The View From the Ground: Day 12 of Ramadan

 

On Saturday evening, I had the privilege of breaking fast with Imam Yaseen and a few of the leaders of his congregation at a private home. Yaseen was entertaining an imam from overseas for a series of Ramadan lectures, and wanted to host him in a more intimate setting.

After we broke the fast with a date, fruit and some appetizers, the men stood up to go upstairs. Yaseen said, “We’re going up for prayers and after that, we’ll eat dinner. You can stay here and finish your appetizers, or you can join us.”
I wolfed down the food in my hand and followed them upstairs. I asked Yaseen if it was alright for me to participate in the prayers.

He said, “Sure! Just follow me.”

And so I prayed like a Muslim for the first time in my life, as I attempted to imitate Yaseen’s every move.

I did not know the words that Yaseen prayed aloud, of course. Instead, I let the sound and experience simply wash over me. I let it happen to me.

In the silent moments, I quietly repeated the words of the Lord’s Prayer, and let that be my own guide to prayer.

In my faith tradition, prayer is viewed simply as an attitude of the heart. We generally eschew different postures of prayer, though at times, we will kneel. Most of the time, however, we pray while sitting or standing. It is a mental exercise.

But Muslim prayers are an exciting blend of mind, spirit, AND body. Every move, bow, prostration is itself a prayer – a prayer of muscles, nerves, ligaments, joints. The cumulative effect is that one is wholly immersed in the event. There is no way you can compartmentalize your prayer, or try to multitask while praying – it is what you are doing with your whole self. You have to be completely absorbed in the moment.

I am perfectly aware, of course, that it is possible to simply “go through the motions” of Islamic prayer, but I think it must be more difficult, because the body is engaged.

And when my forehead touched the carpet on the ground, I found myself deeply awed. I was struck by my vulnerability. I was kneeling forward, head down, neck bared. There is no more vulnerable position than that.

It is a symbol of the supreme Islamic value of “submission” to God. When you are bowing in that position, you are acting the role of slave to God, the Master.

I must admit that, in some ways, this posture makes me uncomfortable. I do not like being “in submission.” It makes me think of African slaves in Southern plantations, and of women cowering under the blows of their husbands. I don’t like to picture God as someone who towers over me, threatening me with his fist at every moment.

But that is not what is meant by “submission.” Instead, something much closer to “reverence” is meant.

When we come to realize that God is above and beyond our every conception of God, and is utterly transcendent, then we, in awe, recognize that we do not even begin to comprehend who God really is. Our best response is to bow down in awe at the wonder and glory of God’s mysterious and baffling grace.

When we come to realize that God is our loving parent, full of compassion and mercy toward us, then we, in profound gratitude, fall down on our faces and let God’s love wash over us.

What I experienced in that posture was “the fear of the Lord,” which is a Jewish phrase that doesn’t mean “fear” in the sense of the human emotion of horror or dread, but an overwhelming feeling of awe, the kind that takes your breath and speech away.

I love that the Islamic posture of prayer embodies these aspects of our relationship to God. I doubt that I will ever be able to convince my fellow Methodists to prostrate themselves on the floor of our church, but it never hurts to try!

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49 comments

    • Brother Ameer

      Please go check this site out. Be patient in trying to understand the information and ask God about it’s reality. May HE The Most High bless you on your spiritual journey and may he raise you up through the degrees. Ameen. http://www.thearrived.com In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds
      God bless Mohammed and his Family, the representation and Almahdyoon. May you see God in everything, with everything, after everything and before
      everything, until you realize God, and the veil comes uncovered so you see things all
      by God, and evidences won’t be your lead to the evident, but the evident is the lead
      to evidences,

      Imam Hussein says:
      My lord, my hesitation in your leads keeps my distance from you; it is your mercy that
      takes me to you. how can I reach you by signs that are needy to you, does any other
      than you have qualities you lack, so that it will be the lead to you ? When were you
      ever absent, so that I need evidences to prove your existence to me, and when were
      you ever distant, so that leads will take me to you, the eyes that don’t see you are
      blind, and the deal of a slave that doesn’t give him a share of your love is loss. Wash the mud off your eyes and ears, so that you see God, and hear God and know
      that God talks to you even with a simple rock.

