Prayer To Be Taught To Pray With Understanding
How can followers of Christ best pray for Muslims?
Every Muslim is unique and wonderful in God's eyes. Followers of Jesus Christ should be careful not to generalize or presume that all Muslims are the same. Here are some important issues in understanding how to pray more effectively.
Every Muslim is someone whom God loves. Unfortunately, some Christians make the mistake of not praying for Muslims because of their own prejudices or fears.
- Let us begin in prayer by asking God to give us a heart filled with love and compassion towards Muslims.
- We also need to pray in faith and confidence that God will hear us and will move powerfully in answer to our prayers of love and compassion (John 14:12-14).
Muslims believe in the uniqueness of an all powerful and supreme Allah. Similar to Christians and Jews, Muslims believe that Allah is creative and eternal. Muslims also believe that Allah is unknowable and that it is impossible to ever really know him or have a relationship with him as a personal saviour. According to Islam, Allah holds himself apart from mankind.
- When praying for Muslims, pray that they will have a full revelation of the true God and His loving character (Hebrews 8:8-9).
The Muslim worldview is strongly influenced by an awareness of the supernatural and the presence of good and evil spirits known as jinn. Jinn are greatly feared and are often thought to be responsible for illnesses and misfortune.
Superstitions control many aspects of a Muslim's everyday life and often result in them living in constant fear.
This fear reveals a heart cry and desperate need that can only be met in the person and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray against the fear that influences many Muslims (1 John 4:18).
Galatians 4:22-25 tells us that Ishmael was born as a result of works resulting in slavery. Islam means submission, and a Muslim understands that he is a servant of Allah. While this is also a Biblical aspect of our relationship with God, it is incomplete. As Christians, through Jesus, we know that we move from being servants to becoming sons and daughters.
- Pray that Muslims will also understand that God desires for everyone to know Him as children and not as slaves (Galatians 4:7, Matthew 18:3).
Islam teaches that a person must do enough good deeds to outweigh the bad deeds in order to make it to paradise. Even then, there is no guarantee for a Muslim of salvation. As a result of this belief, it is difficult for many Muslims to fully understand the basis of forgiveness of sins. It is also difficult for Muslims to understand repentance.
Never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit as you pray for Muslims. Allow God to teach you how to pray and to share His heart with you concerning them.Vast numbers of Muslims have come to Christ as a result of supernatural encounters. Many have dreams and visions of Jesus. It is only God who can open blind eyes and soften hearts.
Only God can bring true conviction of sin and create new life (Romans 8:26, John 16:8).
To learn more about Islam, please see…
[ a question & answer overview for Christians ]
- WOMEN—How can female followers of Christ develop friendships with Muslim women? Answer
- Forgiveness of sin
- Good works
- Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
- Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.
- Do you understand God’s Story? Take a multimedia journey through the Bible, from Creation to eternity. Hear and read an exciting summary of the Bible’s most important records, in chronological order.
- ETERNAL FORGIVENESS OF SIN—Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer
- ISLAM vs. BIBLE—Why do many Muslims claim that the Bible is corrupt and untrustworthy? Answer
More resources on prayer for the Muslim world can be obtained from the following resources
30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus (used by permission). Edited by Paul S. Taylor. Supplied by Films for Christ. Copyright © 2001, 2009, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page that grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches and schools.
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Prayer series 1: what is prayer and why pray?
The life of any Believer is basically anchored on two things – his prayer life and his study life! These are the two things that any Christian should not joke with, but it is quite very unfortunate that this very important aspect of every Christian's life is actually poorly understood.
The problem then arises because if we do not understand the very purpose of a thing, we would find it extremely difficult to give ourselves fully to it. This then is how it is for some Christians with regards to prayer. Because we do not fully understand the concept of prayer, we therefore do not fully exercise ourselves in the act and art of prayer.
Therefore, we would start this Prayer Series by first understanding what prayer really is, and why we need to pray.
The common fallacy in the Christendom is the belief that everything that happens on earth is the will of God. Then I ask, “If everything happens according to God's will, that means that He does what He wants to do whether we pray or not. So then, we do we have to pray? Since God would still do what He wants to do!”.
But that's a lie! That everything that happens on earth is God's will is a lie the devil is using against the saints. Let's look at 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. I ask, “If everything that happens on earth is God's will, then why aren't everybody getting saved?”.
Jesus probably observed this fallacy and corrected it when He was teaching the model prayer. He said, “…pray…let Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). He was saying, “Look, God's will is done expressly in heaven but for it to be done on earth, you have to pray!”.
Now, why is this so? Why did Jesus say so? Because He understood the birth/origin of prayer. He understood how prayer came into existence.
Prayer came as a result of God's word. In the creation of man, God said, “let us make man in our image…and let them have dominion…over all the earth…” (Genesis 1:26). God said 'let them' (i.
e let man); He didn't say 'let us' (i.e let God and man). These were the two words that gave birth to prayer!
What then is Prayer, and why Pray?
Prayer can simply be seen as man giving God the licence to act on earth. Prayer is man using his authority to establish the will of God on earth. Therefore, man is essential to the manifestation of God's will on earth. We need to pray because when men stop praying, God stops acting on earth! (The church (you!) has to understand how important she is to God).
Jesus understood this, and that is why He is saying to us, “…men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1)From the creation, it can be observed throughout the Bible that there's nothing God has done on earth without involving man. Read through the book of Judges and you would clearly observe that. God kept on raising one judge after another.
Therefore, whatever is God's will for earth, He does through a man. For instance, when God came to Moses through a burning bush, He said, “…I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them”. At this point, Moses would have been , “Israel, rejoice, for your salvation has come.
