Every morning starting at around 4:45 our city will come alive. Loudspeakers will be turned on. The early morning skies are filled with the droning of the adhan or the call to prayer.
The repetitive Arabic rhythm and phraseology come from every direction in the city. It is sung by the Muezzin from the minaret tower, some sing high, others low, some are fast, still others are slow, but all of them with the same words and intent. To encourage piety and devotion to Mohammed and Allah; Come to the mosque to pray! Here is the translation:
God is Great
I bear witness that there is no god except the One God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God
Hurry to prayer
Hurry to Success
Prayer is better than sleep (only said for the pre-dawn adhan)
God is Great
There is no god except the One God
This daily reminder usually lasts until about 5:30 or so, then everything goes back to normal.
I usually wake up during this time every day. Day after day the Muezzin pleads with Mohammad’s followers to call out to a God that they do not know. They encourage them to devote themselves to the empty teachings of a man who tells them of a distant God who can’t be personally known or who doesn’t care for them intimately. Early in the morning, these holy men urge their adherents to cry out to a God who is not love, who knows nothing of forgiveness or grace.
Day after day as I heard this call to “prayer” My mind began to focus on those who were listening and responding.
Who else is waking up right now?
How many of them are rolling out their carpets and kneeling to pray to a God who does not hear or answer?
I was reminded of how I was once a captive to religion but knew little of a personal God who loved me deeply. At first, this alarm clock that comes free of charge in many cities around the world was a significant annoyance.
But I decided to adopt and adapt their call to prayer.
When I hear it. I pray for those who are lost. I pray that they will see Truth. I pray that they are drawn to Isa (Jesus) who is revered by Muslims. I pray that his life and teachings bring them to a true understanding and a deep relationship with God. I pray that I will have the opportunity to tell them about a God who loves them so much that he was willing to suffer on their behalf, even unto death. I long to tell them of the empty tomb, of the victorious Jesus, the indwelling Holy Spirit who guides, counsels and encourages.
My friends, we are surrounded by reminders of God’s grace & love. But we are also prompted daily to remember the lost-ness of man, we see examples of man’s fruitless pursuits which lead to destruction.
If we are listening, it should compel us to live with purpose, It should send us to our knees to pray for those who are searching for truth in the wrong place. It will inspire us to reach out & make a new friend. To introduce them to a God who loves them.
My prayer is that my (and your) life will find purpose and Divine focus in even the most mundane things of life.