May 02 2018
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
Ready for Ramadan?
Ramadan 2018 begins May 15 and ends June 14. With Muslims now spread around the world, Ramadan has become a global event that impacts not only those who observe it, but also the societies where they live. For example, this morning I watched two covered Muslim women walk their daughters past my house on the way to school. The school will be impacted during Ramadan by children coming in tired from the evening festivities and early morning waking times, and – for children who are fasting – hungry and probably cranky too.
We will be hearing our local radio stations interviewing Muslims and asking about their fast, just as they do Christians during Christmas celebrations. Politicians will be invited to Eid festivities at the culmination of the month of fasting.
Since Ramadan will impact our world, are there ways in which we can get ready for it? One way is to obtain 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, a prayer booklet which leads Christians in prayer during Ramadan (or any other convenient 30-day period). This is its 25th year. “More than 80% of all the movements of Muslims to Christ in history have occurred in the past two to three decades, a time period that coincides with the modern prayer movement for Muslims. At the heart of this modern prayer movement is 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” (from the website). Go to 30daysprayer.com to obtain booklets for your church or to sign up for daily email updates.
Many missionaries to Muslims advise that Ramadan is not the best time to minister to observant Muslims (think about someone trying to make appointments with us mid-December). So perhaps now is the time to visit.
A missionary reports that her female Muslim friends are already making up for the days they will be exempt from fasting due to their menstrual cycle, days on which they’re considered unclean. The month of Ramadan stretches out longer for them – not only from having to make up days, but also because they prepare the daily feasts everyone enjoys after sunset.
The women among us with female Muslim friends can get ready in another way. Mother’s Day is May 13. Beautiful cards, and perhaps flowers, for our friends who are mothers can open up conversations about how God loves us tenderly like a mother. Go to joyloewen.blogspot.ca (April 11, 2018) to understand some of the pressures on Muslim women and how to minister to them on Mother’s Day this year, right before they enter a time when so much is asked of them.
Rejoice that God is effectively using Ramadan, the celebration that brings the Islamic ummah (community) together in their faith, to bring the global family of Christians together in prayer for their salvation!
Thank God for the growing harvest among Muslims. Let Him know that we want to see much, much more! Encourage Him to show His saving power among Muslims during Ramadan 2018 and multiply the momentum achieved through 25 years of persistent prayer.
Ask Him to reveal the fullness of His tender-hearted love to Muslim women.
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