We’re so glad you’ve joined us in praying for Mecca in Saudi Arabia throughout August. As the spiritual home of Islam, it is a city that needs to be covered in prayer. We want to see spiritual strongholds broken, and the eyes and hearts of Mecca’s people opened to Jesus.
We can encourage you that God is at work in lives across Saudi Arabia. Our ministry team are in contact with Saudi nationals as well as immigrants throughout the country. Seekers are exploring who Jesus is and what it means to have a fulfilling relationship with him. One of these people is Shafiq.*
Shafiq is not originally from Saudi, but he and his family ended up moving there a while ago. Just after the New Year, Shafiq was browsing the internet when he came across one of our ministry ads.
We share simple, inviting questions on Google and social media platforms such as, ‘Do you know who Jesus is?’ Sometimes we share videos that capture what life’s like for Arabs who live in different areas of the region — wondering what life’s purpose is or how they can be close to God. These things resonate with many people.
Shafiq was curious but cautious when he clicked on the ad. It brought him to our ministry website, which is full of captivating resources and answers to many questions about the gospel. The more he read, the more Shafiq wanted to explore. He filled out a contact form, and our responders quickly got in touch.
Digging deeper with dreams
Our team immediately sent Shafiq a downloadable Bible. He was full of questions and was keen to grapple with the concepts of Christianity. As he read more and carefully studied the four gospels, his questions became more focused on Christ and salvation. As the weeks went on, he started having dreams about Jesus.
‘I’m sure it was Christ who appeared to me. He told me “Do not be afraid.” I want to trust him. Can you tell me how I can follow him?’
In early June, Shafiq gave his life to Christ, praying with one of our responders over the phone!
Coffee shop church
Though Saudi Arabia is an extremely dangerous place to become a Christian, Shafiq was keen to meet with another Christian and have fellowship. He’s in quite a remote location, so finding an underground or house church would be extremely difficult and could put him at risk.
Scripture tells us in Matthew 18:20, ‘For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.’ That is the very definition of Church. It isn’t a building or a place, but a space where God meets his people when they gather. God graciously provided a way as one of our local contacts happened to be in a nearby area when Shafiq requested to meet another believer face to face.
Shafiq was overjoyed to meet with another Christian. Though he longs for a day when he can live in a place ‘and worship in freedom’, having the chance to do makeshift, quiet church in a coffee shop gave him huge spiritual encouragement.
Living in such a conservative Muslim environment, Shafiq will have to keep his faith secret for his safety. He’s told us that his wife may divorce him if she knew, and his family would not be very tolerant of his conversion.
Still, he is keeping in very regular contact with our team. They’ve had to tell him to slow down with his Bible studies so he can spend some time reflecting! It’s so encouraging that he’s on fire for God. He’d love to burn brightly and shine Jesus to his community.
Ways to pray
- Praise the Lord for Shafiq’s testimony. In such a closed country, we’re celebrating that the Spirit is captivating hearts!
- Let’s ask the Father to be Shafiq’s rock. As he’s so remote, he won’t be able to meet anyone face to face for a while. Pray that Shafiq will lean on God to give him the strength and endurance to run the race.
- Pray that his family would notice a change in him. As Shafiq lives out Christ’s love, let’s pray in faith that his wife, children, and extended family would be drawn to ask questions, their hearts be softened, and they’d come to know the Saviour.
- Lift up the team in prayer as they disciple Shafiq and other remote believers throughout Saudi Arabia. In such difficult circumstances, it’s challenging to speak into lives effectively. Ask the Spirit to give our responders wisdom and discernment as they study and pray with seekers.
*Name changed. Image for illustrative use only.