“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people.” (1 Timothy 2:1)
Why Pray for Muslims during Ramadan?
For the millions of Muslim people in East and Southeast Asia, the fasting month of Ramadan marks the time Muslims believe the Qur’an was first revealed to Muhammad. It’s a great time to pray for God to bless these Muslims and to pray that they would learn more about Jesus. We also hope you’ll find the questions and answers helpful as you get to know and bless your Muslim neighbors. We invite you to pray with us through Ramadan using these 15 questions as a guide.
When does Ramadan start?
Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, started on March 21st, 2023, and continues to Friday, April 21st. A Muslim day starts at sunset, not midnight. This practice follows the biblical tradition found in Genesis: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Muslims around the world will be actively seeking to be holy before Allah as they fast during daylight hours. Pray for followers of Jesus living in Muslim communities to be wise in how they bless them at this time.
What does Ramadan mean to Muslims?
It is a time of practicing living a life of purity so that they can grow spiritually and get closer to Allah. Ramadan also helps them practice patience and compassion. Give thanks for the many Muslim people living on the Silk Road who long to live pure lives. Pray that our heavenly Father will honor their desire.
How is Ramadan practiced?
Every day from sunrise to sunset Muslims abstain from eating or drinking. At the Equator the fast lasts for 12 hours. In summer, north or south of the Equator a Ramadan day is much longer. Pray for your Muslim neighbors who are abstaining from food and drink during the day. Pray for them to learn more about Jesus and how he can provide for all their needs.
How does Ramadan connect Muslims?
Ramadan is a worldwide fast. Imagine if all your friends and family decided to fast together. Think of the sense of unity that would bring. Imagine if everyone in your community did the same. Ramadan reinforces the strong sense of identity of Muslims as followers of Islam together. Pray for Muslim people living away from their home country who may feel isolated and alone. Pray that followers of Jesus would understand better how to build relationships with the Muslim people in their communities.
Why is Ramadan a special month for Muslims?
It was during the month of Ramadan that Muhammad retreated to seek solitude in a cave where Allah revealed the Qur’an to him through an angel. The Qur’an prescribes fasting so that followers of Islam become mindful of Allah. Many Muslims on the Silk Road take time to read through the Qur’an during Ramadan, often in the original Arabic. Children also learn to recite parts of the Qur’an in Arabic. Pray they will learn more about Jesus, who is mentioned in the Qur’an.
Where do most Muslims live?
You might be surprised to know that most of the world’s Muslims live in East and Southeast Asia. Indonesia is the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. Pray for more Christians to become aware of the large populations of Muslim people in Southeast Asia so that they can learn how to bless them with faithful prayer.
What do Muslim people like to do in their spare time?
Muslim people are like everyone else: they care about their friends, their family and community and they like to do the things that everyone else does, e.g., follow sports or do hobbies, meet for coffee or offer hospitality. Pray for Christians to find ways to connect with their Muslim neighbors over shared hobbies and interests.
How can Christians be praying during Ramadan?
Let’s be praying for Christians to be thinking creatively about how they can love and bless Muslims as people made in God’s image. Pray today for Christians around the world to be burdened to bless Muslim people, praying regularly for them and their needs.
Is Jesus mentioned in the Qur’an?
Yes, he is mentioned in the Qur’an and known by the Arabic name, Isa. He is respected in Islam as the penultimate prophet before Muhammad. On Good Friday, pray for Muslims to have good conversations with Christian friends or neighbors about what Easter means.
Is it ok to talk to a Muslim about their faith?
Many Muslim people like to talk about what they believe and how they practice their religion. Many will welcome sensitive and thoughtful questions about their faith. As the Easter weekend is coming up many Christians will be coming to the end of Lent. May they take time to consider their Muslim neighbors at what is traditionally a time for religious devotion and pure living. Pray that Christians will have opportunities to share Jesus’ teachings on purity and devotion with their Muslim neighbors.
People talk about the Muslim diaspora. What is it?
Muslim people who have left their own country to settle in another for social, economic or political reasons are known as diaspora peoples. If you live in a country where diaspora peoples have settled, look out for ways to make them feel welcome in your community. Your local OMF center or other Christian groups may have an initiative you could join to help them feel welcome. Pray for opportunities for Christians to extend a warm welcome to their Muslim neighbors.
How can we encourage each other to better love our Muslim neighbors?
One of the biggest ways we can encourage one another in this area is by our example. If we are able to show how we have been getting to know our Muslim neighbors and break down cultural barriers, often this will help others do the same. Muslims in Southeast Asia love to talk about what they believe. Pray for more Christians to come and live amongst them who are comfortable with talking about spiritual things with their friends.
Where can I find out more about praying for and serving Muslims?
It’s great to keep praying for Muslims beyond Ramadan. You can find further resources and prayer materials online at websites like Prayercast.com, HowtoPrayforMuslims.org, pray30days.org as well as omf.org/blessingmuslims. Over 23 million Muslims live in China and over 250 million live in Southeast Asia. Pray for Christians to have a deep and abiding concern for these people to see God’s glory and experience his love.
What happens at the end of Ramadan?
On the day that the month of Ramadan ends, Muslims express their joy and happiness by offering a congregational prayer all together out in the open (if possible). The day is generally a holiday in Muslim countries when families and communities gather together for a great feast, where special dishes are prepared and presents are given to children. This feast is known as Eid al-Fitr – ‘the festival of the breaking of the fast’ – and lasts up to three days. After Ramadan ends many Muslims will try and keep up habits formed over the month. Ask God to help you keep praying his blessing on East and Southeast Asia’s Muslims beyond Ramadan.
Now that Ramadan is over, what’s next for me?
Many Muslims will try and keep the good habits formed during Ramadan going once the fasting month is over. At OMF, we want to be a community that blesses our Muslim neighbors. Not just during Ramadan, but throughout the year. Perhaps you could now extend an invitation to meet a Muslim friend or neighbor or have dinner with them? You can explore more ideas and resources at omf.org/blessingmuslims.
Click here to download the April 2023 Prayer Powerlines.