God has come down to deliver you! Just a snap of the finger and you are out!”. But God continued, “And now come, I will send thee into Egypt” (Acts 7:34). I bet Moses would have been , 'Send me?'. The point is, when God wants to do a thing on earth (i.e God's will), He doesn't do it directly, He uses a man.So, if we relax and don't pray (exactly what the devil wants), things happen and we comfort ourselves saying, 'it's God's will' but no, they're not! We've got to pray and do God's will.Christ is the head of the church, and the church is the body of Christ.
Christ left His body (you) on earth [that is speaking physically now! Spiritually, He entered the Most Holy Place with His body] to carry out His will on earth. The earlier the church understands this, the better. So, you are the body of Christ, and you are here on earth so He can establish His will through you.
You indeed have to pray!Finally, know that whatever happens on earth that is not God's will is not God's fault but men's fault. Whatever happens in your life or around you that is not God's will is your fault. Get on your knees, for that is where we should be!ShalomFurther Reading:
Prayer Series 2: Does God Answer Prayer?
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Why Teaching Children to Pray is Importance
One of the most important jobs for a parent is to teach our children the skills they need to survive in this world. That responsibility is no more apparent than when our children reach an age where they can learn how to pray.
When we teach our children to pray, we introduce them to Jesus and plants the seeds for them to grow their personal relationship with God. We were given prayer as a way to communicate with Our Lord directly.
Teaching children to pray helps them to understand that God is always accessible and always there for them.
Growing Closer to God
In its simplest form, prayer is defined as “talking to God.” It is a personal process of opening our hearts to our Heavenly Father and bringing everything in our hearts to Him. Through the Apostle Paul, God asked us to pray. Prayer can be a powerful force for change in our lives, and the importance of doing it on a daily basis should be instilled in our children.
Communication is the foundation for success in any relationship. When we communicate openly and freely with each other, we learn to know each other as individuals. This principle also applies to our relationship with God. By talking to God, we can learn more about who He is and what plan He has for us.
We should teach our children about the need to read the Bible and to pray, both as a family unit and as an individual. It is through this action that we learn to live our lives with God as a part of it.
Benefits of Prayer
As Christians, we should never underestimate the power of our prayers.
Even when the tough times and challenges of life tempt us to question our faith, taking the time to pray each day will reinforce your faith as you face life’s obstacles. Your children will be watching you and learning from your example.
Teaching your kids how to pray, and letting them see and hear you praying for them, will grow to be the bedrock of their faith as they grow into adulthood.
As children mature through the years, so will their prayers. They will learn that there is power in the words of their prayers.
Just as Jesus healed the sick and bestowed on his disciples the authority to heal in His name, children can learn how the prayers of a righteous man can impact the world around them.
Praying and reading the Bible can begin the healing process when it is needed, can calm the fears and anxiety of a troubled heart, and reassure the soul that is seeking a relationship with God.
Teach Children the Art of Praying
We can begin teaching our children about prayer even before they can speak in coherent sentences. When we allow them to see us praying, and by including them in your prayers, we are showing children that praying is something important that adults do. As our children grow and are able to communicate verbally, they will learn to pray on their own over time.
Include your child in the ritual of prayer on a daily basis. Seeing you pray sets the example, and young children learn by example. Children need to know the importance of saying a prayer before a meal, as a part of their morning routine, and before they go to bed at night. Set this routine at a young age, and it will continue through adulthood.This doesn’t mean that once a child has reached his or her teen years that it is too late to teach them to pray. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is never too late to begin learning the importance of prayer.
There are numerous prayers for children that can be taught when the child is of an age to learn and understand them. There are books for children of all ages that can teach them the lessons of Jesus while entertaining them, as well.
Prayer Has a Purpose
It is important that our children understand that there is a purpose to prayer. Jesus frequently prayed during His life on Earth. He had a reason for doing so.
Our prayers are something that God deeply desires. But our prayers are not for His benefit; as a perfect Divine Being, God is complete in His power and knowledge.
Our prayers are for our benefit, and this is what we need to teach our children.
As our Creator, God already possesses a knowledge of each of us that is complete and perfect. It is we who are lacking in knowledge of Him. Through our prayers, we can gain a better understanding of God.
Whether our devotions are prayers of praise or thanksgiving, offering up our supplications is an acknowledgment of our own pettiness and insignificance when compared to God’s power and Divine greatness.
Prayer acknowledges our dependence on Him. When we pray our prayers of repentance, we take ownership of our sinful nature and open ourselves to experience God’s unending mercy. We force ourselves to recognize the difference between our needs and our wants with our prayers of petition.
Daily prayer can lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, and of God. Children can learn that prayers are not said on a daily basis for God’s sake but for our own.As parents, it is our responsibility to help our children understand that we must work to build a more complete relationship with God for ourselves.
Our lives will be filled with God’s goodness in return when we accept this responsibility.
Giving the Gift of Prayer
A simple fact of life is that we cannot give to others what we do not have to give. This holds true when it comes to the art of prayer. In order to bring Christ to our children and our families, we have to be filled with Christ ourselves.
The way to do this is through deep, meditative, repetitive prayer. This can be done at home and doesn’t have to take hours our day. It is a simple act that we can pass to our children through the smallest of effort. Yet the payoff, for our children and ourselves, can be beyond measure.
About the Author
Megan Dahle and her husband Travis own Discount Catholic Products located outside of Harrisburg, SD. Before this e-commerce adventure, she was an accountant. She enjoys coaching robotics for her daughters’ FLL teams and gardening. Megan s to emphasize prayer life and her blogging in hopes of giving reinforcement to live bravely as a Catholic.
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