by Richard Long,
Maybe you have already been especially praying for your Muslim neighbours since Ramadan began a few days ago. This article from the Charisma website gives some direction about how Christians are praying during this special season…
When Ramadan begins tomorrow (Aug. 11), some Christians will be praying along with the Muslim world—for followers of Islam to come to Christ.
“We’re praying for Muslims that … they see Jesus during this time … that they feel the Spirit move,” said Michele Miller, director of ministries for Open Doors USA, an international nonprofit organization that supports persecuted Christians in oppressive countries.
To unite Christians in prayer, Open Doors has developed the 30-day Ramadan Prayer Calendar. Each day is specific to a country on the organization’s World Watch List—a ranking of 50 countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe.
“Thirty-five of the countries out of 50 on the list are from countries that either the government is based on Islamic laws and rules or it’s a Muslim-dominated country,” Miller said.
Wednesday’s prayer is specific to the country of Iran—No. 2 on the World Watch List. The calendar can be downloaded online.
During Ramadan—the ninth month of the Islamic calendar—Muslims fast from dawn until dusk and spend time in prayer, seeking forgiveness, purification and guidance in commemoration of the time they believe the prophet Mohammed divinely received the Quran.
Miller says she’s asking Christians to pray for two things: persecuted Christians in Islamic nations and that Muslims find Jesus.
“It’s an encompassing, holistic approach—not just praying for Christians for strength and hope and encouragement, but also for their situation, for the government in their area and … that there is a greater awareness and a greater coming together, so that ultimately Jesus and the gospel message is proclaimed,” she said.
Around the world, millions are estimated to be supporting 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, said Paul Filidis, North American coordinator for the prayer campaign. Youth With a Mission (YWAM) launched the initiative in 1993, but it is not specifically a YWAM program.
Participants can purchase special prayer booklets at WorldChristian.com that include a daily prayer focus as well as information on some aspect of the Islamic faith, culture or history.
It’s “informed prayer,” Filidis said.
Filidis said between 50,000 and 70,000 of the books are distributed around North America. However, many other countries reproduce the materials in various ways throughout the world.
The goal is to help Christians realize that Muslims are regular people, he said. “We want to encourage Christians not to be afraid of Muslims, not to hate Muslims, not to be angry at Muslims, not to fear them,” he said. “There is more to Muslims than what we see through the terrorist-related images.”
The 30 Days of Prayer is also not meant to bash Islam. “We are not trying to put down Islam,” he said. The purpose is to pray that God “would draw close to [Muslims] and that real opportunities would emerge during this time for Muslims to maybe have a new understanding or an exposure to Christ.”