When the Rest of the World Prays

Do Christians own exclusive rights on prayer?  Does God only hear those of us who have submitted ourselves to him and follow Jesus?  Or would He hear, and even answer, the prayers of a sincere unbeliever?

This Friday, September 25th, 50,000 or more Muslims will gather on the Washington, D.C. Mall for a National Day of Prayer. Here’s what the leader of the event, Hassan Abdellah,  says: “Most of the time, when Muslims go to Washington, D.C., they go there to protest some type of event … This is not a protest. Never has the Islamic community prayed on Capitol Hill for the soul of America. We’re Americans. We need to change the face of Islam so people don’t feel every Muslim believes America is ‘the great Satan,’ because we love America.”

However, I’ve been receiving phone calls and emails from Angry Christians calling us to “fast and pray” and “stand against” this “fight for the soul of America.”  Wow. Where does that come from?  Why such anger?  Why would we not rejoice that Muslims are gathering peacefully to pray for America and show their solidarity as Americans with the rest of us?  Why?

Throughout the scriptures we see unbelievers calling out to God, coming to Jesus and being heard.  Hagar.  Persian Kings. Egyptian Pharaohs. Prostitutes. Samaritans. Lepers. Sinners all. And when we first cried out to God (whatever we thought “God” was at the time), didn’t he hear us?

Even if you think that Muslims are praying to the “wrong god,” how about if we pray that the “right god” will hear them and answer.

What if, rather than praying against them on Friday, we prayed with and for them this Friday.  What if we went to D.C. as well and stood alongside of them, and served them water during the day and tea at night.

Just a thought….


  1. Mindy says:

    Well said…I will pray!

  2. Pete says:

    Thanks Carl. There is a lot in your posts to reflect on. I’m the vicar (leader of an Anglican church in the UK) of a church in a very Muslim area of Birmingham, and I’m thankful for your voice amidst all the fear amongst Christians about Muslims, and the smokescreen it creates. Let’s see what can be done in the name of love!

  3. Steve Sparrow says:


    If I were in the US I’d be with you there. I very much Echo Pete (In Birmingham also) in the distrust in Muslims felt locally. I’ll be pondering, and trying what I can to find a way through the similar here.


  4. Hi Pete,
    Love to hear your voice coming from Birmingham. I’ve just placed the church. So good to hear of you newly placed in Bham.


    1. Hi Steve: would love to know where you are too – will google ‘Steve Sparrow’ and see what comes up. Thanks Carl for facilitating this connection!

  5. Hal Kepner says:

    Why does the President support this, and not the Christian Day of
    Prayer, or attend the National
    Presidents Prayer Breakfast – isn’t he the first President since Eisenhower to avoid this ?

  6. Steve Sparrow says:


    Hi, I ran a quick google seach, and it seemed that Obama was at the prayer breakfast in Feb?


  7. Yes, President Obama was at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. I was there. And, by the way, he gave the most clear faith message I’ve heard. He even mentioned Jesus. President Bush never did in any of his speeches.

    All is not as it seems.

  8. Awesome, no reason to be angry. Instead lets join in the prayers.

  9. Andrew Schill says:

    A couple of days ago I visited a mosque in Jeddah with a Muslim man from Saudi Arabia for Friday prayer and he taught me how they prayed. As one who tries to follow and submit myself daily to Jesus, I would welcome this man’s prayers any day. Perhaps we should join with them in prayer and ask that the love of Jesus be more fully present in us all?

  10. Yves Accad says:

    Great word Carl. If anyone organizes a trip to serve water and tea. I’d like to be part of it.

  11. John Dekker says:

    I agree. Only God knows what the person’s desire is toward Himself.
    Many of those people still live in their understanding of things in O.T. times. Undoubtedly some have a deep desire for God Himself even though they are being deceived as related to Jesus.

  12. Mike says:

    there’s an old saying, “we have nothing to fear except fear itself” I say we do have something to fear… ignorance! Thank you Carl for your heart and boldness to share and enlighten!

    LTFFTR (Long time friend first time responder) – Gumby.

    You impact my life from afar, much more then you know!

  13. Eric Curtiss says:

    Replying to the post itself… YES! Carl, as believers, our hearts need to again be broken for the lost… ALL the lost. “Luckily” for each of us, someone cared enough to share the Gospel with us. I pray we all would be Jesus’ hands and feet to everyone around us–including the ones we find hard to love–by serving water and tea, or whatever.
    Please keep discipling us!

  14. Aili Haasnoot says:

    It is a funny one, which God listens to whom praying?

    I have a very precious relationship with a friend from Turkey and we share faith through praying for each other, sharing meals, supporting each other financially when needed, celebrating each other’s faithtivities and holydays. I’m kind of thinking, if Jesus could be bothered with praying for and with me and others, why can’t I do something similar? Do I have to defend God? Do I have to mark some sort of territory?

    There are so many more valid things to be outrageously angry about, like children hurting, people not having enough food or somewhere to live, people being lonely, people queue jumping – just to mention a few.