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. [Read more...]