      Don’t rely on ignorants who call themselves acquainted, so they fill your eyes and
      ears with mud, and pull you into this materialist, transitional world, and into its
      ornaments. Don’t rely on them, because they can’t see their own hands, and this
      transitional world is their amount of knowledge, don’t rely on them and they don’t
      trust in visions, and they are the route to the kingdom of heaven. Look into the
      kingdom of heaven, and listen to the kingdom of heaven, and believe in the kingdom
      of heaven, because it’s the truth that prophets and executers believed in, and it’s
      what the deviated religious didn’t believe in, those who fought prophets and
      executers at all times. And here they are now, considering USA, its democracy and
      its elections, and not considering God, “and they didn’t appreciate as much as he
      truly is, God is great and almighty”. They aren’t considering God, his word or his aid
      to the heirs, so they became a representation of the greatest charlatan the USA, just
      like prophets are a representation of God.

      Read the Qura’an, deliberate it, and the stories of prophets and executers the heirs
      on God’s earth, and the past nations that denied them, and those nations’ leaders of
      deviated religions, then look back at yourselves, and see if the man of truth crossed
      over (went against) the stories of the prophets, and whether the deviated missed the
      stories of the enemies of prophets.

      By God, I don’t speak of what my sacred fathers didn’t speak of, who recommended
      people my aid, and mentioned me in their wills. Noah, Ibrahim, Ismael, Mohammed,
      Ali, AlHassan, AlHussein and the Imams (Peace be upon them):

      “And he left it as a Word to endure among those who came after him, that they may
      turn back to Allah 28”

      (Qur’an: The ornaments: 28)

  1. Lana

    Dear Pastor, I grew up in a Catholic family and became Muslim 3 yrs ago. I did not find a religion that had such submission to god as Islam. Every time they eat or drink, every time they leave the house or arrive, when they are speaking; inshallah (god willing) subhanallah (glory to god) Alhumdulillah ( thanks to god) etc etc. These words follow every conversation, even when you talk about shopping. I’m going to buy toilet paper…god willing. I found as a Muslim, I think about god almost every second of the day. Every time I say something I’m thinking (would god be happy I said that?). My work colleagues don’t realise when we talk I’m having a smaller conversation in my head ‘what is gods view on this?’ haha. One thing that is important to me is that we give Ramadan as a personal choice. And there are millions of men, women and children who are starving and living in poverty, war and famine, and who fast every day out of NO choice. When I’m feeling weak during my fast and feel frustrated from no food or water I think of these people. I think you will find this helpful too. Lastly, I promise this is my last word…the other day I woke up feeling like I don’t want to go to work. I don’t want to do this boring labour that pays me so well btw. Then I remembered an image I had seen of a starving African man lying in the dirt, skin and bones, and I thought ‘what this man would give to swap with me?’ ‘how he would cry to god to have my job?’ and that moment I felt terrible guilt. How selfish am I to not appreciate the gifts that god blessed me with! How regretful I felt of those thoughts I can’t appreciate the abundance of everything I have, how unworthy I felt. This is what Ranadan and fasting reminds us of. God bless you and make your fast easy abs rewarding.

    • wesmagruder

      Thank you, Lana, for this response. I am discovering that fasting does raise our awareness of how many people in our world go hungry and thirsty on a daily basis. I hope that this discovery leads us, not only to greater gratitude, but to more acts of kindness and charity, and to works of justice.

  2. Jerry Berggren

    I’ve prayed in that posture before. It is uncomfortable, and for exactly the reasons you described.

