A few weeks back, we noted that there is a national prayer rally scheduled for Washington, D.C. this weekend that organizers expect to attract tens of thousands to pray for the soul of America. The only difference this time is that the organizers and participants are Muslims, and so of course the Religious Right is upset and voicing concerns.
And so Lou Engle is now rallying his own forces to counter the rally:
[O]n the 25th of September, Muslims are calling for a Muslim Day of Prayer in Washington D.C. They are calling for 50,000 Muslims to gather and pray on the D.C. Mall. This is the exact word of one of the Sheikhs who is leading this historic gathering, “Muslims should march on the White House. We are going to the White House so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into a Muslim house.” These are not empty words. They speak of a dark spiritual intent and a coming day of great trouble to America.
Now one of these events is enough to awaken us to this significant throbbing moment, but when they all converge it becomes a massive spiritual alarm that must be responded to by the praying Church.
This convergence, I believe, is urgently summoning us in the midst of the rising tide of Islamic influence in America to recognize that our God is above every god and that if we return to Him with all of our hearts and call upon Him with fasting and prayer then God could use what the enemy meant for evil to bring about a great day of salvation for Muslims in America.
First of all, we cannot be passive as a Church to let these kinds of developments go on without being challenged in the spirit. Our fight is not against Muslims, it is against principalities, powers, and forces of darkness. We are calling the Church of America at the end of Ramadan, from September 21st through 25th, to five days of concerted prayer … On Friday, Sept. 25, the Muslim Day of Prayer, we are calling the Church of America to fast and pray that Muslims would be moved by the Holy Spirit, convicted by the testimony of Christ, and even be visited by Jesus in dreams. We must pray that God would restrain the spiritual powers behind Islam and grant us the great awakening that we desperately need for America.
And the Family Research Council is getting in on the act as well, urging its activists to use the gathering as an opportunity to pray for the conversion of Muslims:
Muslims are preparing for a Friday gathering on Capitol Hill. Group organizers are touting a possible 50,000 attendees for what they say will be a peaceful assembly for purposes of prayer only. We shall see … Will any of the expected 50,000 attendees affirm loyalty to the U.S. and our constitutional liberties? Or will they pray for shari’ah law to come to America? Join us in praying that the conversion of Muslims to Christianity would not only continue, but accelerate.
As is David Barton, who is warning that Christianity’s place at the top of the heap in America is coming under attack:
Historically, on this continent Christian America adopted an open free-market approach to all religions from the beginning. American Christians then (and now) were not fearful of other religions. They were confident that Christianity would prevail on its own merits and they therefore followed the Biblical precedent set forth in both the Old and New Testaments of simply presenting God’s word in a straightforward manner, expecting that the Holy Spirit will confirm His word in the hearts of hearers. Christians believe that on a level playing field, Christianity will always prevail through the voluntary choice of the people.
As a result, Christian America welcomed all religions, with Muslims arriving here by 1619, Jews establishing their first synagogue in 1654, and Buddhists, Hindus, and others also being present from the early days. Significantly, only America extended (and continues to extend) a free-market religious tolerance to others while still preserving the core societal values of our Christian heritage. But the culture has begun to shift. The level playing field is being eroded. As in Europe, Christianity is being knocked down and Islam elevated.
As Bible-believing people, let’s also make this Friday a day of prayer – and please encourage others to participate with you. We know that our contest is with spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12), and we firmly believe that He Who is within us is greater than any other god or force (1 John 4:4), so I encourage you to fill America with prayer to the True God this coming Friday.
Interestingly, Barton attempts to defend his effort by claiming that he is not calling on Christians to compete with Muslims:
This call for Christians to pray this Friday is not a prayer “competition” between Christianity and Islam, nor is it a spiritual Christian “jihad” or “holy war” (what an oxymoronic term – a holy war!). After all, in I Kings 18, Elijah encouraged the prophets of the god Baal to take more time in their praying; he didn’t object to their prayers, he just wanted to make sure that he was able to make his own prayers to the True God. This Friday offers a similar opportunity for those who fear God and believe His Scriptures to offer up their own prayers to Him.
You know, if Barton is going to claim that he is not calling for Christians to compete or wage holy war on Muslims, he should probably not be citing I Kings 18 … or at least ought to cite it properly to note that Elijah did not merely “want to make sure that he was able to make his own prayers” but actually pitted his god against Baal in competition and then “taunted” Baal’s prophets for their god’s failure to win – and then killed them all:
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!”
40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.