For the majority of the Western world, May 26 – June 25 will come and go this year without a second thought. But for over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, these next 30 days mark the most significant time of the year.
Ramadan is 30 days set aside for Muslims to fast from sun up to sun down. For some places in the world, this could mean over 18 hours of fasting each day. Fasting is one of the five pillars in Islam. It’s a time set aside to focus on prayer and the reading of the Qur’an in an effort to seek God.
Until you’ve experienced it, you really can’t put into words what living in a land of Ramadan is like. I remember watching from our balcony as the streets were flooded with cars. People were frantically rushing to their homes after work before sunset, so they could break the fast with their families. Taxi drivers, who notoriously drive fast on a normal day, add a little more drama to the commute home. People run around handing out dates and small glasses of juice. It’s an atmosphere full of anticipation and angst all wrapped into one.
I remember looking out over those same streets after that long-awaited call to prayer. The call to prayer is what signifies the time to break fast during Ramadan. Complete silence. It was truly the only time that a city of 10 million could be that still. Not a car on the road. Not a person in sight. Everyone was tucked around their tables, enjoying the food they worked all day to prepare.
So why should Ramadan matter to you?
Although Ramadan is largely unfamiliar to the Western world, it doesn’t mean we should ignore it. How can Christians observe Ramadan?
What if you took May 26 – June 25 to sincerely ask for Muslims to experience God during this month? What if you committed to daily prayer for the millions of people fasting all over the world to have dreams and visions of Jesus?
We have an opportunity to seek God – to ask that He reveal how His love was poured out for them and that they do not have to earn the reward of salvation. Through Jesus, they have access to complete forgiveness and righteousness that no amount of fasting or prayer could ever secure on their behalf.
What could happen if Christians all over the world cared about Ramadan in this way? What could happen if we consistently and fervently cried out to God on their behalf over this Ramadan season?
We know God is generous in grace and love. Let us join in asking Him to pour His love out over the hearts of Muslims in these coming days. May they truly know Ramadan as the time they sought God and found His Son Jesus for the first time.