    But getting the Methodists to embrace this physical component of prayer would require you to have many of the pews removed. The trustees might balk at that. :-)

      • hollyboardman

        The congregation I attend has several different worship spaces. Our sanctuary and the chapel both have pews. But our largest worship service is our contemporary service that meets in a gym. Usually we sit in folding chairs in rows; although there have been several occasions when we used other arrangements for worship. Still, I don’t think this will catch on very easily. Women in heels and their Sunday best may not feel comfortable. Private prayer is a different matter though. I have often spent time prayer walking at my church on Saturday. Sometimes I have found myself kneeling, and sometimes I have even lain protrate.

  3. penjelajahwaktu

    hi. I am rizal from Indonesia. It is very interesting to read your story about fasting. And now, you try to perform shalat (islamic prayer). wow, it sounds weird actually. but it is okay. we as moslems perform more than 5 times shalat. It seems exhausted from outside. But we dont feel like that. God has given us 24 hours life a day. So why dont we just use a little time to thank by doing shalat (according to muslim). Ok. I thank to you because you introduce muslim life by interesting and peaceful way.
    Btw, you can add my fb if you dont mind : My fb Id is amrio tegar

  4. Lisa Raymer

    As a young adult growing up in the Baptist faith, my best friend was Episcopalian, and I often marveled at her getting to stand AND kneel to pray – it just seemed to give more emphasis to prayer. Now as a Muslim, I truly feel, as you so beautifully put it, “the fear of the Lord” when prostrating. Knowing that Moses, Jesus, etc…(peace be unto them) prostrated, I love that ‘connection’ to such powerful examples of the Lord’s Grace and Mercy. Your writing is inspirational for us all. May Allah bless you! p.s. Fasting Tip: The most important food for a better fast is…..wait for it……watermelon! Can’t eat enough!

    • wesmagruder

      I was served watermelon last night at my iftar, and came to the same conclusion! It’s food, but also full of water! Yum. May I ask what led you to consider becoming Muslim, after being raised Baptist?

  5. Ed

    Dear Pastor,

    How about the following verses from the Bible to help the Methodist church and our fellow Christians prostrate to God:

    Matthew 26:36-39 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gesthemane, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder….. 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed.

    Revelations 7:11-12 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

    Deuteronomy 9:24-25 Ye have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you. 25 Thus I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down the first; because the Lord had said He would destroy you.

    Numbers 16:20-22 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. 22 And they fell upon their faces, and said,

    Genesis 17:1-4 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him,

    If Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and the angels all fall on their faces and prostrate to the Glory of God when praying to him. Who are we as regular humans to not do that, are we better than the aforementioned? Orthodox Jews are still keeping up the tradition of prostrating to God while praying, and Jesus being a Jew himself must have prayed their way too, which by the way isn’t far from how the Muslims pray.

    Regards
    Edgard

    • wesmagruder

      Thank you for these verses about prostration. I have seen a number of Pentecostal Christians practice this kind of prayer posture, as well. In fact, I knew one pastor who regularly laid face-down, full-body on the floor, arms stretched out. I never prayed like that, though!

  6. Azmat

    ***The cumulative effect is that one is wholly immersed in the event. There is no way you can compartmentalize your prayer, or try to multitask while praying***
    I would be honest with you. We Muslims are not perfect and struggle with maintaining the focus during prayer. Thoughts of “things to do next” do invade my mind while tounge recites and body moves. The coherent prayer of mind, body, and soul is a life long challange and all we can d is keep trying.
    As for prostration, putting forehead on the floor is THE best part for me. Perhaps that is the part that keeps me motivated through the prayer becuse it makes me feel the closest to God……..just a thought!

    • wesmagruder

      I think all people of faith probably struggle with prayer focus. It is difficult to keep one’s mind concentrated over a period of time. But it seems to me that it is simply easier to do when your body is also aligned with your soul’s intention.

