May 29, 2019
As a pastor in the USA, I often pray for Muslims around the world. What about in my community?
There are an estimated 3.45 million Muslims living in the USA – about 1.1% of the total population. I discovered the mosque near my home in the northeastern USA when a fellow pastor organized a visit to its Friday service. The mosque leaders treated us as honored guests. They instructed us on proper protocol: which door to enter, where to put our shoes, where to sit as observers. After the service, the Imam and other leaders sat with us, served us chilled water and hot Moroccan tea, and answered our questions. They gave us the Qur’an in Arabic and English and invited us to return any time.
I realized Jesus wanted us to show hospitality to these Muslim newcomers. Another pastor and I decided to attend the mosque every Friday to try and be a bridge between our different communities and express the love and truth of Jesus through our friendship.
At first, our new Muslim friends were surprised. We answered their questions about why we were coming and asked how we could serve them. They said they needed a place for burials, so we helped them find a cemetery that would allow a Muslim section.
During Ramadan, the mosque hosts a dinner every evening at sunset which we attend. The men serve us first even though they have been fasting all day and we have not, but it’s no use arguing with their hospitality. That is who they are. My love for these men energizes my prayer for them.
To keep reading and see today’s prayer points, please purchase the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet (US$ 2.50).
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