A Prayer for the Muslim World—Samuel Zwemer (1867 – 1952)
The great historian of Christian mission, Kenneth Scott Latourette, once said that no man deserved the title “The Apostle to Islam” more than Samuel Zwemer.1 The 13th of 15 children born to a Dutch Reformed immigrant family in Michigan, Zwemer gave his life to the evangelization of Muslim peoples. For 40 years he worked in Iraq, Bahrain, and Egypt. In his extensive travels throughout Asia, India, Africa, and North America he presented the needs of Muslims to Christians and the gospel of Christ to Muslims.
A plea for persistent prayer for Muslim peoples and lands was a constant theme in his public speaking and writing.
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who hast made of one blood all nations and hast promised that many shall come from the East and sit down with Abraham in thy kingdom: We pray for thy prodigal children in Muslim lands who are still afar off, that they may be brought nigh by the blood of Christ. Look upon them in pity, because they are ignorant of thy truth.
Take away pride of intellect and blindness of heart, and reveal to them the surpassing beauty and power of thy Son Jesus Christ. Convince them of their sin in rejecting the atonement of the only Savior. Give moral courage to those who love thee, that they may boldy confess thy name.
Hasten the day of religious freedom in Turkey, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa. Send forth reapers where the harvest is ripe, and faithful plowmen to break furrows in lands still neglected. May the tribes of Africa and Malaysia not fall prey to Islam but be won for Christ. Bless the ministry of healing in every hospital, and the ministry of love at every church and mission. May all Muslim children in mission schools be led to Christ and accept him as their personal Savior.
Strengthen converts, restore backsliders, and give all those who labor among Muslims the tenderness of Christ, so that bruised reeds may become pillars of his church, and smoking flaxwicks burning and shining lights. Make bare thine arm, O God, and show thy power. All our expectation is from thee.
Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son in the Muslim world, and fulfill through him the prayer of Abraham thy friend, “O, that Ishmael might live before thee.” For Jesus’ sake. Amen.2
In the preface to J. Christy Wilson, Apostle to Islam (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1952).
Samuel M. Zwemer, Islam and the Cross: Selections from “The Apostle to Islam,” ed. Roger S. Greenway (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2002), 153-154.