(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
What better way to begin our Ramadan prayer journey than to first consider why prayer itself is so important to Muslims.
Salat (prayer) is one of the five crucial pillars in their faith and Ramadan is their holiest month.
Did you know Muslims who keep the obligatory five prayers a day bow their foreheads to the floor? 34 times. Each day. They repeat phrases like, “Praise be to Allah,” and “Allah is the greatest.” The dedication and discipline are commendable. But are their prayers being answered?
As Muslims around the world prostrate themselves each day, let’s pray that they would encounter the one, true God – who alone hears and answers our prayers.
In the Quran, Muslims are encouraged to be steadfast in prayer (chapter 2, verse 43); to seek Allah’s help through prayer (2:45); to prepare properly (5:6)
The second pillar of Islam is prayer (Salat). Prayer, for Muslims, is experienced with the whole body and practiced in the same prescribed manner all over the world.
There are specific steps, instructions, and actions. It is another aspect of Muslim life that unifies hundreds of millions of people from thousands of different backgrounds. The pillar includes the ritual daily prayers (salat) as well as personal prayer (du’a).
Muslims perform salat five times a day: just before dawn, mid-day, just before the sun sets, after the sun sets, and at night. Other special prayers are associated with the two main annual Muslim holidays (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha), rites of passage (birth, weddings, death), and when travelling, to name a few.
WHY IS SALAT SIGNIFICANT?
In the Quran, Muslims are encouraged to be steadfast in prayer (chapter 2, verse 43); to seek Allah’s help through prayer (2:45); to prepare properly (5:6); to be diligent in the obligatory prayers; and to have a devout attitude when approaching Allah (2:238). In 5:91, Muslims are warned that Satan will always want to distract them from prayer.
In addition to the Quran, Muslims rely on the “sayings and doings” of Muhammad, known as the Sunna, to guide them not only in the practice of prayer, but in every detail of life. One interesting event recorded in the Sunna (al Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 345) describes a journey Muhammad took to the first level of heaven – there are several in Islam – with the angel Gabriel.
There Muhammad encountered Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. When Moses asked Muhammad how many times Allah had commanded his followers to pray, Muhammad responded, “Fifty.” Moses told Muhammad this would be too burdensome; he should appeal to Allah to reduce this number. The first time Muhammad implored Allah; it was reduced by half.
Moses thought that was still too much. Muhammad went back a second time, and it was reduced by half again. Still too difficult, according to Moses. Muhammad returned to Allah a third time, and the five daily prayers were settled.
WHAT DOES SALAT LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE?
At the mosque, men and women pray in exactly the same way, though in different sections of the building. Even when women pray at home, which they often do, the process is the same. The only exception is when a woman is menstruating, because then she is considered impure and her prayers invalid.
After the ritual of washing with water – rinsing the hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, ears and feet – worshipers line up in orderly rows, barefoot and shoulder to shoulder. Standing facing toward Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the prayers begin. While reciting the various prayers in Arabic, they will repeat a variety of physical positions: standing, raising their hands to their ears, crossing their arms in front, bowing, kneeling, and bending prostrate with their forehead to the floor.
A Muslim who keeps the five daily prayers prostrates before Allah a total of 34 times and recites phrases such as “Praise be to Allah,” “Allah is the greatest,” and “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God” dozens of times each day.
- Pray for Muslims to be overwhelmed by the personal presence of the Living God as they pray.
- Pray for realization that their heart cries are heard by a Father who loves them.
- Pray for revelation that Jesus alone gives us confident access to God in prayer.
Tomorrow we will continue with Ramadan day 2. Join us as we pray for Muslims to fully know Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, and follow him.
The Lord’s servant,
Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader
VOP Note: Thank you to Nadia, our dear sister in Christ, for caring enough to pray for Muslims all over the world to come to know and follow Christ.
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.
We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.