In the News: Muslims pray to turn Turkey's greatest monument back into a mosque
(Reuters) - It has served as the exalted seat of two faiths since its vast dome and lustrous gold mosaics first levitated above Istanbul in the 6th Century: Christendom's greatest cathedral for 900 years and one of Islam's greatest mosques for another 500.
Today, the Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya in Turkish, is officially a museum: Turkey's most-visited monument, whose formally neutral status symbolizes the secular nature of the modern Turkish state.
But tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers gathering there on Saturday hope it will again be a mosque, a dream they believe Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan can fulfill.
There are even rumors - denied by the government - that Erdogan, a religious conservative who is seeking the presidency at an election in August, could lead prayers there one day soon.
"This is a serious push to break Ayasofya's chains," said Salih Turan, head of the Anatolia Youth Association, which has collected 15 million signatures to petition for it to be turned back into a mosque.
If you love history, this is definitely an excellent read; it sheds light on the influence of two religions of Turkey’s past and presence. As intercessors, we often look into history for the roots of sin or the beginnings of blessing so we will know how to pray for a nation or region. As we work toward transformation of Turkey, this story can give insight to their spiritual past. It is evident that spiritual conflict is brewing and the invitation from heaven is spiritual warfare.
1) The Lord chose Turkey (Asia Minor) to pour out the Holy Spirit in the first centuries (the seven churches of Revelations). Let us ask the Lord to show forth His glory there once again.
2) With Turkey being 97% Muslim, the task is great. Let us not limit God but pray for doors to open for the Gospel to be heard across Turkey.
3) Let us pray for the many efforts being made to reach Turkey through the radio and Internet. May the Lord even raise up more media evangelist.
4) Lord, we pray that the Turkish Christians would be encouraged in the midst of the culture they live in. Give them power in the Holy Spirit to press through the oppression around them.
5) For the last six or more years, there has been houses of prayer raised up across Turkey. God has a remnant in Turkey calling upon His name daily. May they encounter heaven as they do spiritual warfare over Turkey.
6) Many Christians have been persecuted upon the soil of Turkey and the wrath of God is their due judgment. Let us ask the Lord for mercy to be extended so we as the Church may have more time to proclaim the Gospel.
7) Let us pray that all efforts of evangelism to Turkey will be doubled, even tripled.
John 3: 20-22 (NKJV) “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches,”
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