How Should Christians Pray During Ramadan?

What is Ramadan?

Every year during Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar), Muslims all over the world spend time in strict religious devotion as they refocus and reset their minds on their spirituality and on an awareness of Allah as well as their responsibility to please him. This devotion to and even longing for acceptance by Allah drives Muslims throughout the month of Ramadan. In 2024, Ramadan started on the evening of Sunday March 10 and ended on Tuesday April 9. In 2025, Ramadan is expected to start on Friday February 28 or Saturday March 1, 2025. 

There are more than 1.9 billion Muslims making up almost 25 percent of the world’s population. 49 countries have majority Muslim populations. This is an important time for Christians to pray: for one month, more than 1.9 billion Muslim people will be focused on their awareness of God and commitment to please and obey him.

Ramadan brings a unique opportunity for Christians to remember and pray for their Muslim neighbors. It also serves as a provocative challenge to followers of Christ in terms of their own spiritual disciplines particularly in prayer and fasting.

Ramadan and the 5 Pillars of Islam

Muslim Fasting

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. During the 28-30 days of Ramadan, from first light to sunset, close to one billion Muslims will abstain from all forms of food and drink as well as any pleasure that would distract them from their religious focus. The aim is obedience and submission to Allah, devotion to their faith, and to atone for sins from the previous year. Only travelers, children, pregnant/ breastfeeding/ menstruating women and the sick or elderly are exempt from the call to fast though they will still participate in prayer and the communal gatherings.

Muslim Prayer

Prayer is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims give special attention to their prayer life during Ramadan. Many will add a sixth prayer to their usual nightly prayers, pray more often (sometimes throughout the night), and gather with others at the mosque for sunset prayers each day.

The Night of Power (Layat al-Qadr)

The last 10 days of Ramadan are a climax. Intensity builds throughout the month. This is a time that Muslims believe includes ‘Layat al-Qadr’ (the Night of Power) when Muhammad is believed to have divinely received the Qur’an. Prayers at this time are particularly important.

Muslim Alms

Alms is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims are called to remember and give to the poor. At Ramadan, many will give the finances they would have spent on food to the poor.

In Muslim nations and amongst Muslim communities, Ramadan is communal as well as personal. Businesses will reduce hours of operation and families will gather to enjoy large extended meals as they break their fast at sunset.

What Should Christians Do During Ramadan?

If you have Muslim friends, be respectful of their fast. Ask them about it with a genuine desire to understand the significance, the most meaningful aspects to them, and their personal experiences. Pray and look for opportunities to share your faith. Invite them to an evening meal (iftar) for the breaking of the day’s fast. Ask God to fill you with supernatural love for your Muslim friends and when the time is right, share your faith with them.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:15

Pray! This is a great time of awakening, spiritual hunger and opening amongst Muslims. Pray that God will speak to them as they fast and pray.

Christian Prayer – What to Pray During Ramadan

Practical guidelines as we pray through Ramadan:

  • Consider choosing a specific time of day. Perhaps even set a reminder, so that like clockwork, just as with Muslims all over the world, you receive a call to prayer and spend a few minutes interceding for them.
  • Pray that as they seek to please Allah (literally means ‘God’ in Arabic) that they will find Jehovah God and be transformed by His love. Muslims regularly share testimony of Jesus meeting them as they devoutly prayed to Allah. “Seek and you will find.” Matthew 7:7
  • Pray for supernatural encounters at this spiritually charged time. Muslims regularly share testimony of Jesus appearing to them in their dreams and even in physical visions. In fact Muslims are particularly aware of their dreams during Ramadan as they believe that dreams are a direct way through which Allah may choose to reveal himself. Pray for that Jesus would reveal Himself directly to them through dreams and visions.
  • Pray for increased hunger for truth and even a curiosity for the gospel. Pray that those that may have been closed to the gospel at other times will be open to hear it. Pray that as they experience physical hunger in an act of devotion and obedience, that their spiritual hunger would be awakened and they would begin to look for a way to truly satisfy it. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life’” John 6:35
  • Pray for Christians living in Muslim nations. Pray for their safety, pray for their supernatural witness. Pray for Muslims to meet and befriend followers of Jesus this Ramadan. Pray for boldness, anointing and wisdom on the Christians as they share their faith. “You are the light of the world” Matthew 5:14
  • Pray for Christians with Muslim friends. Pray for new opportunities at this time of spiritual openings and awakening.
  • Pray for access to the gospel. There are still hundreds of millions of Muslims who remain unreached – many do not have the Bible in their own heart language. Pray for the gospel to penetrate these people groups. Pray for those working on Scripture translation to receive miraculous breakthroughs in their projects. Pray for churches to be established that will grow and multiply.
  • Pray for Muslims in need. There is a devastatingly large population of Muslims struggling with poverty, dislocation and the aftermaths of natural and manmade disasters (from wars to famines and earthquakes). Pray for peace. Pray for practical help to reach those in need.
  • Pray for Muslims immediately after Ramadan. Many come away disillusioned – either because they miss the spiritual high and the coming together of community, or because they carry guilt for their own lack of piety throughout the season. They may come away with questions about the whole practice. Pray again for an openness to the gospel and for salvation for those asking the big questions after such a significant religious festival.

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Isaiah 58:6-7

Iran is home to more than 85 million Muslims. Many Iranians are moving away from Islam and looking for a better way.

Published on
28 February 2024
Iranian New Year and the Haft Seen History of Iran: Journey from Ancient Empires to the modern Islamic Republic

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