  7. ibhusain

    This was a truly beautiful post. It reminded me of the power of prayer and the feelings that aspire to have every time I put my head to the ground.

    I commend you, Pastor. It’s a difficult task you’re taking on (not the fasting, but the compassion and brotherhood you’re showing to the Islamic faith).

    I hope that your congregation and the Muslim congregation in your area can continue to build bonds. I’m sure it wont be easy, but the benefits to both communities are vastly beyond the visible surface.

    Good luck to you, sir. And thank you for befriending a Muslim. We need people like you as friends.

  8. Fasting in California

    Another great post. I am so impressed that you joined in with the prayer. I believe most would not do that, for fear of somehow “betraying” their own faith. This is my 2nd year fasting for Ramadan, and I have tried to add prayer in this time….at least on a few occasions, when I’m by myself (because I don’t know what I’m doing!). I was raised Protestant and, like you, prayed as a mental activity. I have found that the few times I do the Islamic form of full-body prayer, it is immensely more powerful, and I always end up crying the second my forehead hits the floor. I agree with you, it is very powerful in terms of realizing that we truly are “in the hands of God” — somehow this simple act of prostrating myself during prayer takes my ego down a peg or two (and that’s a good thing!).

    You’re more than 1/3 done with Ramadan, congrats! I bet it is getting easier for you physically, and deeper or more intense for you mentally and spiritually. I like that about Ramadan. It reveals itself in layers as the month goes by.

    Have you learned yet that Ramadan is divided into 3 groups of 10 days each, and each group has a focus? The middle 10 days focuses on forgiveness. (Or at least that’s what I’ve read during my research.)

    (FYI I am “officially” Christian but am married to a Muslim and am raising my children Muslim….haven’t yet converted but am considering it.)

  9. Quaid Saifee

    Dear Pastor
    Thanks for sharing your experience. One of the chapters which is recited in every Muslims prayer is the most ecumenical prayer (chapter 1 of Quran) you can find, here it is.

    “In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace
    All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds,
    The Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, ,
    Lord of the Day of Judgment!
    Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.
    Guide us to the straight path.
    The way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray”

    This is to God Almighty, God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed (Peace be upon them all).

    Peace be unto you.
    Quaid

    • ♥ natnat ♥

      Salam!

      I attended a talk by a Muslim preacher (Uztaz) Khaled Yaasin when he was in Singapore and he says the prayer (Al-Fatehah) is very similar to the Lord’s Prayer eg: All praise to Allah, the Lord of the worlds / Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name., and : Guide us to the straight path. The way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray / lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. :) I am a Muslim and My Husband was raised Catholic and now he is an evangelist and learning the Islamic ways (He’s from St. Louis MO) and we live in Singapore. :)

  10. saira

    today i read your blog about the “prostration” in Muslim prayer. as a Muslim i pray 5 times a day but my moments have become sort of automated….thanks for telling me about the beauty of my worship. May God give your strength to fast through the whole month.

  11. Lisa Parker MacKay

    Before reading your posts, I thought fasting was a sacrifice. Now, I understand that it is not about a physical loss, but more of a time of introspection and spiritual fulfillment. Thank you for enhancing my knowledge and sharing your experiences. Continued success.

  12. Convert to Islam

    Dear Wes,

    I’ve been reading about your experiences of fasting your 1st Ramadan. Great majority of your observations and comments are so true. I’ve been impatiently waiting for the nest post ever since I’ve started reading! And to be honest with you I’ve started praying that God shall guide to recognize the truth and accept Islam.

    Mind me asking, but what is stopping you from saying the shahadah (affirmation of faith)?

    I’ve myself been a Christian and I was involved in missionary work in the past, but once I’ve learned about Islam I couldn’t resist it. I have started fasting one Ramadan couple of years ago as yet a Christian to experience that way of worship and know how it feels like, and before that Ramadan was over, particularly on 23rd day, I’ve accepted Islam by the grace of God and that was the best thing ever happened to me.

