Over the last fifty years things have been changing amazingly in the Islamic World. This is the result of what has been labelled by some the “greatest prayer movement in the history of the world.” Some of the information in this post comes from the Joshua Project Website:
Islam directs the spiritual affairs of nearly a quarter of the world’s population. But something is happening today that is challenging the hold that Islam exercises over its adherents. Today, in 69 separate locations where Islam holds sway, new communities of Muslim-background followers of Christ are emerging. Each of these movements has seen at least 1,000 baptised believers and at least 100 new worshipping fellowships, all of whom have come to Christ over the past two decades. In some countries the communities have grown to number tens of thousands of new Muslim-background followers of Christ.
The first Muslim movements to Christ did not occur until the 19th century, more than 1200 years after Islam began. These two movements were followed by a further 11 Muslim movements to Christ in the late 20th century. But something now is happening. In the first 12 years of the 21st century, there have already seen at least 69 new Muslim movements to Christ! In other words, while for nearly 1400 years there was stagnation and little movement in the conversion of Muslims to Christ, this last fifty years things have started changing, and the last 15 years have especially seen great things start to catalyse.
Why the sudden explosion of Muslim movements to Christ? There are a number of suggested reasons including these. Firstly, the Scriptures have only recently become available in heart language of many Muslim people groups. Secondly, fervent prayer has been the first and primary strategy for virtually every new initiative into the Muslim world. Thirdly, the Holy Spirit has been visiting Muslims through dreams, visions, and answered prayers in the name of Jesus. This is actually an answer to the fervent prayers just mentioned. Fourthly, there has been a deliberate removing of cultural baggage from the Gospel and presenting it in a clear and contextually appropriate way. Finally, there is disillusionment with Muslim extremism and violence. Terrorism has opened the way for the gospel.
Of all the above five things, the second is the most remarkable because it has provided the real segue for change. The other things are both answers to the prayers, and also methods that God is using to answer prayer.
One prayer project has stood out as specifically a real key, and this was the 30 Days of Prayer project which commenced in 1993. This movement has been taken up by hundreds of thousands of churches, and millions of Christians pray each year for 30 days for the salvation of Muslims. This prayer coincides with Ramadan, the month of fasting all Muslims are required to participate in as part of their religion. Christians however are fasting and praying for them that they will have a revelation of Christ. Is it any wonder that huge numbers of Muslims are now starting to find Christ.
One things that seems obvious is that concerted prayer changes things. It’s not always instant, but takes the course of time, but has profound effects. Each believer needs to find themselves a life of prayer which includes things like the 30 Day of prayer, but also many other things which are on the heart of God.