to say approach. So many people say all of the right things but their actions don’t match up and their actions and they do more harm than good. But when we are doing our best to do everything for the glory of the Lord his light can shine through and isn’t dimmed by everything pouring out of out mouth.

    • You are right that Christians often do more harm than good with the words they use. I’m trying to be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16) in my efforts for the Lord. Thank you so much for the prayers. I will also be praying for your work in Moldova.

  7. Pingback: Please help us pray | Prayer Works Cafe

  8. It’s a great thing you are doing – not so much praying with this lady – but being sensitive to the opportunity that God has presented before you! Praise God! He will work miracles and show his glory through you, all because you were sensitive enough to hear and obey! 🙂

    • I’m trying to be more sensitive to what He asks me to do. I have failed to listen and failed to obey more times than I care to admit. It’s amazing that he allows us flawed human beings to take part in His perfect plan. May God receive all the glory!

  9. I was really moved by this story, Rebekah. What a privilege you have been given! Trust is so sacred. And to make a connection that stretches through such a gulf as that which separates Islam from Christianity! You’re right. This is huge. I’m so happy for you. And you are handling it just right, with gentleness and care. This woman is walking into a holy ambush! Please don’t leave us hanging. I want to know what happens. 🙂

    • A holy ambush, I love that description! I pray that she will soften her heart to hear Him bidding her to come. Perhaps like Paul who was zealous for God but didn’t understand that Jesus was the Messiah, she too will have a Damascus Road experience and realize that Jesus is far more than a prophet, He is her Savior! I will post updates as things progress. 🙂

      • I think you found the button. Awesome, brother! What are the demographics of your Sunday school class? High school, adult?

        • Hi, I got a pretty large Sunday School going in my church. I guess our members are pretty productive! The kids range from toddlers (3 years) all the way to 12 years old. About 150 kids!

          That’s why in my profile I say my “normal” job is less interesting! hahaha!

  10. Such a beautiful story of God’s Love unfolding.
    Part of the scripture verse Exodus 14:13 comes to mind –
    “… stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, …”
    Watch and see the miracle He is performing and will continue to perform in this young woman’s life.
    It has already started.
    To God be the glory.
    Thank you for your encouraging “like” on my blog.

  11. Hi Rebekah L,
    Thanks for following my blog. I have been back to your blog several times too. I loved your post “Praying with a Muslim”. This is very special and unheard of. I like your analogy about your praying together “being like two diners sitting at separate tables, eating different food, where she might be sitting close enough to catch the aroma of your food.”
    It reminded me of a verse in 2 Corinthians 2:14.
    “Thanks be to God, who through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”
    May she through your knowledge of him catch the aroma of Jesus, an aroma for her that will bring life, and may she hunger for Him, the Bread from Heaven.
    Keep up the good work!

  12. Rebekah, this is BRILLIANT and so absolutely inspiring!! You are so bold in Christ! This just makes me want to run out and get everyone saved, lol! Thanks for teaching us all something today! 😀

    • Haha, we should all want to run out and get everyone saved. lol. In reality, I’m not a bold person at all. I’m quite timid and reserved most of the time so you speak rightly when you say bold in Christ because truly if I’ve done anything bold He is the one who gets all the credit! God bless you today!

  13. Pingback: Praying with a Muslim Part II – Friend of God | Being Rebekah

  14. Pingback: Reaching People with Love | Being Rebekah

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