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Samuel M. Zwemer (1867-1952), Hope College graduate, Princeton professor, RCA minister and “The Apostle to Islam,” prayed for the Muslim world like this:

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who hast made of one blood all nations and hast promised that many shall come from the East and sit down with Abraham in thy kingdom: We pray for thy prodigal children in Muslim lands who are still afar off, that they may be brought nigh by the blood of Christ. Look upon them in pity, because they are ignorant of thy truth.

Take away pride of intellect and blindness of heart, and reveal to them the surpassing beauty and power of thy Son Jesus Christ. Convince them of their sin in rejecting the atonement of the only Savior. Give moral courage to those who love thee, that they may boldly confess thy name.

Hasten the day of religious freedom in Turkey, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa. Send forth reapers where the harvest is ripe, and faithful plowmen to break furrows in lands still neglected. May the tribes of Africa and Malaysia not fall prey to Islam but be won for Christ. Bless the ministry of healing in every hospital, and the ministry of love at every church and mission. May all Muslim children in mission schools be led to Christ and accept him as their personal Savior.

Strengthen converts, restore backsliders, and give all those who labor among Muslims the tenderness of Christ, so that bruised reeds may become pillars of his church, and smoking flaxwicks burning and shining lights. Make bare thine arm, O God, and show thy power. All our expectation is from thee.

Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son in the Muslim world, and fulfill through him the prayer of Abraham thy friend, “O, that Ishmael might live before thee.” For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Surely this prayer from 1923 is worth praying every bit as much now as then. It’s amazing how the needs and challenges are still the same generations after Zwemer’s prayer.

The paragraphs above, as well as other writings from Zwemer, can be found in Islam and the Cross: Selections from “The Apostle to Islam” edited by Roger Greenway.


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7 thoughts on “A Prayer for Muslim Lands”

  1. Paul Janssen says:

    …..and a graduate if New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Why leave that out?

  2. L. Westerlund says:

    Such a good prayer, in so many ways, and one still right and true. And yet…. while the resemblances are startling, the differences are more so. In 1923 Islam was not on a global march of military might and terrorist tactics with the expressed aim of conquering the world.

  3. anaquaduck says:

    A prayer for the gospel and something the Apostle Paul could appreciate deeply having once persecuted followers of Christ. Isa 53:6

  4. Irene Belyeu says:

    I want to read the book mentioned above.. I also recommend the book: REACHING FOR THE WORLD, REVEALING JESUS AS THE MESSIAH IN THE KORAN, by Evangelist Jeremiah Cummings. If ever there was a time to pray for the Muslims, it is now!

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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