Ramadan reminds Christians to pray for Muslims
As Muslims around the world begin their holy month of Ramadan this week, Ray Dorsett, a friend of OneWay, shares a personal story of why it’s so important to pray for Muslims during this time of deep spiritual significance.
I stood at the head of a simple grave, watching the body of my Muslim brother-in-law of nearly 50 years, wrapped in a linen shroud only, lowered by the hands of two sons-in-law, a nephew and a grandson into the red African earth. Standing at the bottom of the grave, they positioned the body on its side, the head facing the Muslim city of Mecca. Almost all Muslims are buried this way as if their body position culminates a life of “works-based hope” and faithfulness for eternal life.
I quietly stood with a small group of Muslim men, family and a few friends, as they hand-shoveled dirt on the remains of my dear friend, my dear wife’s brother, Amir.
In respect to human performance, he was a good man, quite successful in the world of international finance. With his wife and daughters he had lived honorably in the United States for 45 years. Amir was the eldest of seven children, born in the Indian Ocean breezes of East Africa. He was wise, humble and led the extended family in the years following his parents’ death.
Nonetheless, in the 10 days since his burial I have been haunted by the image of his shrouded body at the bottom of this simple grave, dust to dust, facing an eternal future without true hope. Hope comes in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone, His death for the payment of our sins, His resurrection providing eternal life for those who believe.
When I die in the next few years and my people and friends bury me in the earth, my hope, my assurance of eternal life, will not be in my human resume, not in a balance sheet that shows more good than bad deeds accomplished by my self-effort.
Rather, my full hope will be in what Jesus Christ has done for me in redemptive salvation.
Jesus gave His life for me (on the cross) so that He could give His life to me (Galatians 2:20) so that He could live His life through me for eternity to His honor and glory!
While here, we are staying with another of my wife’s brothers, the one most zealous for Islam. He and his wife faithfully pray five times a day, usually in front of us. While we love them dearly and have shared Christ as recently as a few days ago, they remain in the stronghold of darkness. So, when they pray, we pray in humility and confident opposition to the enemy of our souls.
This spiritual warfare seems particularly intense as Ramadan approaches.
“Love Muslims” is so appropriate, I believe, but the media and a lack of general understanding has driven a wedge between the Body and many parts of the rest of the world.
Two days ago the brother I referenced said to us, “We believe most Christians hate Muslims.” Truly sad!