If you joined us for our last blog post, you'll remember that Ramadan can be divided into three 'ashras' (the Arabic word for ten), which each have a different spiritual focus: The Days of Mercy, the Days of Forgiveness, and the Days of Refuge.
The Days of Forgiveness
The second ten days (approx 5-14th June) are the days of forgiveness. This is the time to repent of sins, as well as forgiving fellow Muslims. It is said that during this time, Allah's forgiveness is at it's peak.
In the wake of recent Islamist terror attacks around the world, including in Manchester, Kabul and London, these days of forgiveness are particularly poignant. One of the most powerful ways we can respond to the evil we see in the world is to forgive, as Jesus did. Please pray for those whose lives have been affected by terror: the families of those who died, the gravely injured in hospital, the caregivers and medical staff who attend them, the Muslim community, the communities where these attacks took place, and the heroes and helpers who run towards danger to protect others. Pray that they would find strength in God, and would somehow be given the supernatural strength to forgive their attackers.
Pray for Muslims seeking Jesus
On the 16th day of Ramadan (approx 10th June), please pray particularly for Muslims seeking Jesus! Many Muslims endeavour to read the whole Quran during Ramadan, and divide it up into a few surahs, or chapters, each day. By Day 16 many will be reading Surah 19, which tells the story of Jesus' birth and life (Jesus is a holy prophet in Islam, but isn't regarded as the Son of God):
"He said, 'I am a servant of God. He has granted me the Scripture, made me a prophet, made me blessed wherever I may be... Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again.' Such was Jesus, son of Mary." - Surah 19:30-34
Pray for Muslims as they contemplate Jesus, that they would be inspired to find out more about His life, death and resurrection.
More prayer points for the next 10 days:
- During these Days of Forgiveness, we can thank God that He is unchanging and that His forgiveness is new every morning! Pray that God would reveal this truth to Muslims as they earnestly seek forgiveness from their sins.
- A believer from a Muslim background shared with us one of her favourite things about Ramadan:
"The benefit of Ramadan is that it can be a month of family and relationship bonding. People fast all day, and gather together in the evenings to break the fast. This is positive, since people who have conflicts can find restoration and have a chance to reconcile their differences."
Pray for families as they come together, that they would build strong relationships with one another and forgive each other if they need to.
- Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan, and many Muslims stay up late into the night reading and studying it. Pray that as they read the Quran, they would start to ask questions, and that they would seek answers in the Bible.
- Pray that seekers would find safe access to Christians, local churches, the Bible, Christian TV stations, and Christian media like ours.
- Pray for local churches in the Middle East as they seek to be a good witness during Ramadan. Some churches in the Gulf organise prayer days or Iftar meals to break the fast, and invite people from across the community to join them. Pray that they would build strong relationships with the people around them!
- Thank God for the presence of believers across the Middle East. Pray for them during Ramadan, that during this time of increased spiritual seeking they would be given opportunities to speak about God with their friends and families.
- Pray for believers in the Middle East who may have been persecuted by Muslims, particularly Coptic Christians in Egypt, that they would show forgiveness and in doing so point the way to Jesus.
Join us on the 15th of June to pray through the final ashra of Ramadan! And don't forget to download your Ramadan Prayer Guide to remember to pray for Muslims every day.