THE PRESENT CRISIS AND PRAYER.
The present condition of the Moslem world calls for prayer. We are convinced that the present apparent inability of the Christian Church to deal effectively with the great problem of the evangelization of Mohammedans is due above all else to the weakness of the prayer life alike in the home Churches and in the branches of the Church which are springing up in foreign lands. The ministry of friendship and the ministry of healing never before had such splendid opportunity as they have to-day to win Moslem hearts. But we must not forget that the supreme ministry is the ministry of prayer. It is possible for all everywhere and at all times; it is an omnipotent ministry. God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?" Prayer has proved mighty through God to the pulling down of nearly every opposing stronghold and barrier; shall it prove impotent to burst the barriers of the proudest soul and set free the captives of sin and darkness? What hath God
wrought since men and women began to pray for the lands of the Crescent! "Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear."
The changed situation in all North Africa and the Near East, with signs of disintegration and unheard-of opportunities for evangelization, has encouraged workers everywhere. In Persia there are signs of a coming harvest. In Egypt many are crowding the Christian meeting places. In Turkey we hear of numerous secret disciples. A missionary writes from Java: "Now we see clearly that Mohammedanism will be conquered by the Gospel, not from the periphery to the centre but from the centre to the periphery;
But there is no centre nor periphery in the realm of prayer for the Moslem world. We are all one in this ministry, and can strengthen each other by it. Victory anywhere means joy everywhere, and apparent defeat or disaster must only drive us to our knees. Every chapter of this little book can be used as a means of prayer and of praise by those who know the secret. To face this baffling problem in its unity; to study its vast proportions; to see before one's eyes at once the growth and the shrinkage of the Moslem world, its expansion in Africa among pagans, and its loss of power, prestige and leadership among civilized nations; to mark its social and moral crisis among all those who have
that he impact of western education; and to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only solution-what is this but a call to prayer and a challenge to a dauntless, persevering faith? We may well take up the song of Martin Luther and remember that "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"
Face to face with baffling problems in his own station, and conscious of the vast areas still unoccupied by missions and of the hundreds of millions untouched, the individual missionary may well grow discouraged, and let hope deferred make his heart sick. But the remedy for such discouragement is not to be found in a study of statistics. The things that are impossible by statistics are often possible by dynamics. Mere numbers are as nothing over against the power of Life. The things that are impossible with men are possible with God. In the struggle for supremacy between Islam and Christianity in the Dark Continent, the statistics are all on the side of the Moslem, but the dynamics are with the Christian. To those who believe the promises of God, who know the living
Christ and have caught the vision of world-wide redemption, there can be no discouragement. We have on our side all the undiscovered wealth of God and His omnipotence.
It is our deepest conviction that the great moral and spiritual needs of the Mohammedan world, and the advance of Islam among pagan races, constitute an appeal to the Christian Church to pray, with an urgency which cannot be exaggerated, asking most earnestly that the spirit of grace and supplication in an immensely increased measure may be granted to her.
Call to Prayer
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