Today, Wednesday July 6th, marks the start of the 3 day holiday known as Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Fast-Breaking, when Muslims have a time of special celebration to mark the end of the month of Ramadan.
On the first day of Eid, Muslims often gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer, which consists of a sermon followed by a short prayer recited by all of those present.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually then spend the rest of the Eid holiday visiting with family members and friends, giving gifts, especially to children, and celebrating with their communities. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday, with some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, taking almost two weeks to celebrate Eid.
For many this year however, Eid al-Fitr will be a time of grief and mourning, after the recent bombing and attacks is Bangladesh, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
And for the millions of refugees fleeing these and other areas of conflict and persecution, it will be a time of reflection on past, happier years of celebrating with family, and also of longing for hope for the future, that they will one again be able to celebrate Eid in freedom and safety.
One things is common to all of these Muslims – the truth that the God they earnestly seek over the month of Ramadan also yearns for them to come to truly know Him, longs to walk with them, grieves and mourns with them, offers hope to the hopeless, healing and life to the broken hearted, and light to all who walk in darkness.
This is our God … the one who sees even a sparrow fall and cares for it. How much more does He care for these broken, lost millions. How much more does He long to reveal Himself to them, not just over Ramadan, but every day of every year.
Let us, as His people, continue to call out to our God on behalf of the Muslim world over this time of Eid, and right through the year.
- Pray for peace throughout the Muslim world over this time of Eid, for safety for all who celebrate, that they may do so without fear.
- Pray for God to continue to reveal Himself to Muslims throughout the world, and for many to continue to seek to know Him, the Prince of Peace and Author of Life.
- Pray that those who have had dreams and vision of Jesus over Ramadan will earnestly seek the One of whom they dreamt, and come to understand His love and grace for them, their families and communities.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move across the Muslim world, to bring hope, healing and restoration to broken people, communities and nations.
Psalm 40 vs 16: “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, ‘The Lord is great!’”