International (MNN) — It is going to be a very different Ramadan this year for Muslims around the world with the coronavirus pandemic still keeping many countries on lockdown. The 30-day holiday of fasting and prayer starts tonight at dusk.
However, mosques won’t be holding gatherings for Ramadan prayers. Families and friends won’t be coming together to share meals after daytime fasts. Many holy sites that Muslims would visit during Ramadan are closed.
A Different Ramadan
This Ramadan will be difficult and saddening for many of our Muslim friends and neighbors. They may be desperately looking for hope and a word from Allah, especially at this time.
What they need is the hope and encouragement of Jesus Christ.
Perry LaHaie with Frontiers USA says, “They’re thinking about their eternal future. Ramadan is one of the ways that they earn points, if you will, to get on Allah’s good side.
“With the combination of what Ramadan is about…and also just this pandemic that’s gripped our world and the fear that has gripped us, I think Muslims are going to be even more open during this Ramadan. This could be a Ramadan where more Muslims come to Jesus than ever before.”
That is why it’s especially important this year for Christians to be praying for Muslims to know the God of the Bible during Ramadan.
“When you pray through Ramadan for 30 days, you’re going to be a part of Muslim men, women, boys, and girls coming into God’s family. That’s how powerful prayer is.”
To help you do that, Frontiers has produced a new 30-day Ramadan prayer guide, That All May Know. Click here to sign up!
LaHaie says this prayer guide “will get you to look through the eyes of Muslim men, women, and children and see what life is like through their eyes. It will give you God’s heart for them.”
Your prayers for the Muslim world are not in vain. Frontiers gets stories all the time from the mission field of God moving in the hearts and lives of Muslims, often in miraculous ways!
Such is the story of Sunya. As a devout Muslim woman in a Middle Eastern country, Sunya did everything right in the eyes of her friends and family. “She prayed five times a day, which is what devout Muslims do. She kept Ramadan. She always covered her head in public.”
However, when friend gave her a film about Jesus, Sunya had no idea her life was about to change. Sunya was familiar with the story of Jesus the prophet as told in the Quran, but the story in the film was different. It was the story of Jesus the Savior who loved her and died on a cross for her.
LaHaie says, “She watched the film, she thought about it, and it plunged her into a crisis of faith. So one night, she cried out to God and she just cried, ‘Lord, you’ve got to show me the truth. I’m so confused.’
“That night, Jesus appeared to her in a dream, which happens so much in the Muslim world. In the dream, Jesus was holding out His hands and He said to Sunya, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’ That’s what it took for Sunya to become a follower of Jesus.”
Today, Sunya is persecuted for her faith. But that hasn’t stopped her from leading other Muslims to Jesus Christ.
How to Pray
In addition to signing up for Frontiers’ 30-day Ramadan prayer guide, LaHaie offers a few requests you can pray for now.
- Pray for Muslims to have dreams and visions of Jesus.
- Pray for Muslim families to be curious and read the Bible together.
- Pray for Frontiers workers to find “persons of peace” — spiritually-open Muslims who are leaders in their communities and who will invite other Muslims to study the Bible with them. During the pandemic, they can even host virtual Bible studies.
- Pray for more Christians to go share the Gospel with Muslims.
Finally, LaHaie suggests, “Consider becoming an advocate for Muslim peoples. There are 4,000 Muslim people groups that don’t have access to the Gospel. So pray, ‘God, would you have me be somebody who advocates to reach Muslim peoples?’”
Header photo courtesy of Utsman Media via Unsplash.