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An invitation to noon-day prayer


Henry* and Elizabeth* and their family serve in an area of Asia that has a high concentration of Muslims. Here, Henry shares a story of participating in noon-day prayer with his Muslim neighbors.

One day around noon I went on a walk to the local market to run a few errands, including finding some fresh-baked bread for lunch. I found the bread at a Muslim man’s restaurant where I greeted an older man who was paying for his meal. He returned my greeting and asked me for the time by tapping at his wrist. I showed him my watch; it was three minutes until noon.

As I paid for my bread, the older gentleman motioned for me to walk with him. As we walked, he kept checking back over his shoulder to see if I were still there and then motioning for me to continue to follow him. I started wondering where he was leading me. The more we walked, the more Muslims there were in the small alley-like street. Then it dawned on me – Friday noon prayer! He was leading me to pray, but where?

I began praying as we continued walking and thanking Jesus for this man. I prayed for Jesus to shine in and through me, to be before me and behind me. We finally came to a threshold where everyone was stopping to take off their shoes, so out of respect, I followed suit. We walked up a long white hallway and arrived at a doorway to enter an area for prayer.

The older man walked right in, but I stopped in my tracks. He waved me in, but I told him I couldn’t go in because my head was not covered. About 15 men crowded around watching me to see what I would do. Finally they pointed to a bin and said, “Shoes,” so I walked over and placed my shoes in the bin. I walked back to the door, and they pointed to the washing area and asked me to wash my hands and feet.

As I was exiting the washing area, they made a motion over their heads. They said “Cover, cover.” The older man walked to me and handed me his scarf. I placed it on my head and smiled at the men. They all smiled back and said, “Okay, go ahead.”

I followed the older man into the center of the building where people were praying at the burial ground of a saint. The whole time, I was praising Jesus for the experience and praying for Him to reveal Himself to all those who were present. I was respectful, but I was not praying to the saint. I tried to share with the man that I follow Jesus the Messiah. He smiled and we stood beside each other and prayed. After a short while he led me to the doorway. I returned his scarf, thanked him, and again told him I follow Jesus the Messiah.

We smiled at each other and shook hands. I retrieved my shoes and walked home, praising Jesus the whole way. These are the exact people whom we believe God is leading us to, and on this day He used a simple trip for bread to bring us together for prayer.

Please continue to pray that God will open doors for us to build relationships with people here, and that Jesus will shine like a bright light in and through our lives.

*Pseudonyms used for security purposes