With our last evening in Cairo, I was invited to pray with the Church leaders of the evangelism conference we had been a part of. We gathered in a small class room on the top floor of the Church. The windows were thickly covered because of the surrounding Muslim neighborhood. As we greeted one another, we enjoyed a time of praise reports from the conference.
When it came time to pray. They asked me to pray specifically over the church leaders as they were to begin their follow up work of those who had responded to the gospel that week. When we began our prayer time…so did the mosque, which was a few yards from the church. At full volume using 4-6 loud speakers on top of the Mosque’s tower, they began their evening prayers and Quran readings. If you’ve ever been to the Middle East, then you are familiar with what I’m talking about. Multiple times a day (and night, even 4am) they read from the Quran on loud speakers for each section of the city.
Now being from the South in the United States, I’m not used to hearing Muslims pray on loud speakers while I’m worshipping or praying! So I found it tough to concentrate on what we were doing with the speakers blasting just a few yards from us. I could the tell the church leaders were a bit embarrassed by our prayer time being so loudly interrupted.
All of a sudden, I remembered a similar story that happened to the first American missionary, Adoniram Judson. He went to the small country of Burma in the early 1800’s to spread the gospel and was met with a great deal of resistance. He tells the story of how one day his thoughts on God seemed to be dwarfed by the loudness of the Buddhists temples. As I recalled in my heart what he said, I thought I would pray that same prayer he prayed so long ago and bring encouragement to these church leaders.
When it came my turn to pray aloud, I said, “Father, as I hear the loud speakers from these Mosque, I know there is a voice mightier than the voice of Islam.” Immediately I heard “Amen” and “Hallelujah” after it was translated into Arabic. I continued, “And that mighty, strong voice, is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.” Then I came even stronger “Amen’s” and “Hallelujah’s”!
Yes! His voice is stronger! How greatly we should depend on the Holy Spirit in these last days! How desperately the Church needs to see the Holy Spirit (not as a doctrine) but as God! We need to see Him as the Comforter sent by the Father. As the One who will lead us into all truth, and as that precious part of the Godhead who leads us to repentance! Oh that we would listen for His voice!
And just to let you know what happened to Adoniram…when he and his wife, Ann, arrived in Burma in the late 1700’s, Christianity was illegal. There were not any known or registered Christians in the nation. He labored in Burma for 40 years and translated the first Bible into the Burmese language. Before his death, there were (legally) registered 300,000 Christians in Burma and to this very day, the Bible he translated is the only Bible in the Burmese language!
So the point is, whether it’s the 1800’s or the new millennium, God still has a remnant! He has a people that faithfully serve Him and passionately preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you take a moment and pray for churches around the world? Will you pray for church leaders who risk their lives daily to proclaim the Gospel we love? Also, pray for the missionaries that have walked away from the affluent American lifestyle to live in unfamiliar surroundings and in many cases, raise their families in different cultures. Pray for them and give thanks to the Lord for His faithful servants. “…How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.” Romans 10:15