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Prayer for the Muslim world: Eid and the perfect sacrifice
July 2020

By a member of SEND’s Diaspora | North America team — “I am going to cancel class for next week because it will be Eid,” I announced.  

“Actually, I would be happy to have class next week,” said my student, a refugee from the Middle East.  

“But what about Eid,” I asked.   

“Well, Eid only takes about an hour and then we continue on with our day,” my student said.   

I was amazed. In his home country, Eid would last for three or four days, but here in the US, for this family, it has been reduced to an hour!  

This week, Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha. This Eid takes place during the Hajj (July 29-Aug. 3), and this year it will be observed Friday, July 31, in most places, with the celebration beginning on Thursday evening. 

On Eid, Muslims celebrate God’s provision of a sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son Ishmael. They gather with neighbors and sacrifice an animal in memory of this event. As they kill the animal, they whisper in its ear, “In the name of God, God is great. O God! This is from you and for you. O God! Accept it from me.”

If we can set aside for a later discussion the issue of the son being changed from Isaac to Ishmael, when you think about it, this was an amazing event—God himself provided the sacrifice. 

Can you think of another time when God provided a sacrifice? It was when Jesus, the only unblemished and sinless person ever to live, went to the cross for you and for me, bearing our sin and shame and paying the penalty for our sin, that we might have life. 

This is the perfect time to strike up a conversation and talk to your Muslim friends and neighbors. Ask them to tell you what Eid is all about and why they celebrate it. Ask them the purpose of a sacrifice and why sacrifices were required. Ask them what kind of an animal makes an acceptable sacrifice. They will undoubtedly tell you that it must be a perfect and unblemished animal.

Though the Quran agrees with the fact that Jesus was sinless, Muslims will balk at the thought of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. “God would never let that happen to such a good person,” is the usual reply. They need to hear that Jesus went to the cross willingly. John 10:18 shows that Jesus knew what was going on; it was not a surprise or trick. He could have, at any moment, called down 10,000 angels to help him. But he didn’t; he chose to die as our perfect sacrifice, so that we wouldn’t have to.  

You might consider asking your Muslim friends or neighbors if they have followed God’s law perfectly, in word, thought, and deed. Feel free to share your testimony of how you fell short and how God changed your life. If they are honest, they will also admit to falling short, and that means their heart is tender to spiritual things. If they deny it and say that they have followed all God’s laws, then you need to continue to pray for the softening of their hearts.

Prayers for the Muslim World   

• 10/10 Prayer Initiative: We continue to pray for 10 percent of the Muslim world to come to Christ in the next 10 years. Please join us as we call upon God to do miraculous things! 

• Eid al-Adha: Pray that this time of Eid would cause our Muslim friends to seek spiritual answers to how they can have their sins forgiven forever, and not have to repeat an annual animal sacrifice.  

• COVID-19 challenges: Pray for all the workers who have had to adjust and find new ways to engage neighbors and friends. Pray for creative ideas and technology workarounds. Medical care in many countries is minimal at best, pray for Christian workers to remain courageous and wise in their interactions. May this unique time produce open hearts and a longing for spiritual things.

 



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