In 1996 American political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote a book called The Clash of Civilizations. In it, he proposed a remarkable thesis, that while in the past, especially in the 20th century, global conflicts had been primarily between nations, countries, and kingdoms, in the future, especially in the 21st century, global conflicts would increasingly be between not nation-states but between cultures, between civilizations.
These cultural fault lines, as he called them, sometimes existed within a country or existed across regions. It didn’t take very long within the 21st Century to prove his theory correct. In fact, in The Clash of Civilizations, Huntington went on to predict that the hottest of these conflicts would be between religious and non-religious cultures, specifically, that what you might call the hottest of the hot would be between Islam and the West. In the time since 9/11, his predictions have largely played out.
But there has been another story dealing with Islam that has played out at almost the same time. In fact, just over the last three decades or so, we have seen a remarkable number of Muslims coming to Christ. Individuals from the Islamic world are reporting conversions – sometimes through dreams, sometimes through missions, sometimes through other means. Regardless of the means, it has been what one missiologist called a remarkable movement of the Holy Spirit. The reports are so numerous, in fact, that a foundation recruited a friend of mine, a scholar named Dr. David Garrison, to investigate. They sent him for several months to visit various corners of the Muslim world and to figure out where these stories were coming from. They wanted to know how legitimate these reports were. Garrison put together his findings in a book called A Wind in the House of Islam.
You see in the whole history of the Islamic faith, there have been few reports of large movements of Muslims becoming Christians – very few in fact. But about 80 percent of all the movements recorded in history of large groups of Muslims becoming Christians have taken place in just the last three decades.
There’s something else that’s taken place over the last three decades: Each and every year for the last 28 years, during the season of Ramadan, the most holy period in the Islamic calendar, a group of Christians led by a prayer guide, have together prayed for Christ to draw Muslims to Himself. Ramadan is a very good time to keep our Muslim neighbors and Muslims around the world and prayer.
Since 1993 to be precise, the “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” prayer guide has been equipping Christians to pray for Muslims during this season of Ramadan. It is an international movement that calls on, “The church to make a deliberate but respectful effort to learn about, to pray for, and to reach out to our world’s Muslim neighbors.” There is even a “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World Prayer Guide” for kids which I have used with my own family.
The “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” is available both in a print booklet and as a digital download. You can find it by going to 30DaysPrayer.com. Or come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll tell you how to pick up a copy.
James tells us that the effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much. This has been a movement of prayer of hundreds of thousands of Christians for decades. Let’s be a part of it.
Publication date: April 13, 2021
Photo courtesy: Jack Sharp/Unsplash
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.