More than a Dream -- Muslims Coming to Christ
Fines, permanent deportation, brutal imprisonment, and even death can be the penalty for proselytizing (attempting to convert) citizens to a religion other than Islam in many Muslim countries. It then comes as no surprise that the countries that outlaw proselytizing also don’t permit missionaries.
So, how do the hundreds of millions of Muslims these countries represent even become aware of the full truth of the gospel message?
It begins with prayer. It ends with God.
In the 1990s, there was a concerted effort to pray for those in the 10/40 window — the countries located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator of the eastern hemisphere plus the European and African portion of the western hemisphere — as this region was considered the most resistant to the gospel. Many in that window were, and continue to be, Muslims.
Although in some closed countries underground churches exist and a scattering of missionaries may be in certain locales as businesses owners hoping to have the opportunity to share their faith, it’s a very dangerous endeavor as many countries have spies — or at least willing individuals — eager to turn someone in for proselytizing.
Prayer, however, cannot be regulated or controlled. Prayers by those outside of closed countries as well as the silent/non-verbal prayers of those within closed countries move the heart and hand of God.
In the Western world, “signs and wonders,” often interpreted as miracles of healing, are frequently catalysts to revival and conversions — though not the only reason. However, as James Bradford, lead pastor at Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri, explains, for many Muslims, healings simply aren’t enough to convince Muslims to turn from Islam and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Why? It’s important to understand that in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, it acknowledges the existence of Jesus and even attributes His earthly presence to Mary and a virgin birth. However, He’s also only viewed as a prophet who performed miracles, was not crucified, but was taken to heaven and will one day return to judge the world. Jesus is not seen as the son of God in the Qur’an or the source of salvation. For many Muslims, a healing through Christ doesn’t mean very much as they already believe He was capable of performing miracles – to them, He’s just not God.
However, many Muslims do place great significance on dreams and visions. And that’s where prayers are being answered.
DREAMS AND VISIONS
Although many believers may have heard about Muslims seeing visions or having dreams that have led to conversion, oftentimes the specific accounts are not related. No longer.
“Recently I was in a Muslim country and met with church leaders from several Muslim nations,” Bradford shares. “One of the leaders shared a testimony from her country. A woman had left the Muslim faith, but she was full of hatred and suspicion of Christians. She didn’t know what to do — she asked God for help. One night she had a dream where she saw a shepherd, walking about an empty tomb with a staff. The shepherd walked round it a few times, and then He headed directly towards the woman. He had a loaf of bread in His hands, which He broke and offered it to her and as He did, He said, ‘Take, eat, this is my body.’
“The woman had never read the Bible or heard those words before, but she knew it had to do with Christianity. She went to a person she knew was a believer. He showed her in the Bible where Jesus had said those very words. The woman accepted Jesus as her Savior — and continues to serve him to this day.”
Bradford also recounts another testimony he heard of a Muslim man having a vision of Christ on the cross. As the man’s view shifted to the side and then the back of the Cross, there was a phone number written on the Cross. Stunned and more than a little curious, the man called the number — it was the number of a believer who then shared the biblical truth of Christ with him.
Although Bradford knows of other accounts, long-time AG global worker, Dick Brogden, who serves as an AGWM global worker to Muslims, has multiple first-hand testimonies. He also recently shared two amazing testimonies.
A SISTER’S TESTIMONY
“There were two sisters in Saudi Arabia who heard the gospel from a secret Saudi Christian,” Brogden recalls. “One sister accepted the gospel, the other refused. That night, the refusing sister (who is a Bedouin and sleeps on a simple bed under the stars) had a dream where she was lifted out of her bed into the heavens. She saw a gigantic figure in bright light who beckoned to her saying: ‘Come! I am your Father!’
“She fell out of bed and awoke. She scrambled back into bed and tried desperately to fall asleep again so that she could return to the love she felt in the dream. But the dream had passed. She then thought: That must have been the devil tricking me. She prayed: ‘Jesus, if you are the real God, I want to see you.’
“Later, tending her sheep in the desert, she came across a pool of water. Bending down to drink she looked into the water and saw in the reflection a massive man standing behind her. He held a shepherd’s staff and He was smiling. She whipped around, but there was no one there. She looked again in the water, and there was this massive Shepherd.
“Terrified, she ran home and told her sister, afraid that Satan was trying to deceive her. Her sister said: ‘That is not from Satan, that is Jesus answering your prayer and proving He is God.’
“Still doubting, this Saudi woman asked the Lord for one more proof. Her mother was a cripple, bound to her chair, unable to walk. She prayed: ‘Jesus, if you are real and truly God, heal my mother and let her stand and walk!’ Immediately her mother stood up and began to walk around.
“The sister threw up her hands in surrender and shouted: ‘Jesus, I believe, I believe!’”
TESTIMONY OF THE CROSS
Brogden’s second story tells about an unusual and somewhat humorous dream that God used to transform the life of a devout Muslim.
“A Sudanese Muslim was a fierce fundamentalist and persecuted his family who had become followers of Jesus,” Brogden shares. “One night in his dream, he saw Jesus walking towards him, and Jesus was carrying the Cross. Jesus approached him, lifted up the Cross, and whacked him over the head with the Cross.
“Waking with a start, he was troubled. The man thought the dream demonic. He rose, performed the Islamic abolitions and ritual prayers, and then went back to bed. The dream repeated: Jesus walked toward him carrying the Cross and walloped him over the head. Waking shaking, the man washed, prayed the Islamic prayers, and once more fell asleep.
“A third time he dreamed the same dream. Jesus, Cross, and clobbered over his head. The third time he woke up bemused. He said to himself: There must be some truth to Jesus as the Messiah, I better take Him seriously.
“In the morning he sought out his cousin and told him of the dream. ‘Help me understand Who Jesus is!’ he asked. His cousin began to study the Bible with him. Over time, He believed that Jesus was God — the man is now a follower of Jesus and a leader in the underground church.”
PRAISE AND CAUTION
Bradford and Brogden agree that many Muslims throughout the world are now experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus.
“I would even say it’s the normal experience,” Brogden says. “It would be accurate to say that Muslims are responding to Jesus in levels we have never seen, not in 1,400 years!”
However, it’s not like the entire Muslim world has been transformed and the need for lifting Muslims — and other peoples — up in prayer has vanished. On the contrary; the need is greater than ever.
“Globally, we are losing ground and there are more unreached people now than in the history of the world,” Brogden says. “In 1982, there were 2.5 billion people in the world classified as ‘lost’ with 1.5 billion being classified as unreached. In 2022, the global population reached eight billion, with six billion classified as ‘lost’ and 3.15 billion being classified as unreached.”
Those grim statistics reveal the need for ongoing faithful and faith-filled prayer. Brogden and Bradford urge believers to remain committed to praying for the lost, especially for those where conversion comes at a steep price.
“Dreams are contributing to revelation (as in assurance), the process of evangelism, and conversion,” says Brogden, noting that it’s not revival, as in life returning for Muslims, but instead vival — life from the dead. “So many Muslims reject Islam, but know that to follow Jesus, it will cost them everything. Dreams of Jesus encourage them along the way and give them the comfort that Jesus will be with them — though it cost them everything to follow Him.”