This came in the Ramadan prayer guide that I’ve posting over at Prayers for IMB. Not all of us live near a significant Muslim population, but some voices readers do. If you do not, please take time today to pray for those who are actively engaging Muslims with the gospel. This article may be geared towards sharing your faith with Muslims, but the concepts can be applied to any evangelistic opportunity. This article is reprinted with permission.
- Share your testimony A couple things to keep in mind, do not glorify your sinful life. “Amazing” testimonies about deliverance from addictions and immorality will not usually be effective with Muslims. In fact, they may be offensive. Instead, your testimony is an opportunity to tell how God is working in your life. You may want to start the story in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14, Jer.1:5). Acknowledge the fact that God has been pursuing you from birth. Be sure to emphasize the peace you have with God because of the assurance of your sin being forgiven. Speak about being with Him one day in heaven. Muslims have no assurance of salvation and often are terrified of the Day of Judgment. You confidence in approaching the throne of grace will be refreshing to many Muslims.
- Find God at work in the lives of Muslims Be assured that God working in their lives. The same goes for aspects of Muslim culture genuinely approved of by God. For example, when they are hospitable, demonstrate care for parents, concern for poor, or seem faithful in their prayers, tell them you thank God for placing this desire in them. You can say, “I find these parts of your life to reflect God’s character and would like to take a minute and thank God for what He’s doing in your life.” Then pray for them! Or you could say something like “I see in every way you are very religious” (Acts 17). Don’t let what radicals are doing in the name of Islam keep you from seeing good in individual Muslim friends. Give God credit where credit is due.
- Pray for your Muslim Friend Yes, you can pray in Jesus name. I have known Muslims for 15 years and to this date I have never had a Muslim refuse prayer or take offense that I pray in the name of Jesus. Did you ever consider that your prayers are sacred space and that by inviting a Muslim in they get to meet God in a way that they have probably never done before. You may find that your Muslim friend will begin coming to you with prayer requests. Do not say I will pray for you and send them on, pray right then and there. Before they leave your home, pray for them. Before you leave their home, pray for them. Ask the Lord to give them dreams and visions and to guide them to the truth. I cannot overstate the importance praying with your Muslim friends. If you don’t, the assumption will be that you probably do not pray at all.
- Talk about Jesus Muslims like to talk about Jesus. He is mentioned numerous times in the Qur’an. Try to develop the skill of bringing conversations back to Jesus and do not become sidetracked with lesser things (al-Qaeda, ISIS, 9/11, wars, nationalism, Israel or another other political ideology for that matter). Resolve to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2). Believing in Jesus is the only sufficient stumbling block to Muslims following Him. You do not need to speak about Muhammad or Islam. There is no need to make Islam the Qur’an or Muhammad look bad for Jesus to look good. Jesus looks great all on his own. If you have other stumbling blocks between you and Muslims knowing Jesus, ask the Lord to remove them. If you have fear about speaking to Muslims about Jesus, ask the Lord to remove them.
- Share Bible stories early and often. Muslims must believe in parts of the Bible. Memorize a few stories and share them as early and often as possible. I try and share a story about Jesus the first time I meet with the Muslim. It’s what they expect from a person who loves God. Typically, Muslim immigrants are struggling with anxieties of leaving home. I like to share the story of Jesus calming the sea. I emphasize that Jesus has power over all things. He has the ability to bring peace in the midst of chaos. Regularly share stories about Jesus that cause your Muslim friend to ask, “Who is this Jesus”? Think of all the times people asked that question in the New Testament, including the disciples. The question is not about the identity of Jesus but the essence. Who is this man that controls nature and forgives sin?
- Minister to human need. Muslims need to see you practice your faith. In the Muslim worldview faith without works is dead. A man of God will demonstrate his love for God through good deeds. Read the Sermon on the Mount and then strive to do these things (Matt 5:24): Love your enemies, don’t retaliate, don’t hate, don’t lust, don’t be materialistic; fast, pray, give to the poor, be pure of heart, be a peacemaker, and when you fail, share with your Muslim friend how you still have peace with God because of the work of Christ! Too often we misunderstand scripture verses about doing things in secret so not to be like the hypocrites. You may want to consider asking a Muslim to join you in serving human needs. Imagine the conversations you could have about Jesus when you ask you Muslim friend to join you in serving the poor.
- Trust the Holy Spirit. Take comfort in knowing that you will never convert a single soul. You are called to witness about the goodness of God in your life. The Holy Spirit has the job of convicting the world of sin and drawing people to Himself. You are the medium through whom Christ makes Himself known. You will never convince anyone to follow Jesus, believe in His divinity or accept the Trinity. It was only after walking with Jesus for two years that Peter finally got it, “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God”– something that God the Father revealed to him. Walk with Muslims in daily life, demonstrate the love and power of God, share your successes/failures and trust that the Holy Spirit will remove the scales from their eyes as they meet Christ in you!