Ramadan 2013 has ended. For those of you who faithfully followed this blog over the 30 days and joined me in a season of prayer for Muslim people, thank you.
The stories shared in this daily prayer guide are true. They were given me by people who live or recently visited North Africa, Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula. Wasn’t it amazing how God’s love for these people burned within our hearts too?
Remember Slider, the little boy who is deaf and in great joy, shoots off fireworks every day, all day. I imagine as Ramadan came to a close last night, he was the first to light a fuse in celebration for the end of fast.
One of my favorite stories is about Ahmed, who dreams of having a family one day and yet contemplates a different way to love, to husband, and to father because he has now seen the face of Christ.
Today, as you sip coffee, tasting the pungent favor and smelling the rich aroma, maybe you will remember the story, Coffee in the Desert. Ali is an elder man who sits and waits for strangers to invite for coffee. The coffee is brewed in a pit, in the desert so that Ali can fulfill his passion. Ali loves to read the stories of the bible and share the Truth in a place where hospitality rules and the Word of God is welcome. Maybe someday, if you pass that way, Ali waits for you.
Clear nights are always perfect for star gazing and star gazing is never better when sitting atop craggy, mountain peaks and sated by a large bowl of camp stew. I can’t imagine ever hiking up a mountain in blue flip flops and then not complaining about the inevitable, bruised and mangled toes. Perhaps tonight you will gaze upward taking in the glory of God’s majesty in the heavens and remember the men sitting in a small stone cottage on a mountainside half a day away from the nearest road, discussing the Almighty.
And lastly, I cannot forget Obadiah and Natalie. Although our eyes have never met, God has given me a deep and urgent love for this couple. Over the last 2 years, in the dark of night when sleep will not come, I cannot but think of them. Obadiah is an honorable man who loves Natalie with all his heart. Natalie is a devoted wife who also longs to learn and is taking classes, which is quite unusual for married women in their country. Moreover, they choose to break tradition by daring to fall in love before wedlock, which for them forged the bonds of their marriage like that of hardened steel. And yet amid newlywed bliss, Natalie is tormented by fear. She is afraid that her good deeds will not be enough to save her. Faithfully, tenaciously she cleans and prays; does her duty, but aches for freedom from the insidious grip of fear. Since writing their story, Natalie has become pregnant. Please pray that as she experiences the joy of new life growing within her, that God would give her and Obadiah, dreams and visions of Himself. Please pray that this new life will lead them to new life in Christ, giving them both hope and restoration.
The people in these stories are real. They still live the same lives described on electronic pages. Please don’t forget them. Please remember the prayers we prayed during Ramadan 2013. And, please, please don’t ever feel your prayers are wasted. For God will do more than we ever ask and He is indeed moving and drawing people onto himself!
God is El Shaddah, Almighty and All-Sufficient. He is Adonai, the King of Kings. God is Elim’Elech, the Strong-One who keeps covenant; our Elohim who sees the need of His children, and El Roi who rallies His armies to their defense. Praise His Holy Name!