Ramadan: As Muslims Fast, You Pray Unceasingly

Prophet Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia

She always had an answer to my questions. Fatima*, with the dark eyes and sweet smile, who lived in the small house next to my apartment in South Asia; Fatima, a Muslim, who would always have an answer to the questions I asked her about her religion.

Fatima answered willingly and listened attentively when I would share stories about Jesus with her, but she never seemed to understand that Jesus was more than the prophet so many Muslims think He is.

Many Muslims, like Fatima, know about Jesus, but not the truth that He is God’s Son who died for our sins, leaving no way for us to earn our salvation except by faith alone.

Islam is a works-based salvation, requiring practitioners of the faith to follow its Five Pillars—including fasting during the holy month of Ramadan (rah-mah-DAHN). Like Easter, the date of Ramadan shifts in accordance with the lunar calendar. In 2019, Ramadan begins the evening of May 5 and ends the evening of June 4.

What Is Ramadan?

During this month, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset (eating only during the night) to seek spiritual guidance and receive forgiveness for sins.

Ramadan is a great time to learn about Islam and to focus on praying for practitioners and the missionaries who serve in Muslim contexts.

Pray every day during Ramadan. This is important. Muslims are more aware of spiritual matters and seeking truth during Ramadan, and every day, you can ask God to reveal the truth of the gospel to Muslims.

You can pray for Muslims during Ramadan in several ways:

  • Pray collectively. Invite a few friends or your missions group to learn about Ramadan so you can pray specifically during the month.
  • Pray for Muslims you work with or live near. Ask how you can pray for them during Ramadan. Ask them what they are praying for themselves during Ramadan or what they hope to achieve by fasting.
  • Pray for Laylat al-Qadr (or Night of Power) and Eid al-Fitr (EED-uhl-FIT-uhr). The Night of Power is the 27th night of Ramadan, the night many Muslims believe a person's fate for the next year is decided. Eid al-Fitr (or Feast of Fast-Breaking) marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with communal prayers, donations to charity, and special meals.
  • Pray for Muslims to have dreams and visions of Jesus during Ramadan. Many Muslims come to faith after seeing a vision of “a man dressed in white,” Jesus.
  • Pray for missionaries who serve Muslims. Reach out to the International Mission Board to connect with a missionary working in a Muslim majority area, and learn how he or she reaches Muslims and how to pray for him or her.
  • Pray for Muslim women to have opportunities to seek spiritual truth in a religion that often doesn’t allow them to do so.
  • Pray for believers around the world who live in Muslim-majority areas to share the gospel boldly with Muslims during Ramadan.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul calls believers to pray without ceasing. As we pray that way for many people and things in our lives, let’s remember to pray that way for our Muslim brothers and sisters, especially during Ramadan. Pray for Muslims so that in their fast for spiritual truth, they would come to know Jesus—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

To learn about Islam, check out Religions Among Us.

Emily Todd* is a former cross-cultural worker who served among university students in South Asia. Currently, she lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

*Names changed.

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