The Songhai team has come up with a prayer guide for Ramadan, which begins tomorrow. This guide has the name of 30 villages (one for each day of the Ramadan holiday). In each of these villages, there is at least one believer who will be experiencing Ramadan this year for the first time as a Christian. Essentially, this means that this believer will not celebrate a holiday that they have normally celebrated for every year of their life up to this point. More than any other time of the year, it is during this time that our believers are "set apart" from their community. While everyone else is fasting from food & water from sun up to sun down for 30 days in a row, our believers will continue to eat & drink. It may be hard for you to understand but this holiday & our believers' choice to NOT celebrate it is a BIG deal. While it does "alienate" them on some levels & brings persecution on others, it also is a great time for them to share their faith & explain why they are no longer celebrating this religious & cultural holiday.
So, if you would like, you can pray for these villages & the believers (whose names are being withheld) in them who will not be celebrating Ramadan for the first time in their life. It's a sometimes scary & lonely road to step out on their own as they take that first bite of food while everyone else sits by & stares. Pray that as everyone else is closing their mouths to fast for these 30 days, that our believers will open their mouths wide & be bold to proclaim the name of Jesus to their friends & family. Pray that this holiday would be a time where the believers take a deeper & firmer stand in their faith & not turn back to their former religion just because they are afraid of standing out. Pray that God would use this time in their lives to grow them in their faith in ways they'd never imagine.
*This prayer guide is a 4x6 card. Feel free to print it out & post it on your fridge, stick it in your Bible, tape it to your bathroom mirror, or just use it however you desire.
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