USA (MNN) – Muslims around the world are gearing up for Ramadan. It's Islam's holiest month, and it begins August 22. What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a time where Muslims re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. They try to make peace with those who have wronged them, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits — essentially to clean up their lives, thoughts, and feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" – and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but also from evil actions, thoughts, and words.
During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained. The tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip. The eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things. The hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it. The ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words. The feet must refrain from going to sinful places. In this way, every part of the body observes the fast.
For the 18th year in a row, World Christian's Paul Filidis is asking Christians to pray that many Muslims will come to know Christ during their holiest time of the year. He helped create the 30-Days Muslim Prayer Focus, a worldwide event. "The pray focus always coincides with Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. And Ramadan is the annual month of fasting where they fast from sun up to sun down. This year, the 30 days of Ramadan occurs actually from August 22 to September 20."
The 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus is a worldwide prayer effort is designed to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize new support and workers to reach out to people groups who practice Islam.
As hard-line Islam grows in the Middle East and Asia, missiologist says many nominal Muslims are becoming disenfranchised and beginning to look elsewhere for answers. Young people in countries like Iran are finding Christ on Christian satellite television and the internet.
Many Christians want to participate in Muslim evangelism, but don't know where to begin. Mission Network News is providing the 30 Days Muslim Prayer Guide for a gift of any amount.
This prayer guide is a 30-page booklet that focuses each day on a specific area of the Islamic world. As you pray, you'll gain knowledge and understanding of the Islamic culture and a heart for the people that transcends the headlines.
Each day takes you around the world so you can pray more effectively for the Islamic world. Filidis says this is doing more than providing education. He says it's "expanding our ability to love. As you pray for people, you get God's perspective, God's heart, and it's hard not to have a certain love for them that transcends the headlines."