More than 2 million Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage, Tuesday, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The hajj consists of five intense days of ritual and prayer in Islam’s holiest city. The pilgrimage to Mecca is among the five main pillars of Islam and must be carried out by every adult Muslim who is physically and financially able, at least once in their lives.
By performing the hajj, pilgrims believe the series of rituals and prayers will erase their past sins. Muslims believe the hajj traces the paths of the Prophets Abraham, Ishmael and Mohammed.
During the hajj, many Christian organizations are encouraging people to pray for the Muslims in Mecca.
Missionary David Garrison told CBN News there are already a huge number of Muslims coming to Christ in the Islamic world.
“There’s never been a time of greater conflict between the house of Islam and the West,” Garrison said. “And yet, at this very time is when the Holy Spirit is drawing Muslims to faith in Christ. What I hope is simply that brothers and sisters around the world, who recognize the work of the Holy Spirit, would see that this is our moment to be loving and kind and witnessing and praying for Muslims, because God is in fact doing a great work, in our day.”
The ministry organization Christar published an article educating Christians on what’s taking place each day of the hajj. They have suggested a different prayer for each specific day.
Participants wash and put on plain white garments that represent the equality of all pilgrims. They travel to the tent city of Mina, where they spend the night.
1. Pray that the spiritual focus of this time will cause many Muslims to think about what they believe.
2. Ask God to bring believers into the lives of those who take part in the hajj this year.
Pilgrims continue to Arafat, where they stand or sit from noon to sunset, invoking Allah for mercy and seeking forgiveness for sins.
3. Pray that Muslims will experience the true forgiveness that is available through Christ alone.
At sunset, pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah, where they spend the night under the open sky.
4. As many pilgrims stay up all night to pray, ask God to reveal Himself to them.
Pilgrims take part in the “stoning of the devil,” throwing seven stones at a wall representing Satan. Muslims believe that Abraham threw stones at the devil to resist the temptation to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
5. Pray that Muslims will be delivered from Satan’s lies.
Men shave their heads or cut their hair, while women cut the ends of their hair, as a sign of humility and purity.
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SOURCE: CBN News