Every year the Muslim world takes part in 30 days of fasting, known as Ramadan.
This year Ramadan beings the evening of March 22.
Just what is Ramadan and what does it mean for a Muslim?
During Ramadan Muslims are required to fast from food, water and smoking from sunrise to sunset. What does this look like in everyday life? The day begins at 4:30am to eat sahur, breakfast before sunrise, followed by prayer. Many Muslims continue their normal schedule and work throughout the day. However, if they can reduce their work activities to conserve energy they will. In Muslim communities all restaurants are closed during the day. The usual street vendors cannot be found. People often leave work by 4:00pm to go home to cook and prepare to break their fast. Then at sundown the prayer call is heard, and families join together for iftar, the breaking of the fast. This is followed by a large meal.
Besides fasting Ramadan is also meant to be a time of increased awareness of Allah. This is done several ways. While fasting, when thoughts of food or drink come to mind, Muslims are encouraged to focus their thoughts on Allah. Another way is through giving. Money that would have been spent on food during the day is given to the poor. Sometimes extra food is made for the evening meal and given to others. A third way that Muslims increase awareness is by giving more attention to the Quran through reading and times of public recitation. Muslims believe that by taking part in Ramadan, they earn favor with Allah and increase their chances of going to Heaven.
During Ramadan more time is devoted to prayer. It is a time when Muslims seek Allah for answers. There are special times of corporate prayer. One particular night of Ramadan, the Night of Power, is considered to be very special. It is believed that on this night prayers are answered, and sins are forgiven. Muslims also believe that Allah reveals himself through visions. During Ramadan Muslims are especially attentive to dreams and visions.
Because Muslims are more spiritually aware during Ramadan, this is a time when we as Christians have a real opportunity to have an impact on the Muslim world. You may not know a Muslim or live in a Muslim community, but as we pray for Christ to speak while they are seeking, many are coming to know Christ as their Savior.
Specific Ways to Pray During Ramadan
- Pray that God will open the eyes of Muslims to see Jesus for who He really is.
- Pray that Jesus would come to those who are seeking through dreams and visions.
- Pray for Muslims who are questioning their faith, that they would meet a Christian who can share the truths of the Bible with them.
- Pray for Christians living in Muslim communities that they would have opportunities to engage Muslims in conversation about spiritual things.
- Pray for new Muslim background believers that they would find support among other Christians to grow in their faith and for strength during times of persecution.
Christ is at work in the lives of Muslim people. There are countless testimonies of Muslims coming to Christ through dreams and visions, as well as those who have become dissatisfied and question their beliefs.
As we pray, our God is faithful to speak, and lives are being changed for eternity!