Imagine getting this email:
“My name is Rachael*. I am a born-again Christian of 2 years. I actually used to be a Shia Muslim. I attended the mosque on your street for many years of my life. The Lord pulled me out of the darkness of my former life as a Muslim and brought me into His loving light...
I recently heard that your church prays specifically for salvation over people at the mosque. Is this true? If so, I’m not sure how long your church has been doing this, but I wanted to email you as an encouragement to you and your congregation to let you know that the Lord has heard your prayers and is AT work in this Muslim community.
I thank you and your congregation for committing to pray for your neighbours. It is funny to me how not once in my years of attendance at this mosque had they ever thought of praying for your church! I guess the proof is in the pudding. If you’re not filled with perfect love--how can you pour out perfect love? My heart yearns for them to know how much God actually loves them, that God would shatter the scales over their eyes, and lead them to take their seats as Children of God in the house of our Father.”
Wow! What an encouragement to keep praying!!!! Here’s Rachael’s testimony...
“I grew up in a devout Shia Muslim family from British Columbia, Canada (originally from Iraq). My family was not like most families I knew. My parents were emotionally and physically abusive, and I became terrified of them from a young age. In my early childhood, I tried to seek solace and help from my Muslim community but was turned away. They told me over and over that “heaven lies under the feet of your mother” and that I should be ashamed of speaking so ill of my parents.
I became very lonely. No one understood what I was going through. My only hope was in Allah, and because of that, I dedicated my life to him. I soon became the most devout Muslim person in my family, and one of the most devout Muslim women in my community. I prayed and prayed that God would see my good works and reward me by making my life easier at home. But instead, it got worse--a lot worse. Soon after I graduated high school, I ran away from my home and community and never looked back.
For a time after I left, I continued to practice my faith in Islam, but sooner or later it felt like there was no point. God was so upset at me for leaving and none of my good deeds brought me any peace in my relationship with God. I stopped practicing Islam altogether, but in my heart, I still believed that Islam was the true religion of God. Regardless of what I believed, my sinful life soon spiraled out of my hands, and I hit rock bottom.
Life continued, and I eventually befriended a Christian who spoke to me about Jesus. Being skeptical of the authenticity behind Christian beliefs, and also being convinced of what I thought was the undeniable truth of Islam, I set out on a journey to find out the truth for myself. Over several months, I looked into the foundational claims of Islam. It was not long before the foundations of what I thought were true began to crumble. I was heartbroken to learn that what I thought was undeniably true for 22 years of my life, was just not. If Islam wasn’t true, then what was?
Desperate for answers, I turned my research toward the case of the gospel. To my surprise, I uncovered the most compelling evidence to suggest that Christianity was true. The foundational claims of Christianity could all be backed up by evidence, making one’s belief in the faith completely rational! The scales had begun to fall from my eyes. Christianity was true. I had accepted it into my mind, but I had yet to accept it into my heart.
I was angry at God. The God of the world, in all His glory, in all his majesty, was willing to step down from His throne and into this world, as flesh and blood, to die for us. If that was true, then that meant that God must really love us- and yet- the difficult circumstances of my life said otherwise. One day, however, it occurred to me how most Muslim people who have strong relationships with their Muslim community have so much at stake if they choose to accept Jesus. But because my life circumstances lead to my separation from my Muslim family, friends, and community, there was nothing stopping me from accepting the truth of the gospel when all the evidence lay in front of me. At that moment, God took the entirety of my broken life--with all the hurtful and wrongful things that happened to me--and turned it all into a blessing. What other God can do that?! That was the day that I accepted Christ into my heart.
Here I am writing this two and a half years later. God has been moving mountains to bring healing, restoration, and peace to every aspect of my life. The Lord has blessed me with a faithful family and community, and I am experiencing God’s love like never before. I have been able to forgive my parents, and God has reconciled my relationship with my sister. The Lord is now just starting to restore my relationship with the members of my Muslim community, and I am so excited to tell them about Jesus. Because of Jesus, I went from being a slave of God to a child of God. I have so much peace, joy, and security now, and it’s all because of Jesus! Hallelujah!"
Pray for a Mosque Community
Rachael initially wrote to encourage a church to continue praying for those who worship in a nearby mosque. To find out more about praying for a mosque community, visit Loving a Mosque Community Together.
*This article was originally published in March 2023 on the Simply Mobilizing Canada blog and has been republished with permission. (Simply Mobilizing Canada is a ministry of Outreach Canada).
*To protect the privacy of this individual, her name has been changed.