In trying to practice Christian disciplines, I've fasted at various times in my life for short periods of time and always only from food. It is never easy. From my feeble experiences I am in awe of Muslims who during the month of Ramadan fast from sunrise to sunset not only from food, but from water (and that includes coffee and tea--which to my mind are essentials of life at the computer).
Currently, theological debates rage over the internet as to whether Christians should observe Ramadan, and though I come down on the side of those who believe that a Christian should no more observe Ramadan with a Muslim friend or neighbor any more than we would ask a Muslim to take communion with us--it is a very good time for us to pray FOR our Muslim neighbors and the Muslim world.
It is also a good time to learn and understand the differences between the Muslim faith and Christianity. If you don't understand the differences, you can't knowledgeably share the uniqueness of the Christian faith. In my personal experience as a Sunday School teacher, one of my students came up to me one week and shared a conversation he had with a Muslim student that he and his wife were sponsoring as an exchange student. We'd been sharing life and discussions about the Christian faith with her and he said, "We finally found something in common because Christians and Muslims believe in the same God of the Old Testament and Abraham." I was very concerned, but before I answered, I realized I needed to do quite a bit more study. CLICK HERE for the study that resulted. (Update: it's been over 2 years since that lesson and after much more interaction, many more lessons, discussions and prayers--last weekend our formerly Muslim friend was baptized as a follower of Jesus.)
Following are some resources to help you communicate understand the Muslim faith and pray for Muslims.
Resources available for you:
The images to the left illustrate two bulletin inserts that provide useful and informative links to help Christians understand Ramadan and the Muslim religion.
Links to the information follows, but for Members of the Effective Church Communications, at the end of this article is a downloable ZIP file that has:
**Ready-to-Print PDFs of both bulletin inserts, one in color, one in black and white
**Editable MS Publisher files of both
**MS Word File you have permission to use in any ministry publication or website you want
***THIS is important, the file also has not only low res png images of the files that you could use on PowerPoint or the web, but also hi res jpgs that can be used in print materials--bulletins or newsletters.
All of these materials are FREE to Effective Communication Members. Membership means all the church staff and volunteers can use one membership. CLICK HERE for more information or to sign up. Members can jump to the end of this article to download your free file.
Links on the inserts:
This is a highly recommended explanation of Ramadan plus an excellent list of related resources for understanding the differences between Islam and Christianity and very good resources for witnessing to Muslims.
The 30-Days Prayer Network--has a website and prayer guide for 30 days of Prayer for Muslims:
Sites for witnessing to Muslims
http://isaalmasih.net/isa/index.html- Excellent site because it uses Islamic terms and speaks directly to Muslims. I will also help Christians in understanding and knowing how to discuss topics of mutual interest.
http://www.christiananswers.net/evangelism/beliefs/islam.html --Lots of information, excellent overviews.
http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/is-the-quran-credible-2/ --One of many articles about Islam on this highly recommended site for all apologetic topics
http://www.equip.org/audio/what-are-the-contents-of-islam/ Another overview of Islam
ZIP file of Bulletin insert in PDF, Editable MS Publisher files, MS Word file and images
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