These are just a few ideas to help you pray more effectively and meaningfully for the people of the Arab world. We hope you will find them useful. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any feedback or suggestions.
1. Adopt a country or people group
The Arab world has a huge population of more than 300 million, of various ethnicities, speaking numerous languages and dialects. It can feel quite overwhelming to pray for the region as a whole, so why not narrow things down? Ask God to draw you in a particular direction. (See bottom of page for a list of countries and some of the many people groups.)
2. Be specific
General prayers are important, but it is definitely good to pray for specific outcomes. Sign up to a prayer initiative and receive regular information about situations and people in need of prayer. Other ways to feed your knowledge include keeping up with the news, learning about Islam, studying the history and culture of the Arab world, reading the testimonies of former Muslims and prayer letters of missionaries, and even making a trip if you can.
3. Pray in faith
Jesus said: ‘If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer’ (Matthew 21:22). When we pray we must pray with expectation, not simply out of duty or a vague hope. Claim truths – take a spiritual prayer walk and declare God’s sovereignty. Praise God for what he has done and what he is going to do. Our attitude in prayer is just as important as our willingness to pray!
4. Be prepared
Satan hates prayer because it is powerful and makes a difference. He will seek to distract you or weaken your faith, to make your prayers less effective. When you pray, remember that ‘the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4). Put on the spiritual armour of God (Ephesians 6:11). Be prepared to take part in a spiritual battle.
5. Be faithful and hopeful
‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer’ (Romans 12:12).
Try to pray regularly and faithfully. Length isn’t as important (you can pray for five minutes a week) as commitment. Don’t necessarily expect one prayer to be enough; praying for the Arab world is a long-term investment. Be encouraged, though – many are coming to faith already because of the prayers (and seed sowing) of the past. Your prayers will make a difference, too!
6. Don’t pay too much attention to the (bad) news
It’s important to keep up with current events, but don’t let the media taint your viewpoint. Keep the news at arm’s length, bearing in mind that the full picture is rarely in view. Balance your secular news consumption with that of the Christian media. Also keep in mind that good news often doesn’t even make the headlines!
7. Pray with others
Praying with others will keep you motivated and may also lead your prayers in unexpected directions. This could simply be two or three friends getting together for half an hour every week or two.
8. See things from another point of view
When you pray, try to be sympathetic to the people you are praying for. Understand that they won’t share your worldview, and their knowledge of Christianity will be from an Islamic or non-western point of view. Their values will differ to yours as will their social constraints. They will have other priorities.
Try to step outside of your own culture and pray for the things that are important. Try to see things from God’s angle. What’s important to him? What would glorify him most? He may not be concerned with the things that concern you. It’s helpful to make the distinction between your desires and God’s. Of course, they’re not always at odds!
If you’re looking for regular prayer requests, consider signing up to receive our own monthly email. TC12 is a prayer initiative for fifteen countries of the Arab world. Each month, we pray for a different country, asking God to increase the number of enquirers through our ministry websites.
Countries and people groups
The Arab countries we seek to reach are: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.
There are many people groups in the Arab world, but included are: Arab, Assyrian, Bedouin, Berber, Kabyle, Kurdish, Nubian, and Tuareg.