Monday, February 22, 2010

Pray for the Midwest Founders Conference & the Great Commission Task Force

I am preparing to travel to St. Louis tomorrow for the Midwest Founders Conference where I will join Ray Van Neste and Phil Newton in speaking on Pastoral Ministry. Unfortunately, Dr. John Thornbury has had to back out of speaking due to health issues (from which, I understand, he is recovering well). Though the temperatures are expected to be about 60ยบ colder than what I am leaving in SW Florida, the fellowship is always warm at this meeting. If you are in the St. Louis area, I encourage you to attend the conference or at least try to catch a session or two.

Please pray that the Lord will use this conference to strengthen to hands of pastors and to prosper the churches they serve.

Today is also the day that the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) is giving its report to the Executive Committee of the SBC. Ronnie Floyd, the Chairman of the GCRTF will be leading the way in setting forth observations and recommendations that have been formulated since last June. Contrary to earlier, speculative bloviating by the crowd of chronic naysayers, the GCRTF is making this report available to the churches well in advance of the June convention in Orlando. You should be able to access it online tonight around 10:30 PM Eastern time.

Pray for the Executive Committee meeting today. And pray particularly that every God-honoring, Christ-exalting, pride-killing, kingdom-focused recommendation that the task force proposes will resonate with Southern Baptists who are tired of the denominational status quo and who are longing to link arms to take the gospel to the nations.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Samuel Zwemer's prayer for Muslims

The following article is taken from Kairos Journal, an excellent online source of insight on a wide-ranging array of topics. I highly recommend it.

A Prayer for the Muslim World--Samuel Zwemer (1867-1952)

The great historian of Christian mission, Kenneth Scott Latourette, once said that no man deserved the title "The Apostle to Islam" more than Samuel Zwemer. The 13th of 15 children born to a Dutch Reformed immigrant family in Michigan, Zwemer gave his life to the evangelization of Muslim peoples. For 40 years he worked in Iraq, Bahrain, and Egypt. In his extensive travels throughout Asia, India, Africa, and North America he presented the needs of Muslims to Christians and the gospel of Christ to Muslims.

A plea for persistent prayer for Muslim peoples and lands was a constant theme in his public speaking and writing. [The following prayer is found in Samuel M. Zwemer, Islam and the Cross: Selections from "The Apostle to Islam," ed. Roger S. Greenway (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2002), 153-154.]

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who hast made of one blood all nations and hast promised that many shall come from the East and sit down with Abraham in thy kingdom: We pray for thy prodigal children in Muslim lands who are still afar off, that they may be brought nigh by the blood of Christ. Look upon them in pity, because they are ignorant of thy truth.

Take away pride of intellect and blindness of heart, and reveal to them the surpassing beauty and power of thy Son Jesus Christ. Convince them of their sin in rejecting the atonement of the only Savior. Give moral courage to those who love thee, that they may boldly confess thy name.

Hasten the day of religious freedom in Turkey, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa. Send forth reapers where the harvest is ripe, and faithful plowmen to break furrows in lands still neglected. May the tribes of Africa and Malaysia not fall prey to Islam but be won for Christ. Bless the ministry of healing in every hospital, and the ministry of love at every church and mission. May all Muslim children in mission schools be led to Christ and accept him as their personal Savior.

Strengthen converts, restore backsliders, and give all those who labor among Muslims the tenderness of Christ, so that bruised reeds may become pillars of his church, and smoking flaxwicks burning and shining lights. Make bare thine arm, O God, and show thy power. All our expectation is from thee.

Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son in the Muslim world, and fulfill through him the prayer of Abraham thy friend, "O, that Ishmael might live before thee." For Jesus’ sake. Amen.