April 17, 2023

Ramadan Corporate Prayer

For at least the American church, prayer participation in a corporate setting seems to be more and more an activity of the past. While the Bible does not indicate that corporate prayer “moves the hand of God” any more than a silent child of God in sincere prayer, God does call us to pray. Many of us will do this regularly on our own or as a family. But there are reasons to gather and pray together as a body. We asked several Gateway Church people for their response to having attended the Ramadan Evenings of Prayer. Perhaps there is something we can learn from them about the benefits and even the urgency to agree with sisters and brothers in Christ in prayer.

Why should we pray corporately?

Unity - John 17:20-23

Justin Stiles: "It was valuable for so many of our Gateway Church members to gather in prayer together. It was especially sweet for my Life Group to attend together, as it was great to spend a dedicated time together in prayer focused on people outside of our church."

Mutual Encouragement - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Jenna Wilson: "My faith was strengthened hearing the prayers of other believers and it was a wonderful time of fellowship with different people in our congregation I don't always get to see!"

Growth - Colossians 1:9-10

Marisa Lehman: "I'm glad that I've been able to go to some of the prayer nights offered. I am one that never watches the news or truthfully couldn't tell you much going on throughout the world....so this was very helpful for me. Yes, I could pray on my own time at home....but by going, I learned so much about the Muslim culture and religion. I was able to specifically pray for things that I wouldn't have thought about or even known to pray. They presented specific ways you could pray to help know how to focus your prayers."

Jenna Wilson: "If it's "not your thing" that's exactly why you should attend. Stepping out of our comfort zones is the only way we grow and this is a safe place to grow together :)"

Emily Hanson: "In my prayer group, I was really glad that we had prompts, because it made it easier for some individuals to feel more comfortable praying out loud in the group."

Jena Meloy: "I enjoyed the opportunity it was for our own children to see so many others praying for those of the Muslim faith. I think it's important for them to realize we pray not only for those who don't know Jesus, but those who worship other gods or practice a different religion. They have friends in their school who practice this faith, and it can also encourage compassion. An event like this can open so many opportunities for them to grow in their own faith as well!"

To Understand How to Pray for Muslims - Matthew 28:18-20 

Jenna Wilson: "I liked that we were taught about Islam and then guided in how to pray."

Justin Stiles: "Being educated about the Muslim faith and different elements of Ramadan allowed us to pray more specifically for our Muslim brothers and sisters. We also learned that we need to pray for safety for those Muslims who are known as Muslims who are choosing to be bold to speak the gospel in Mecca. Instead of just saying, "I will pray during Ramadan," this allowed members to pray together, which is always something we can do more as a church."

Emily Hanson: "I learned that Ramadan is not based on a typical calendar, and so it occurs at different times each year. People should engage with one of our Ramadan prayer meetings every year. They are short, informative and they provide a way to gather, meet with other Gateway Church people, and to pray in a meaningful way for our Muslim neighbors!"

It’s the thing to do! - Hebrews 10:24-25

Justin Stiles: "I saw other Life Groups present as well, and I would encourage more Life Groups to do this next year."

Emily Hanson: "I really liked that you added a cultural food item to your presentation. The kids loved that, especially Alice!"

So what about next time? We hope you will consider joining us. Gateway Church endeavors to join God in loving and caring for those who have not heard about Jesus. Prayer is a powerful way to support and enable God’s work among the nations.