I was reminded today that Prayer Movements precede Muslim People Movements to Christ.
David Garrison in his outstanding book, A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is drawing Muslims around the world to faith in Jesus Christ, points out that in the first twelve centuries of Islam, there were few voluntary conversations to Christ. Only at the end of the 19th century, what is known as the “Great Century of Protestant Missions,” did two voluntary movements of Muslims to Christ starting gain momentum, one in Indonesia and one in Ethiopia; these continued to bear fruit into the early part of the 20th century. In 1965 around two million Indonesians voluntarily entered the Church. And in the final two decades of the 20th century, there were eleven people movements of Muslims to Christ. By the way, Garrison defines a people movement defined as 1,000 baptisms over 20 years. So by the end of the 20th Century Garrison documents just 13 people movements of Muslim Peoples to Christ since Mohammed.
But in the first twelve years of the 21th Century, Garrison documents 69 additional people movements of Muslims taking place in Africa and Asia. Something unprecedented is happening here.
My colleagues also pointed out that the Ramadan Prayer Movement for Muslim People groups started in 1993. Other significant prayer movements focused on Muslims also emerged in the 1990s. Is it coincidental Prayer Movements focused on Muslims precede People Movements of Muslims to Christ? Unlikely. Prayer is not the only factor that accounts tens of thousands of Muslims turning to Christ (Garrison, for example, brings out other important factors), but it is significant.
Focused prayer for Muslims makes a difference. This is why I have encouraged people in earlier blogs to join in the Ramadan Prayer focus for Muslims, which starts today! For related resources see: http://www.30daysprayer.com/ and ramadanmillion.wordpress.com, which seeks 1,000,000 prayers for the country of Turkey during the month of Ramadan.