    May Allah guide you too and all the priests, pastors and rabbis of the world.

  13. jami

    Another great post. One thing to consider about the prostration in prayer — we submit in complete love, for in that position, the heart is above the head.

  14. Rabiah Shariff

    Peace be upon you.
    I am from Singapore and a muslim. I have been following and enjoying your posts. This last one I want to thank you especially because you have reminded me about how beautiful our islamic Salaah (prayers) is. I may have forgotten for abit. :)

  15. Meg Swaid

    Wow, this gets better every day. Like the Truman show hahaha. You are great and may Allah accept your prayers in whatever position. The Fatiha (opening prayer) which is what starts every salaat, is so close to the Lord’s prayer as to make me suspicious that it is in fact, the same prayer offered by Jesus (Isa, SA) who did prostrate himself before the one God. So suffice it to say, your prayer was as understood by Allah in whatever language….afterall, we pray for ourselves really.

    I might just add in case you might not be aware of it….the whole reason we must pray in Arabic in the exact manner as the prophet, SA himself is to prevent innovation/change/alteration in the practice. This is because those changes directly influence human behavior over time in ever so incremental and exponential ways.

    Peace and keep going, Allahu Akbar!

  16. Cynthia

    Salaam Alikum.
    Thank you so much for doing this. I reverted more than ten years ago from Christianity to Islam. You are eloquent in your postings and they have touched my heart, for they are the same feelings I felt when I first started my path. As much as I spoke, I found it hard to describe, without losing something in the explanation of the beauty I felt, and finally feeling like I was where I was supposed to be. Your words are an inspiration and a reminder. I look forward to your posts and am keeping you in my prayers for doing something so noble. Love and Peace to you.

  17. Fareeha Miandara

    Dear Pastor Wes, Peace of God upon you and your efforts. It has been an extremely enlightening Ramadan for me as I view it through your eyes.I do not know how to rate my previous Ramadan experiences but I do know that as the world is watching The Summer World Olympics, you have inspired me to put an Olympian effort into my own worship this year. Allah’s Grace comes in diverse shapes and forms and I accept it with humility and gratitude. The part of this post that touched me most was about prostration and your honesty in sharing the feelings it evoked. I have 2 things to say regarding that. Sajda or prostration is superlative, the lowest low a servant of God can go to the Highest of The High, by lowering the crown of our head, the seat of intellect and reasoning which elevates mankind from the rest of the creations, the seat of free will, we in turn are offering the Creator the best we have to offer! May He accept it in His ultimate Grace, Ameen. Secondly, you mentioned, ” I was kneeling forward, head down, neck bared. There is no more vulnerable position than that.” “Vulnerable” being the key word, whom does one allow to see them in vulnerable and weak moments, the ones you love and trust the most. This position is also an announcement that a person trusts God ultimately and deems Him his Closest Benefactor. People choose to pray and are offering this to God of their own free will. Unfortunately the slaves or abused wives are forced to do so against their own free will. Secondly it is a bond building of brotherhood with those who are shoulder to shoulder with you on the floor and you know these are your brothers and sisters in faith, your spiritual family. This year you have become a part of this spiritual family, welcome aboard!

  18. Loves Islam *and* Christianity

    I am so inspired by your project and your posts. I am a Muslim, born and raised in Malaysia. In my native Malaysia, Muslims are the majority but we have shared friendly and loving coexistence with people of other faiths historically. In recent years, however, there’s been rising hostility towards non-Muslim minorities. In early 2010, there was a series of arson attacks on several churches across the country. There was also a highly-publicised, disgusting threat against some of our Hindu minorities in 2009. Thankfully, no one was hurt in either case. This is why as a Malaysian Muslim, I decided to start visiting my Christian friends’ churches as an act of solidarity.

