The month of Ramadan ended this past Friday. Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims. For 30 days, Muslims fast from all food and drink from the 4:00 am sunrise until the 7:00 pm sunset call to prayer. Fasting during Ramadan is intended to lead Muslims into a religious experience in which they try to please Allah and gain “good points” on their virtue scale. Keeping the five daily prayers, reading the Quran extensively and paying money or giving food to the poor are important religious duties that diligent Muslims carry out during Ramadan. The five pillars of Islamic faith are uttering the Islamic confession of faith, prayer, fasting, paying money to the poor, and finally, visiting the tomb of the prophet Muhammad in Makkah, Saudi Arabia for those who have the financial ability to go.
Ramadan is a month in which Christians often face verbal attacks against them as infidels. It can be a time of disappointment, discouragement and hurt in the wake of these attacks. In many places, believers are also at risk for physically violent attacks against churches and individuals.
We prayed God would cover believers with His hand of protection during the Ramadan month. But Ramadan is also a month when Muslims believe heaven is more open to receive their petitions than during any other month of the year. We prayed that God would direct Muslims to Christ and to His Word during this sensitive time. We prayed that Christians would have eyes of compassion to see not enemies, but rather the pale faces of tired fasters and burdened hearts striving to please the Almighty so he might have mercy on them and eliminate at least some of their sins, a striving that may or may not be acceptable to the remote Allah.
Ramadan has ended, but we continue to pray for every person who is living in the darkness of Islam, no matter where they live, what language they speak or what their occupation. We pray that our loving Father will show Himself mighty in the days to come by the power of his love, and that He will bring many Muslims into the light of Christ. We pray that in the coming days we might hear more miraculous stories of those who were brought to faith through dreams and visions and through the presence of Christ showing forth in the lives of His people. We pray for them as they learn to walk out their faith in cities and villages that are hostile to this newfound faith.
Father, we come to You, the one true and living God. We thank You for Your protection of Christians during the month of Ramadan and for those You have drawn to faith. We do not know who they are or their stories, but we know that Your Spirit is active in gathering Christ’s church out of the darkness of unbelief into the light of Christ. We pray that You will bring people into their lives to disciple them in Your Word, that You will strengthen their faith and give them favor with their families and neighbors. We pray that You will place them in fellowship with other believers. We pray that those around them will see Your presence and that Your Spirit will use their testimony to draw others into saving faith. To many in the world, it looks like Satan is winning the battle, but Your church is growing and Christ has already won the victory. We stand in eager anticipation toward that last day when “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, [will be] standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9) We give you praise and thanks in the Name of Christ, who is “the way, the truth and the life,” the only way to Your presence, Amen.