In one of my favorite missionary stories, Paul speaks to the pagan Greeks in Athens. He begins by saying "You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around...I even discovered an altar inscribed 'To An Unknown God.' What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you." Later he even uses the words of a pagan Greek poet, Epimenides of Knossos, acknowledging therefore that this man had a deep, true intuition about Who God is: "For 'In Him we live and move and have our being,' as even some of your poets have said, 'For we too are His offspring.'" (Paul's speech is in Acts 17).
Wow! Paul tells these pagans he knows that they're religious! Paul goes on to talk to the Athenians about Jesus, the Fullness of God's Revelation of Who God is. But he doesn't act as if the Greeks don't already know something about God. Instead, he builds on the understanding that they already have, in spite of their erroneous embrace of many gods. They already know and believe the truth that divinity of some sort is responsible for the origin of the universe, that 'we too are His offspring.'
Later missionaries made the error of believing that they were "bringing God to" other peoples, instead of recognizing as Paul did, that God reveals Himself in the hearts of all who search for Him. Christians bring additional Good News to others - the incredible news of God Who became man, Who suffered, died, and rose so that we too can have eternal life in Him and with Him. But we should never underestimate God's way of paving the way!
In fact, reading God's praises in other religions can give us new eyes with which to appreciate how God illuminates souls.
Our Jewish brothers and sisters - and Jesus was a Jew - have many beautiful Names for God:
El Shaddai: Lord God Almighty Jehovah-Raah: The Lord My Shepherd
Jehovah Rapha: the Lord That Heals Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide.
Al Ghazzali, a Muslim mystic of Persian descent (1058-1111) praised God, saying "He alone is the Giver of Life; He is omniscent...the smallest atom in the earth or the heavens is known unto Him. He is aware of how the ants creep upon the hard rock in the darkness of the night. He perceives the movements of specks of dust in the air. He beholds the thoughts which pass through the minds of men..."
In the ancient Hindu Gita we find these lovely words: " Why should they not revere You? You are the First Creator, Infinite...home of the Universe. You are the Imperishable.... You are the Knower and What Is Known....The whole Universe was spun by You."
There have never been atheists in Africa, according to this Ashanti proverb:
"No one shows a child the Supreme Being." What this means is that no one born in Africa needs to go to school to learn about the existence of the Supreme Being because God's existence is known by all, even children.
Whatever names others have for God, whatever additional beliefs they have, if they humbly acknowledge that there is a Creator, if they intuitively know that this Creator wants them to love others, to follow certain rules of morality, to respect the earth, then we need to respect and acknowledge that God has already begun to speak to their hearts.
God has taught them a way to pray. They have begun to hear Jesus' voice about the Great Commandments to love, even if they have never heard His Name, never been introduced to Him.
If we want to share our faith with others of non-Christian religions, then, we need to first acknowledge that within their souls is holy ground. We must listen first, listen to who God is for them, realize that they too pray, and then look for the imprints of God's footprints already in their hearts. Our beliefs in certain ways may be and will be very different. But we can pray ALONGSIDE Muslims, Hindus, Jews, even though we cannot pray entirely WITH them. And we can believe that since God listens to all who have sincere hearts, that ALL our prayers are reaching the same Divine Ears!