Is it okay to pray for THAT?

muslim woman prayingThe Bible is chock full of cool prayers. You’ve got Jesus’s high priestly prayer, Mary’s seditious Magnificat, and Moses’s poignant, but futile, plea, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

One of my favorites is Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in I Kings 8, especially the part where he asks God to hear the prayer of non-Jews and “Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you. . . .”

We’d be smart to pirate that prayer and raise it up for Muslims everywhere.

When I said this in a Perspectives class recently, an attentive student pushed back, “Since the Quran is full of verses that instruct violence, should we really pray that God will hear and answer Muslims’ prayers?”

I suppose not all of them! You should definitely not ask God to do all I pray!

But this far we can easily, hopefully, heartily go: In the first few lines of the Quran, which faithful Muslims pray multiple times a day, God is asked, “It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path.”

That’s a prayer I can get behind, that I deeply desire God to answer. One that I suspect God wants to answer on a depth and at a scale that would stagger us.

Solomon puts no parameters on the foreigners’ prayers he asks God to hear and answer. I don’t think I’m that gutsy, but then I might not be as smart as him either!

I will go this far, though, “God, please hear our Muslim friends and enemies when they pray and ask you to show them the Straight Path.”

Will you pray that with me? May God answer in such a way that, “all the peoples of the earth may know His name and fear Him. . . .”

Shane BennettThis blog by Shane Bennett was posted in the February 5, 2021 edition of Missions Catalyst, a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Subscribe to Missions Catalyst. Shane Bennett has been connecting with Muslim immigrants in Europe for 15 years.

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