Ramadan, marked by 30 days of fasting and prayer, is a season when Muslims diligently strive to fulfill the duties that form the basis of their religious practice.
During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, drink, smoking, sexual activity, as well as gossip, fighting, lying, etc. It’s a rigorous commitment to sacrifice, renunciation, reflection and spiritual growth. Ramadan is often a season of recommitment to God and the Muslim community.
A diligent observance of Ramadan is offered in hopes that God’s pardon might be earned for the sins they have committed.
Christian forgiveness rests in Jesus’ finished work; our efforts to love God and love neighbour arise from a heart of gratitude and commitment to his good Kingdom reign.
Muslims seek to earn forgiveness through good deeds and religious observances. However, there is no confidence that even diligent efforts will achieve the desired outcome of God’s forgiveness for sins.
If you are reading this and are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you, like me, have received the grace and mercy of God. We stand together on level ground at the foot of the cross, with thankful hearts full of joy for the freedom we have been given.
My prayer is that our hearts together are moved with compassion towards those who are not yet free—those whom Christ died for, but who do not yet know him. Those who are zealous to please God but have no confidence that their efforts will be accepted; no confidence in salvation; no rest in forgiveness; no experience of mercy and grace.
As Muslims enter a season of prayer and fasting during Ramadan, let’s also enter a season of prayer and fasting. For 30 years, around the world, Christians have set aside these 30 days of Ramadan to pray specifically for Muslims. I invite you to set aside this month as a season of prayer.
This Ramadan, why don't you start your journey of prayer, learning and engaging with the Muslims whom God is bringing into your life?