Tag Archives: prayer

The man in the dream

Some months ago a young woman from Iran named Hamideh became a follower of Jesus.  She wanted to be baptized in water as an expression of her new faith in Jesus. Her husband Kambiz attended the baptism as a courtesy, but he did not believe as his wife did.

Kambiz showed no interest in spiritual things until there was concern during Hamideh’s delivery of their baby. During the wee hours of that night when Hamideh was having difficulties in labor, Kambiz prayed to Allah, Ali, Hussein, and Muhammad and nothing happened. But then he saw nurses pray for his wife in Jesus’ name and Hamideh’s strength returned and she was able to deliver their baby 10 minutes later.  This began his interest in finding out why this prayer in the name of Jesus was effective.  He grew up in a religious Muslim family from Iran.

Months went by.  Kambiz and Hamideh accepted an invitation from Christian neighbors, Brian and Kathy, to a special service at their church. During the service, Kambiz leaned over to Brian and whispered that he wanted to be baptized just as Hamideh had been. Brian and Kathy were very surprised.  They followed up to find out what had happened between Good Friday (the day when Christians remember the death of Jesus Christ) and this Sunday in the church service. On Good Friday, Kambiz had walked away from the service with lots of questions, such as, “How could Jesus be God if he was praying to God on the cross?”

Brian and Kathy answered some of his questions, but they could tell Kambiz still had doubts, so they encouraged Kambiz to pray daily and ask God to show him the truth about Jesus.  He said he remembered to pray that several times, but became busy with his final days of graduate program.  One evening, Kambiz drifted off to sleep while worrying about his need to find a full-time job in a few weeks’ time.  If he didn’t find a job fast, he would have to return to Iran.

In the middle of the night, he had a dream.  In the dream, someone spoke to him and said, “Don’t worry. I will take care of you.”  Kambiz asked to whom he was speaking and these words came back to him, “I Am that I Am.”  The man in his dream spoke to him in his Persian language.  Kambiz was confused by the answer.  He had never heard those words before. In the morning, however, he did not remember the dream.

Several days passed when he had another dream.  This time, in his dream, the person spoke to him and asked him how he was.  After they chatted (again in Farsi), Kambiz asked him who he was and he answered the same way as the previous dream: “I Am that I Am”.  When Kambiz woke up, he not only remembered his dream, but he recalled his first dream.  He went and asked Hamideh who is “I Am that I Am”?

Hamideh replied, “He is Jesus.”

Kambiz asked for Jesus to reveal Himself once more.  Then, on that Sunday, Kambiz went to the church service, but was not following the song because he found it was too difficult to understand.  However, right in the middle of the song, he heard these words ring out clearly, “I Am that I Am.”  At that point, Kambiz felt that God was speaking to him and he believed that Jesus is alive, that He is God, and that He died on the cross for his sins.

With tears in his eyes, Kambiz told Brian and Kathy that Jesus spoke with him in Persian and when He called Himself “I Am that I Am” it meant that Jesus had always been and always will be!  Kambiz put his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He said, “I know Jesus is alive!” He asked to be baptized. And surely there is much rejoicing in heaven over this new member of the family of God.

On the following Monday, Kambiz was offered a full-time position at a job.  Jesus had indeed taken care of him.

This true story (names changed) took place in a city in the USA. This is why our ministry is called “Near Frontiers.”  And this story has taken you on another #NearFrontiersTREK to the mission frontier that is near. If you would like to explore a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, please email us at doorbell@nearfrontiers.org.

Photo credit:  WP Image Smart

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Invite Muslims to pray to Jesus for answers

Here is a recent encounter by one of our U.S. workers:

 womanLast Wednesday, I just happened to meet Aisha*, my Muslim friend, in the parking lot of the apartments when I was out walking with our grandson.  I invited her to join me on my walk, but she responded that she was very hungry and needed to eat something.  I said, “You could come over and eat at our house. I have some chicken macaroni soup that I could warm up for you.” She immediately said yes that she would like that and we walked together to our apartment.  Over the soup, we discussed her feelings of depression because someone had argued his atheistic views with her and shaken her already feeble faith.  She has been a Muslim all her life, but is now against all religions.  She does, however still believe in God.

After eating she asked me if we could take our walk.  During our walk she turned to me and said, “I remember one time seven or eight years ago, I was walking and looking down when a woman approached me.  She said, “If you want your prayers answered ask Jesus and He will answer your prayers.”  Aisha responded to her, “Why should I pray to Jesus when I can pray to Muhammad?”  She responded with a smile, “All the prophets are good, but if you want your prayers answered ask Jesus.”’  Aisha looked at me and said, “I still remember her face.  She wasn’t like a normal human.  No matter what I said she smiled and spoke gently to me.  I think she might not have been human.”  I told Aisha, “God does send His angels and she could have been an angel, but remember this.  God was reaching out to you even eight years ago and there are probably other times He has tried.”  (She had told me that God had never reached out to her in her fifteen years of searching for Him).

Later she said, “Can you see how sad I am?  I need hope.”  I shared how Jesus wants to fill her with His hope, joy and peace and that all she needs to do is to call out to Him.  She said, “Yes, I think I need to do that.”  We had a good talk and she told me she wanted to join me at church on Sunday.

Aisha came to the church service.  She had me promise to secrecy.   As Aisha and I walked into the church, she said, “I tried to go to church in my country, but I could not.”  “Was that because you were a Muslim?” I asked.  She said that it was.  Since her home country is an Islamic State everyone that is born there is automatically a Muslim. Of course, that does not include those born to Christians.  However, if you are born into a Muslim family, you have no choice.  You are Muslim.  Aisha is on a journey and longs for a relationship with God.

