Daily Topic for July 07, 2006

2 Thessalonians 3:1
"Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you."

Paul asked the church at Thessalonica to pray for him and for the rapid spread of the gospel to those to whom it had not yet come. That prayer can be ours today. As the gospel has come to us, so let it be our compelling vision to see it spread quickly to the ends of the earth. Read the above verse again. This time replace the “us” with the name of a missionary who is laboring on some difficult field. Then, pray for him or her.

Dear Father, strengthen Your servants around the globe that Your gospel message will spread rapidly among those who have not heard.

Folk Islamic Banjar people of Indonesia

“I’m not afraid when the spirits come; just very respectful. One time a spirit was angry with my cousin and he became very ill because he had been unfaithful in his prayers.” Hamida, a Banjar, was sharing her feelings with a friend about her family’s “Maatur Dhar” ceremony. It was a time when deceased ancestors supposedly speak through family members to give advice, exhort them to faithfulness in Islam or punish them for their unfaithfulness.

The southern and eastern coast of Kalimantan is home to about three million Banjar people, 99.9 percent of whom are “Muslim.” Islam is often a veneer that covers indigenous superstitions. These superstitions are rooted in their original animistic beliefs compounded by Hinduism and Buddhism. That is why many of them are bound by fear that keeps them enslaved to many occult practices and religious regulations. They will consult medicine men when faced with illness or life problems. They see no harm in accepting this form of folk Islam and consider themselves “good” Muslims. Although friendly in appearance, they are very resistant towards Christians. Death and persecution are the two accepted forms of action applied towards any Banjar who renounces Islam.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that God will remove any hindrance to Bible translation work among the Banjar people.-PD

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