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FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2024

Abraham asked God to bless his son Ishmael. He said, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” (Genesis 17:18). God promised to do that (Genesis 17:20). To understand the setting and scope of this prayer, we ask two questions: Who was Ishmael? What does “bless” mean in this case? 

Ishmael, Abraham’s son from Hagar, was the father of several Arab tribes. Arabs became the first recipients of the Muslim message, and even today they are the major promoters and guardians of the Islamic religion. 

Since God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross to redeem us, the ultimate blessing God has for any man or woman is to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and live for him. 

I have no doubt that God will, in due course, bless millions of the descendants of Ishmael with that ultimate divine blessing. Our duty is to intercede for them and reach out to bring them to the cross. 


God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, I worship you. You are worthy of all praise and honor. 

I thank you for your promise to Abraham to bless Ishmael. Because of that promise, we come to you in faith, asking you to fulfill your Word. You have already begun to do that by opening the eyes of Ishmael’s mother Hagar, so she could see a well of water where she could give her son a drink. You affirmed your promise when the Bible tells us that “God was with the boy” (Genesis 21:20). 

And now we ask for Ishmael’s children. In the mighty name of Jesus, may many millions of Muslims come to you through faith in the cross of Calvary. By faith, we see multitudes of them rushing to worship Christ the Lord— gathering in mosques, stadiums, arenas, fields, all over the Muslim world, to worship the One who is sitting on the throne—because Christ was slain, and by his blood he bought people for God from every tribe and language and nation and race (Revelation 5:1, 9). 


As for Ishmael, I have heard your request for him, and I will surely bless him (Genesis 1 7 : 2 0 , SAB).