Praying Like Paul During Ramadan 

Ramadan began just the other day and goes from April 1- April 30.  It is considered to be the most sacred month on the Islamic calendar, commemorating the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad.  As of one of the 5 pillars of Islam, many Muslims will fast from food and drink all month long.  They believe that spiritual rewards are increased during this month and one’s ability to find favor with Allah multiplied.
In Chad, women spend most afternoons preparing a big meal for their families in the evening when they gather to break the fast at sundown.   During this month, there is an increased devotion to prayer, acts of charity and recitation of the Quran, however, others are also more attune to the hypocrisy that exists around them, even within their own hearts.

In Chad, this month can seem slow.  The temperatures are rising and because no one is eating, a feeling of lethargy can set in because people are working slower.  However, for many workers in Chad the spiritual battle is all the more thick.  Increased religious devotion to a false god in a month like this, presents both a heightened weightiness AND an open door to engage with people who may be dissatisfied with the enormity of earning the favor of Allah.  This is especially true, because no Muslim is assured of gaining Allah’s acceptance, even after a full month of rigid devotion.


So, how would the apostle Paul ask us to pray during Ramadan?


When Paul was around Islam did not exist, but many other religions did.  In fact, the Mediterranean world, and Arabia to the east, were no less idolatrous than they are today.  So, how did Paul pray?
In Paul’s letters, he asks for prayer, exhorts the churches to pray more, and then, the majority of time, he simply prays.   Of the 42 times that Paul either prays or mentions prayer, only 7 of them are specifically related to praying for the unbeliever (Romans 10:1; Eph 6:18-20; Phil 1:19-20; Col. 4:2-4; 2 Thess. 3:1; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Phil 6).


So, here is what Paul prays most frequently, in relation to the unbeliever: 

1. For the word of God to be heard

2. For boldness and courage to speak

3. For Christians to speak, proclaim and declare the gospel

4. For Christ to be honored in word and deed

5. Salvation for unbelievers, even kings

6. Clarity in speech for Christ


Prayer Points: 

- For those who labor in the gospel.  Pray for open doors for the word of God to be spoken, read, heard and declared, whether that be in a church, at a coffee shop, in the market, via social media or the visit of a neighbor.

- For the 60 unreached peoples that still exist in Chad, the majority of whom will be observing Ramadan this month.  Pray for them to encounter Christ in the Word.

- For physical energy amidst the heat (112 degrees yesterday in the capital) to engage with neighbors and maintain daily life rhythms.

- For small groups of believers to find fellowship amongst one another and encouragement to remain faithful

- For government officials, for Sultans, Imams, Qur’anic school teachers and language helpers.  Pray for the peace of Christ to be known.

- That the veil of Islam will be lifted during this month in extraordinary ways through ordinary means (the speaking of the word with boldness and clarity)

- Pray that God may give you also opportunities to love the Muslims around you