Monday, February 10, 2014

Pray for Turkey

Week of Feb. 10-16, 2014

Just a little south of the present Turkish border, in the first century there lay the city of Antioch.  There was a strong church in this city, which was used as a launching base to reach the gentiles. We read in the book of Acts how the apostles went out from Antioch into Asia Minor and the Greek cities preaching the Gospel. Turkey was then called Asia Minor and the people there were very open to the Good News. In Asia Minor strong churches arose, so important that Jesus spoke directly to them in Revelations. These churches are credited with launching evangelistic campaigns that influenced the Greek speaking world and eventually spread the Gospel across the Balkans and throughout Europe.

In the 11th to 15th centuries, the Oghuz Turks who embraced Islam and were from central Asia, pushed the old Christian cultures out of Asia Minor.  Asia Minor (Turkey) has been predominantly Muslim ever since.

You may ask why pray for Turkey, it is not part of the Balkans? European Turkey is on the Balkan Peninsula. Lying on the northwest side of the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus Straight, European Turkey is only 5% of the Turkish land mass. The fact is that the country of Turkey, especially in the recent past, embodied by the Ottoman Empire, has had a deep and lasting effect on the Balkans. The Ottoman Empire occupied most of the Balkans for 500 years as the Turks pursued a policy to conquer Christian Europe.

When praying for the Balkans we must recognize these two major world changing events that originated out of Turkey. 1) Today’s western world was first evangelized by Christians from then Asia Minor. 2) and the Ottoman Turks occupied the Balkans for 500 years.
Turkey as a whole needs the Gospel again.

1) Turkey is 97% Muslim. Let us simply ask the Lord to change that number. Pray that the Muslims in Turkey would open their eyes to the Gospel.
2) How can a lifeless religion last this long. Let us ask the Lord to break into their lives with the message of everlasting life. Lord, put a hunger in their hearts to seek truth.
3) I believe the Turks will be evangelized from within. Although it is kept silent for fear of reprisal, there are many prayer groups meeting in homes. Lord, bless these houses of prayer; protect them from informers as they meet to pray.
4) These houses of prayer serve as change agents, moving undercover through the culture. Let us ask for an open heaven over them to empower them to do the works of Jesus.
5) There are many reports of Muslims receiving dreams of Jesus as the savior. As prayer goes forth from these houses of prayer, God is changing the atmosphere. Let us ask the armies of heaven to take dominion once again.
6) The most encouraging news out of Turkey is a website and Chat-room run by Turkish World Outreach. The Christian workers who oversee the outreach say there are about 3,500 visitors every week and an average of eight conversions every month. Pray that all of these converts will be gathered into vibrant local churches.

I have mentioned Turkish World Outreach before but I want to remind everyone of their work. Their mission statement is “Our mission at Turkish World Outreach is to work until the Turkic peoples become a force as strong for the spread of the gospel as they have been for the spread of Islam.” Read of their work at 

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