Recently, my wife and I prayed with a woman during a prayer occasion following a Sunday service at our church.
She was distraught about an evil presence she felt that frightened her often. We discovered that her husband is a devout Muslim and she had ventured to some kind of spiritist and encountered what she described as a "jinn."
I recognized this term as describing, in Islamic teachings, spiritual beings, which we would understand as demons. An individual jinn is called a jinni (genie). This woman wanted us to pray for her to be set free from this evil presence, which frightened her.
- Jesus is the divine Son of God. Rather their holy book, the Koran, teaches Jesus (Isa) is to be respected (not worshipped) only as a miracle-working prophet to the Jews and messenger of Allah.
- Jesus died on the cross outside Jerusalem and was buried in a tomb for three days. Rather, they are taught that Jesus' disciple Judas died on the cross in place of Jesus.
- Jesus was resurrected from the dead by the power of God and lives forever in heaven at God's right hand, where he intercedes for us to the Father. Rather, the Koran claims that Jesus prophesied the coming of Mohammad, as the last and greatest prophet. Many Muslims believe Jesus is in heaven now and will be sent to earth again by Allah at the last hour to wage jihad on behalf of Islam, at the end of the world.
As we began to pray with her, I quoted Romans 10:9 and 10: "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, or with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
I explained that she needed to acknowledge that Jesus is the almighty Lord (not a prophet or messenger) and He needed to be accepted as such and her new beliefs confirmed by her own lips. She needed to sincerely believe Jesus died to pay the price for her sins and mine. I related that God forgave us both because of Jesus' sacrificial actions, which Father God approved by raising Jesus from the dead.
By honestly believing these new truths about Jesus' deity, death and resurrection and then telling others about it, she could find the forgiveness of sins and remove the jinn's right to torment her.
The woman pulled away, mumbling, "I cannot say that!"
She had told me a friend had given her a Bible, so I urged her to read the Gospel of John and then to come back to church in the weeks ahead, and we could talk more. My wife and I have since prayed for her that her spiritual eyes will be opened and divine truth will be established in her by the Holy Spirit.
When a Muslim hears the truthful claims of Christ and is drawn to the call to the commitment that is required to follow Him, they have to wrestle with the heavy costs they must pay. Such a decision may mean the loss of family, the loss of community and even the loss of life.
Muslims (and others) with inquiring minds and harassed souls are not to be feared but loved into God's kingdom, in the name of Jesus.
In these last days, may we all be enlightened and empowered by the Holy Spirit to point people of all backgrounds to the loving Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ordained to the ministry in 1969, Gary Curtis is a graduate of LIFE Bible College at Los Angeles (soon to become Life Pacific University at San Dimas, California). He has taken graduate courses at Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois. and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Gary served as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California, for 27 years (1988-2015), the last 13 years as the Vice President of Life On The Way Communications, Inc., the church's not-for-profit media outreach. Now retired, Gary and his wife have been married for 50 years and live in Southern California. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.
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