Tweet This  Invite Muslims to pray to Jesus if they want answers. #NearFrontiersTREK

*name has been changed
(Photo credit: dailystar.co.uk)


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My visit to a mission prayer cell

prayer living roomOn a rainy evening recently I joined a potluck and prayer meeting held in a home in an American city. I arrived on time and thought the date must have been changed because I was the only guest. But over the next 30 minutes some singles and couples arrived. Food gradually appeared and was set on the dining table.

The host prayed for the meal and invited us to get dinner. Some of the food was of an ethnic variety. Some was simple, like crackers and cheese. We sat around the living room and chatted while eating.

Then the host read a psalm, and invited each person to share an update or prayer request. Since there were by now over 20 people in the circle, the sharing took some time. We paused after every three or four people to pray for the needs that were shared.

Tweet This  Mission prayer cells like this are held in cities around the U.S. That’s encouraging! #NearFrontiersTREK

The unique thing about this group is that they all had a common burden for a particular unreached people group living in their area. Some of them worked or volunteered with a resettlement agency. Others worked with different agencies or churches.  A few had decades of experience with this people group overseas; others were very new to this ministry.

prayer meeting inviteI was amazed and encouraged by how many people from this people group they knew by name. Several had met the same people. One young wife had pharmacy training and asked us to pray for a day of free immunizations coming up. Two single women were trained in midwifery and had a house where they served women in this community.

Some wild dreams for ministry were shared. One was the vision of raising enough money for a church or agency to purchase an entire apartment complex to provide affordable housing for refugees who, despite working, are being priced out of the market. Another idea was to supply camel milk because it is a traditional (but unavailable) part of the diet of this group.

Do you know of a group like this in your city?

Tweet This  You could start such a mission prayer cell with your friends. Become a #John4activist. http://www.nearfrontiers.org/?p=297


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7 Reasons your Christian community needs a mission focus

By “mission focus” I simply mean an intentional and continual emphasis on bringing the message and life of Jesus to those who do not yet know Him.

  1. A mission focus keeps you connected to God’s heart of love for all people.
  2. A mission focus raises awareness of people around you who need Christ.
  3. A mission focus connects you to brothers and sisters worldwide who need your prayers.
  4. A mission focus prevents your group from becoming overly focused on members’ needs.
  5. A mission focus expands your prayer life to include God’s plan for the nations.
  6. A mission focus enables your group to see current events through the lens of the Great Commission (Mt. 28)
  7. A mission focus enlivens your own faith and appreciation for your salvation.

Tweet This  7 Reasons your Christian community needs a mission focus.

Here is a written prayer you may want to use in praying about the immigrant crisis today.

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Refugee Hemorrhage (a prayer)

definition: hemorrhage = an escape of blood from a blood vessel, especially when profuse.

“Look among the nations and watch. Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.” (Habakkuk 1:5)

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27)

suriye-syria-refugeeIn light of the unprecedented refugee crisis of these days, due to the war in Syria, I have written this prayer of lament.

Violence! Cry violence!

Brother against brother, king against people. Syria ruptured, her families bleeding into nations unknown and unwelcoming.

I see from a distance that we, the human family are in a time unprecedented. If God determines boundaries, and the times appointed for people to dwell in them, then He is surely doing something never imagined. How, O Lord, should your people pray? How does the gospel instruct us?

Jesus wept with Mary and Martha at the death of a friend. Jesus agonized in Gethsemane, pouring out His heart, even throwing himself down, for violence and treachery were near.

I join in that prayer so sad. I lament the violence brought upon families — yes, Muslim in culture and belief — yet members of God’s creation, made in His image and loved. The evils of power, prestige, greed and hatred have consorted together in demonic violence, have disregarded the desire of dads and moms to raise their children and care for their aging parents in peace. Evils have conspired to kill and destroy. What sadness!

How long, how wide, O Lord, will the blood spill out? When will the masses grow weary of fleeing, of drowning, of being herded into camps?

Only You, O God, can redeem something from this tragedy. Only You can balance judgment on evil and falsehood, with mercy and truth. My lament is not hopeless. It is not despair. But may my sadness be of some worth, of some sympathy with refugees I will never meet. And may a brother in a distant land meet them, and give a cup of cool water in Jesus’ name to help their thirst.

Tweet This  Here is a prayer of lament over today’s refugee crisis.


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Timely friendship with pregnant Iraqi mom

20150810_171240Cross-cultural friendships can go really deep, really fast.  Just two days ago, one of my colleagues here in the U.S. met a pregnant mom from Iraq. Her new Iraqi friend is due in two weeks. When asked how she was feeling, soon-to-deliver momma said she was afraid.  My colleague offered to teach her some breathing/relaxing methods to help her through labor; offer accepted. This led to a two hour practice session with expectant mom and dad, with more to come. Here is how you can help:

Please pray with me, that I will be able to be with her through her labor and delivery.  This is her desire and my own.  The only problem is that I will be out of town around the due date.  Would you pray with me that God will work, so that I could be with her?   They return to Iraq in two months, so I don’t know why I have just met them, but I believe there is a reason.  Thank you for standing with us in prayer,


Remember the BIRTH you prayed for?   Well, the mother had a beautiful baby boy. Although she delivered after I returned from my trip, she did not call me. I did, however, visited her in the hospital. Thank you for praying. Several days later, they delivered lamb meat to our door which had been sacrificed in honor of their boy’s birth.

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