    Now that I’m in Britain, I attend a mosque and a church regularly. In fact, I attend church more frequently because it’s closer to where I live! It’s a wonderfully welcoming Anglican church. And, in a parallel move to you, I decided to observe Lent this year. It was such a humbling and reflective experience. I found the Stations of the Cross and the Walk of Witness on Good Friday particularly profound. It added so much to my experience and now I find observing Ramadan even more rewarding, especially since I get to experience it with other Christians and Muslims who are engaged in interfaith work.

    I have been afraid to share these experiences with more Malaysians, though, because of the rising inter-religious tensions back home. But I am inspired by your thoughtful posts here, and it’s comforting to know that I am walking the same path that you and your Muslim friends are walking. Thank you so much. May Allah bless us all.

  19. myninjanaan

    Hello Pastor! I just discovered your blog via Facebook a few hours ago and I’m already hooked! I am left speechless at the compassion that you’re showing towards the Islamic faith and community. It’s people like you give us faith in humanity :) I hope and pray that you’re able to find the spiritual fulfillment that you’re looking for, and that the rest of Ramadan passes by smoothly. I feel like your spiritual observations have opened my eyes :)

  20. dogman70

    I’ve really been enjoying these blogs. Especially this one about prayer, I have had similar thoughts about the whole bowing, kneeling. I find that hard to do as well & it seems more time consuming. Often times I just want to pray whereever I may be and falling to the floor & kneeling isn’t going to be acceptable…at work for instance…LOL.

    Keep up the fasting, I am doing it. I’m a Christian but I’ve fasted everyday except one so far since Ramadan started.

  21. Jess Z

    Hello :) I am Catholic and this is my first Ramadan as well. My boyfriend is Muslim and when Ramadan was around the corner, I started doing intense research on what this Holy Month is actually about and loved everything that I read so much that I decided to participate in it with him and his family. I found your blog on the Huffington Post in the beginning of Ramadan and I have been keeping up with it ever since. All of your posts have been so inspirational and I truly appreciate and love everything that your writing. I myself have been having almost the same experiences with my first Ramadan and this post has definitely touched my heart the most. I have never seen Muslims praying before and to me it has always been a big taboo because it was something I was completely and utterly unfamiliar with. Well, the other day I got to witness it when my boyfriend and his family all came together to pray after breaking fast. At first I didn’t know where to go or what to do so I sat at the dinner table and observed. I truly did not expect what happened next, this strange feeling came over me and i found myself smiling (full teeth, goofy expression) like a child who has just found her favorite toy that has been lost for a very long time. I recognized this feeling as love (an absolutely extreme version of it) and after tossing it around in my head for a few days, I truly believe that God was present at that moment when my boyfriend and his family were praying. I can’t find any other explanation for it and I love to read that I am not the only one who has felt this. I honestly do not feel this feeling when I am praying before bed and I believe it’s because of exactly what you said. I multi-task and think about so many other things while I’m praying that I find myself trying hard to focus on what I’m praying about. So anyways, long story short, thank you so much for posting about your first Ramadan because I find so much guidance and can relate so much to it. May God Bless you and I truly hope that the rest of your Ramadan is filled with happiness and love :)

  22. Siraj

    Wonderful really! Amazing blog.. you have a good way with words… will start following your blogs… this was my first post..I am from India… and will spread your effort to all my friends and relatives.. insha Allah.

  23. Emii

    Wow can’t believe you do it
    I am muslima from Indonesia and I’m glad to hear about what you do this ramadhan. God bless you Pastor

  24. Umm Abdullah

    Yes, that position of prostration is very vulnerable and is a good position for making dua (supplications). Muslims don’t bow or prostrate to anyone – only to God. By submitting fully to the Creator – becoming His slave – we free ourselves from slavery to any of his creation or even to what can become obsessions for some people – such as work, sports, fashion, etc.

  25. SZK

    May you be blessed her and in the hereafter for taking this initiative, sharing your experiences and engaging in this dialogue!

  26. Conja from Kansas

    Pastor.

