I got back from a 4 day long church planting conference in Orlando last Friday. It was a great opportunity to get some training, see a few familiar faces, and to network with some other like minded people. There were folks from nearly 20 different denominations, 37 states, and one dude was even from Ghana.
His name was Prosper (but he wasn’t about Health and Wealth) and he spoke about the work of church planting in his own country, and how they were using the same materials. Since I hate generic impersonal prayers (I can only pray generically for so long before I just quit), I asked him how we could pray for him.
Amy and I pray every Saturday night for persecuted Christians and those scattered throughout parts of the world we often neglect to think about. But sometimes our prayer time can become generic like “please protect believers from persecution” (well not that generic, because I”m a bit more creative, but close to that). I can only keep that up so long.
I was expecting him to give me some info on persecution, but he really informed me of the more realistic Islamic threat. In Ghana, Christians are free to preach the gospel and assemble. At the same time, Muslims have been coming in from the North (not Yankees, their north) and have been witnessing Christians switching to the “dark side.”
None of these conversions happen due to persecution but rather to temptation. Let me explain. Christian women have been faced with hard choices. Either have little or no money and wonder who will take care of you, or become a second, third, or fourth wife of a wealthy Muslim.
In additions, Muslims will build wells and give money to folks in order to build mosques there. Gotta love those guys.
The security that comes from money has been the major idol in their land. We’re so wealthy here in America, that we can hold on to the same idol but keep going to church. Thus the idol is a little less obvious here in the States, but certainly just as prevalent and every bit as dangerous. That and polygamy isn’t exactly legal here.
Anyhow, in case you were wondering how you could pray SPECIFICALLY for Ghana, or Africa in general, this one is “on the house.”
And, couldn’t we put “feets” to our prayers by contributing monetarily to organizations like Prosper’s who can then dig wells, teach the people agriculture, help them develop small businesses….. G
Gail,Well said. We need to intercede for our brothers and sisters in CHrist more. But we also do need to give more. It ought to definitely be part of our normal personal budgetary expenditures. Amy and I were wondering (for a few seconds) if we would re-sponsor a child with World Vision. And I thought, if I pay for cable and NOT give to something like that…..Well, that would be completely selfish and reminiscent of the verse I John 3:16-18 which says if you have material possessions, and see a brother in need and not give to him, how can the love of God be in you? Even when times are tight, I think we still need to be challenged to give. Even if it means going out to eat less, or cutting back on other things. Great point Gail.