“Blessed is the man who walk not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of the sinners, not sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” – Psalm 1:1-3
The person described in this Psalm shows faithful dedication to knowing and understanding God’s Word. This man absorbs and delights in the word of God’s perfect law, as the sustaining nourishment to his life. Because he is well-fed by a constant life-source, like a stream, he bears fruit, even in a dry and desert land.
As we begin to pray strategically for the gospel to expand in the cities of Dubai, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, and London, let’s continue to pray that the Holy Spirit would lead our local church family continually away from our old ways, and plant our spiritual roots ever more deeply by the Living Water of God’s Word.
This week, we will pray together for the city of Dubai, an exciting and exotic city, located in the Middle East. Dubai has been considered as one of the world’s most modern (and youngest) cities. This creates a unique marriage of a progressive and traditional culture. Over 200 nationalities reside in Dubai, and only about 20% are UAE citizens. This glamorous city sparkles in the desert, and the mirage of material wealth has drawn many in. As the Church, there are many opportunities to pray for and serve and reach the many lost in the pursuits of this world’s treasures.
Prayer Focus #1: The Prosperous
- God warns us frequently in Scripture of the folly of trusting in riches and material treasures (Proverbs 11:28, 27:24). The allure of a rich and lavish life is an age-old struggle. But God clearly says that the love of money will never satisfy (Ecclesiastes 5:10), but instead, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).”
- Pray that the people of Dubai will recognize this truth and that their eyes will be open to their own dissatisfaction. Pray that in this, their hearts will seek and be drawn to the One who offers the only “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading (1 Peter 1:4).
- Pray for the generation being brought up in a culture that so values material pursuits; that instead of becoming selfishly indulgent, they would see through the deception of prosperity’s promises and pursue the Living Water.
Prayer Focus #2: The Alien
- Dubai’s success and prosperity has not come without a cost. An estimated 90% of the city’s laborers are immigrants, and many are exploited by their employers. Pray with compassion for these workers, that in their desperation, their hearts would be drawn to the One who “heals the brokenhearted” (Psalm 147:3) and who “rescues the weak and needy (Ps. 82:4).”
- Pray for justice and deliverance, and that these peoples (largely from South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India), might somehow be reached and ministered to, despite their isolation and fear.
Prayer Focus #3: The Church
- Islam is the emirate’s official religion, and although this Arab city experiences religious freedoms, promoting the gospel is illegal. Pray that believers in Dubai would shine a different Light, brighter than the flashy lights of the city.
- Believers on college campuses have unique opportunities to spread the gospel, as official religious organizations are permitted, and it is also legal to dialogue about Christianity vs. Islam. Pray that God would send workers to college campuses in Dubai that will engage with students.
- Finally, pray that the lives and ways of Christian business people in Dubai would represent the gospel in purity, excellence, and grace. (Colossians 3:17)