Father God, we pray that you would reach down your hand from heaven and rescue the people in Tunisia from the enemy. Then all would say: ‘blessed is the people whose God is the LORD’. (Psalms 144:7,15)
The Kabyle people of Algeria are 5.5% evangelical, incredible! Pray for a bold witness from the believers in this people group to pour out into new and unsown regions of Algeria! Pray for increased recognition and freedom of this church inside of its Islamic state!
Lord we pray and ask for a small step of progress in the lives and ministry of the workers in Mauritania in this coming week. Whatever they need, You know, and we ask for movement, change, progress, breakthrough. In Jesus’ mighty and powerful name we pray, Amen!
This is the third instalment in our ongoing look at how prayer and church planting work together to see a Church Planting Movement (CPM) or Disciple Making Movement (DMM) emerge.
Last web post we looked at People of Peace (PoPs). DMM workers pray fervently that God will lead them to such people who are already seeking and open to meet with Jesus. As they pray, they try to sow widely (parable of the sower, Matt 13).They do this in the number of ways but the most fruitful practice I know is something we call “shema” statements, sometimes called fishing.
Shema is the Hebrew name for the prayer prayed from Deuteronomy 6:4. Verses 5-9 talk about the inward and outward way we should practice scripture. It is a blueprint for a lifestyle of teaching ourselves about God’s law and showing others around us that we love God.
When we are asked how much we pay for rent an example response of a Shema statement might be saying “Praise God that he has given us enough money for our needs. Do you feel like God is providing for your needs?” This will give us a good opportunity to see if the person is inclined to spiritual conversation or not.
A team mate of mine met a lady and from the first meeting she spoke about spiritual things. When this lady’s husband was out of work, we prayed with her and he found work 4 days later. When she had a miscarriage and couldn’t fall pregnant again, we prayed with her and that month she fell pregnant with twins and now she has 2 beautiful baby girls. Praying with friends and strangers is a great statement of our faith in God and shows His power to do miracles and be involved in our lives.
We often get used to living our faith privately because we come from highly individualistic cultures but how often is the message missed. The last thing we would want is for people to see the love of God in us and think “people from that country are nice.” It is important that people recognise us as spiritual people first and teachers, businesspeople, foreigners etc. second.
Shema is a lifestyle choice – living and talking in a way that makes it clear we are people of faith, and gives others a chance to respond so we can see whether they too are open to spiritual things. Before going out and living shema statements and actions we pray that God would lead us to the right people and then go and live our faith “out loud”.
How do people see you? Would they naturally recognise your relationship with the almighty? Could you pray about ways that God might show you to live out loud?
How to pray?
- Pray that workers in North Africa will be able to identify and develop ways of living their faith out loud so that people around them find out they are people of faith very easily.
- Pray for boldness and courage to keep fishing every day.
- Ask that People of Peace will respond to these “shema” or fishing statements, indicating they are interested to talk more about faith and spirituality.
- Pray that God will show you how to live your faith out loud.
Read more next week in our final post on this topic…
Heavenly Father, we stand against legalism in the church in Morocco today. We declare over the Church in Morocco that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom rather than law. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen!
On our team we’ve been trying to answer the question, “What’s it going to take to see a church planting movement in Morocco?” And the answer is meeting more people so we can find the right people, the ones that God is preparing. So our mantra is, “I’m a person of interest looking for a person of peace who will start a Discovery Bible Study in their network that will lead to a movement.”
Lately I’ve felt like there haven’t been many opportunities, but then an expat friend needed a procedure done at a clinic downtown, so I volunteered to go with her. In looking around the small waiting room crammed with 15-20 people, I quickly realized that everyone in the room was related to someone undergoing a similar procedure and that we were all going to be together for the next 2-3 hours. I thought, “God, please give me an opportunity to be bold for you.” God answered my prayer! I tried making eye contact, smiling, but nothing was working, so I made a phone call to a friend so they could hear me speak Arabic. Immediately all eyes in the room were on me, and three ladies started talking to me. I asked about the family member they were waiting for, and said, “God heal him in the name of Jesus the Messiah.”
Over the course of the next 3 hours, I got to tell them the Gold Thief story, answering their objections and proclaiming truth. And then they listened to the Creation story on my phone in Moroccan Arabic. I told them that the story came from a web site called www.asdika.org, and wrote the web site on the back of several of my business cards. A man sitting behind me spoke up and said, “Can I have one of your business cards?” I didn’t realize that he’d been listening, but it was obvious that the whole room was listening. So when the receptionist asked me about the web site, I unplugged the earphones from my phone and played the Creation Story for her (and the rest of the room).
The ladies who’d first listened to the story were curious about the web site, so I pulled up 1 Corinthians 13 in Moroccan Arabic on my phone, and one woman read the passage out loud. The woman sitting next to her said, “So if I go to this site I’ll be able to read beautiful things like this?” And I said, “Yes, the Injil is on this web site in Moroccan Arabic.”
Later there was a woman who was quite upset, because her father was one of the last to come out, and he’s been very sick, so I just sat down next to her, put my arm on her shoulder, gave her a Kleenex, and just listened. Then I told her to remember that in the Injil it says that God takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, and that we are more precious to God than birds and flowers and He will take care of us.
Seeds were sown that day in so many ways!
Lord, there are many ‘voices’ claiming to be the answer to the Libya’s problems and to take control over people and resources. Reveal yourself to the people as the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep in Jesus name we pray. (John 10:11)
In the year that King Uzziah died,I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LordAlmighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined!For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King ,the Lord Almighty.”
Pray for the body of Christ in Egypt!!
May the Lord touch His people and send them! Amen!
Break open your heart Tunisians, return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, patient, loving and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:13)