If you're unsure of how it works, here's some information about Ramadan & the instructions from the prayer guide ...
We, the Songhai Team, want to say thank you for your commitment to the Songhai. The Songhai are largely still living in darkness with the majority of Songhai men, women, and children never meeting a Christian and never hearing about Jesus. However, in these past few years, Light has begun to burst through the darkness as we are seeing more and more Songhai come to faith in Christ as God continues to extend His grace and mercy to them.
The Songhai, while still tied deeply to their animistic roots, would almost all claim to be devout Muslims. Part of that means they fast during Ramadan. Ramadan is a 30-day period in which Muslims around the world fast from sun- up to sundown. It is supposed to be a time of showing submission to Allah and seeking his will. Towards the end there is what is known as “The Night of Power” when they anxiously await a sign/vision from Allah.
Ramadan, or Meyhaw in Songhai (literally “tied mouth”), is a very public event. Most of the conversations in the village center around the subject of how fasting is so difficult and painful. Our believers will stand out even more than usual during this time as those around them, filled with an unusual religious zealousness, question and scold them for not fasting.
The odd thing about Ramadan here is that most of the people participating in the fast will actually gain weight and eat better during this time than any other time of the year. Each night they will reward themselves for their faithfulness during the day with kool-aid and ice (two luxuries they rarely indulge in) and sauce with meat (another luxury rarely purchased). Fasting here is not done out of love or a desire to be closer to their god. Instead, it is a painful and public show of submission.
We are inviting you to commit to pray and fast for the Songhai during this season. Time and time again we’ve seen firsthand the power of prayer. It is our desire to have an army of prayer warriors praying and, should you choose, fasting for the Songhai during this time of spiritual searching. We pray that God would speak to them in visions and in dreams as He calls them out of darkness into His marvelous light! Thank you for committing to join us in this season of prayer for the Songhai. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel!
Essentially, we are asking you to gather your friends or family together & commit to pray for the Songhai during the month of Ramadan. You will use this guide as you pray for specific items each day pertaining to the Songhai or our team. At the end of the month, we are asking that you would gather together as a group & celebrate this time of prayer with a meal using resources from the IMB.
We, as a Songhai team, will also be gathering together on this day to do the same. It is our hopes that many groups from across the States & the world will join with us in one massive voice of prayer for the Songhai!
- Gather a group of friends (family, Bible study or Sunday School class, small group, work, social network) & commit as a group to pray for the Songhai during the month of Ramadan (July 20 - August 18)
- Distribute this guide to those in your group
- Order the “Flavors of Africa” FREE resources on imb.org (booklet & recipe cards) to use at the end of the month
- Reference this prayer guide each day, beginning July 20, to pray specifically for the items listed for that day
- Accountability is key: hold your group accountable (through emails, phone calls or texts) each week to remind them to daily pray for the Songhai
- Plan your Celebration Meal for August 18 with your group & decide which recipes to prepare (from the recipe cards provided with the Flavors of Africa resources)
- Celebrate the end of your 30 days of prayer on August 18 with a Celebration Meal, enjoying delicious dishes from Sub Saharan Africa & praying as a group for the Songhai, as many other groups from across the world do the same