Pray For Saeed

It’s Switch-up week here, with Mission Monday coming on a Wednesday. You can thank April Fool’s Day for that.

But today is serious. There is an American pastor from Boise, Idaho, who is unjustly imprisoned in Iran. His name is Saeed Abidini. He was in Iran helping to establish orphanages when he was arrested and charged with trying to convert Muslims. Saeed was once a Muslim, and the case was charged because of this. He escaped the death penalty, but he has a long sentence in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons.

Saeed with his children

Many people have rallied to his cause. There is a website called Save Saeed that is the focal point. He has been featured on the national radio network Air1. The ACLJ is fighting for him, and you can sign a petition on his behalf here. Secretary of State John Kerry has made personal appeals for his release. It is heartening to see the response on behalf of our brother.

My friend Brian Harrison, a pastor in Boise, wrote a letter this week to friends and supporters about Saeed’s case. Brian writes about a prayer service he participated in on behalf of Saeed:

As we prayed that day I felt like the Lord showed me that there was a tremendous opportunity to begin to pray for Iran and indeed for all Muslims of the world. The reason was that Saeed has written to his family that he forgives his captors. This means that he is blessing those who curse him and in so doing I felt that the Lord showed me that a door of opportunity was being opened through Saeed’s suffering and prayers of forgiveness. If God’s people would concentrate prayer on Iran, I believe that we would see a great move of God in that country and a shift in the political climate. I strongly believe that God intends to move powerfully among the Muslims of the world and prayer is the first step in partnering with God in this endeavor. 

To this end, Brian and his wife Suzanne have committed to praying for Saeed, Iran, and the Muslim world for 50 days starting on April 1st, until the day of Pentecost. I’ve participated in the 30 Days Of Prayer for the Muslim world before that coincides with Ramadan, and it is always a powerful time of intercession. I wanted to get the word out about this vision Brian has and encourage people to join in prayer in this strategic time.

Saeed has a wife and young kids waiting for him in Boise, and we want to see him released, for justice to be done, and for him to be restored to his family. Can we join in prayer and believe for even greater things? To see spiritual freedom come to millions in the Muslim world?

Join me as I join with Brian and Suzanne in this prayer burden for the next 48 days. We can add our prayers with people around the world for all of those in bondage, whether physical or spiritual. Let’s do this saints!

Muslim Prayer Focus

This week marks the beginning of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Islam. It is one of their holiest times of the year. As such, they fast from sun-up to sunset, spending time seeking Allah during the day and breaking fast at dusk with feasting.

The last 15 years has seen a coordinated effort by Christians to pray strategically for Muslims around the world during this time. This is the 16th edition of the effort, which has a worldwide reach.

We know that the conflict between the world of Islam and the West is a huge issue with lots of complexity and challenges. I encourage everyone to look into this material and participate with the prayers of thousands of Christians during this time. It has always been an insightful time of learning and blessing for my wife and I as we treat the prayer booklet as a nightly devotion.

You can get involved in a couple of ways. World Christian Books publishes a handy prayer booklet that gives you information on Islam and daily topics to pray through. You can still get one in time to start if you order right away! They even have a kids version of the booklet to do as a family. I’ve ordered this for the first time to do with my boys.

If you don’t want a booklet or have time to order, then there is an online reference you can use as well. It looks to have deeper information than what was put in the booklet.

Finally, in the materials I received with our booklets (our church participates in it), it had an advertisement for The Crescent Project, a ministry that strives to educate the North American church about Islam and equips us to reach our Muslim neighbors. There is a $35 online seminar that can be done through this group. I haven’t done this yet, but I think I will. I will report back on this if I do. This looks like a good resource for anyone with a heart regarding this matter.

As the church, we all have an opportunity to do something for the gospel to shine in such dark times and regions. We may not be called to go (although be honest, when was the last time we asked?) but we can intercede for Jesus’ light to be revealed and freedom proclaimed to the captives. Please take a look at this material further over the next month.

Muslim Prayer Focus

This week marks the beginning of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Islam. It is one of their holiest times of the year. As such, they fast from sun-up to sunset, spending time seeking Allah during the day and breaking fast at dusk with feasting.

The last 15 years has seen a coordinated effort by Christians to pray strategically for Muslims around the world during this time. This is the 16th edition of the effort, which has a worldwide reach.

We know that the conflict between the world of Islam and the West is a huge issue with lots of complexity and challenges. I encourage everyone to look into this material and participate with the prayers of thousands of Christians during this time. It has always been an insightful time of learning and blessing for my wife and I as we treat the prayer booklet as a nightly devotion.

You can get involved in a couple of ways. World Christian Books publishes a handy prayer booklet that gives you information on Islam and daily topics to pray through. You can still get one in time to start if you order right away! They even have a kids version of the booklet to do as a family. I’ve ordered this for the first time to do with my boys.

If you don’t want a booklet or have time to order, then there is an online reference you can use as well. It looks to have deeper information than what was put in the booklet.

Finally, in the materials I received with our booklets (our church participates in it), it had an advertisement for The Crescent Project, a ministry that strives to educate the North American church about Islam and equips us to reach our Muslim neighbors. There is a $35 online seminar that can be done through this group. I haven’t done this yet, but I think I will. I will report back on this if I do. This looks like a good resource for anyone with a heart regarding this matter.

As the church, we all have an opportunity to do something for the gospel to shine in such dark times and regions. We may not be called to go (although be honest, when was the last time we asked?) but we can intercede for Jesus’ light to be revealed and freedom proclaimed to the captives. Please take a look at this material further over the next month.