    This has been a very humbling and inspiring read. I’m a Christian, who just became Catholic but feel that our faiths, indeed all faiths are like the blind men and the elephant. They can only introduce to our minds a small portion of the greatness of the Creator.

    Thank you.

  27. athar murtuza

    I am grateful to you for sharing your “blessings” with the rest. I was intrigued that you kept reciting the Lord’s prayer during the Islamic prayers. The first chapter of the Koran–Fatheha translated as openning–is very similar to the Lord’s prayers.

  28. athar murtuza

    I failed to mention that the first chapter of the Koran is recited repeatedly during the formal prayers, the Salaats.

  29. bluesky

    Dear Pastor,
    i am deeply touched. i am a Muslim; reading your blog re-introduces me to Islam; i see it with renewed vision and it is a delight. It’s an honor to have you join with us during this month. I hope we can continue to have you with us, in whatever ways you choose, through the rest of the year too….this has been too special and beautiful to think it has to end with the end of Ramadan….merci beaucoup Pastor.

  30. bluesky

    ps: i think you are a TRUE BELIEVER, a true seeker of Truth. you are brave, and you know that you are still always worshipping God, whether you are in a church, or a mosque, or a field outdoors…if your heart is engaged with Him.
    and you are not afraid to try something that looks like it is a different shape and form…you are able to look past the outward forms to the essense. it’s just beautiful. You are not caught up in identity – outward names and images and the idol of identity that we have created for ourselves. believer is not an identity, it is an act of worship! Muslim is not an identity, it is the state of submitting to the Will of One God; Christian is not an identity, it is the commitment to following the teachings and ways of Christ. God bless you Pastor. you are teaching us all so much. May God continue to use you to show us things!

  31. Nicholas Rochester Jr

    I can respect my brother’s efforts at sharing with his Muslim friends in their religion. I’m not sure he’s right when he says Muslims and Christians worship the same god. I’m always reminde3d that what sets all religions apart is the Christian understanding of Who Jesus Christ is.

    • GodIsLove

      Thank you Nicholas for your response. While sharing with another in their practice of faith, it is very important to remember that we are followers of Christ and our God and their allah are not one and the same. I believe we are to pray to the Almighty God maker of heaven and earth. We must always remember the sacrifice His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, made to save us from our sins. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him. He DIED to save us from our sins. It is only through His precious blood that we receive mercy and grace. I have fasted during Lent and prayed in different positions. Yet only pray to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And while I welcome love and friendship with all, we must be careful not to be deceived. (Mt. 7:15-16 Beware…. by their fruits you will recognize them.) We must be ever watchful to not jeopardize our eternal destiny. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:19, “anyone who breaks the least of God’s commandments will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” Let us reach out in love and fellowship, yet we must tell them about the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Do no lose sight of the message of salvation! Christ’s Love, to ALL!

  32. cruelisttambamba

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience, Pastor. May God bless you and provide you with all the best. With your permission, i would like to share this story on my facebook wall, and i’d like to invite you to become my friend on facebook too. my facebook name is Raja M. Tamba.

  33. Eleanor Allen

    Well, I guess if this makes you feel holier, it has some value to you. However, I have been saved by the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ and do not need to seek other religions and their practices, especially ones that don’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Now, I can see why Jack Van Impe has been stressing the dangers of “Chrislam”. Why be a Methodist? if you want to be a banquet Christian / Muslim, you should just go non denominational and not diminish the wonderful heritage that John Wesley established when out of great love and prayer to our Lord, he sought to teach disciples to be holy and strive for spiritual perfection in and thru Christ, while always submitting all that he was,, is and shall become to the Kingdom of God. Friendly relations are one thing, and I wish all people, whatever their beliefs peace and love. However, I do not abide with it, when a Christian forgets their first love.

  34. Pingback: A Pastor Teaches us about the Essence of Fasting in Ramadan | muzlimbuzz

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