One of Smyrna’s ministry partners in Turkey, a church planter and evangelist, is witnessing a harvest of Muslims who are deciding to follow Jesus, even when it often means the loss of family, home and earthly possessions.
It is difficult for western Christians to fully grasp the social and family consequences for those turning toward the truth of Christ in countries where Islam dominates every facet of life. A typical story comes from our partner in Turkey, Engin, who recently spoke after church with a young man.
Engin was trying to get to know the young man better and become a friend, but the young man was hesitant and guarded. So Engin started praying for him regularly and silently in the middle of conversations. Suddenly, the young man told Engin that he has been considering becoming a Christian, but that he has some fears. He said that if he puts his trust in Jesus, his family may disown him.
This is the very thing that happened to Engin himself some years ago, when he first became a Christian. What Engin feared came true. Many of his family members stopped speaking with him — and still refuse to do so. While gaining a multitude of family in Christ is indeed joyful, there is no denying the pain of losing the fellowship of biological relatives.
Engin encouraged the young man not to be afraid of rejection, sharing with him that we cannot compare any trouble we may face for the sake of Jesus. He asks for prayer for this young man and for the many others who have a newfound trust in Christ Jesus to grow strong Gospel-grounded roots.
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” — Mark 16:15
1/25 — Ask God to soften the hearts of Muslims in Turkey to whom our partner ministers. Pray that His Holy Spirit will open their eyes to the truth about God’s Son.
1/26 — Ask God to give Turkish believers kind words and listening ears as they interact with their Muslim friends. Pray for their actions and speech to reflect God’s sure promises of eternal life and inheritance with Christ.
1/27— Ask the Lord to reveal to Muslim-background believers the lies and distortions they believed in Islam and replace those with the truth of who God is and what His Word says.
1/28 — Pray that Turkish Christians would be purposeful to quiet their hearts before God and spend time in His word. Pray for their courageous witness before Muslims.
1/29 — Pray for the salvation of the young man with whom Engin is praying and speaking. Ask God to bolster his faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and open his eyes to Truth.
1/30 — Pray for a turning of the tide of Islam in Turkey.
1/31 — Pray for continued encouragement, strength and energy for our partner, Engin and his wife Nurçan, ministering in Turkey. Ask God to give them insight as they disciple new Christians. Ask God to be their source of continual rest and refreshment