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I think one of the things that people have to get used to while they are in Indonesia is the daily calls to prayer. All throughout the day, you are able to hear the multiple calls to prayer for the Muslim people.
The retreat center that I am preaching at has several mosques within a block distance. Therefore, the call to pray feels as if it is right next door. I think they pointed the speakers towards our way 🙂 You cannot avoid it even if you tried… it is loud. So I heard it in the early morning (Fajr), at noon (Dhuhr), in the late afternoon (‘Asr), at sunset (Maghrib), and in the evening (‘Isha). One of the humbling things about the Muslims’ call to prayer is the emphasis on “remembering God” and “seeking God.”
How often as a Christ-follower I have forgotten to remember or seek God throughout the day?
But one interesting thing that I have noticed is that people who are not Muslims have developed the ability to block out the sound of the call to prayer from their normal activities. Even though the call to prayer was loud, people went about their business.
I remember the first night in Indonesia after hearing the call to prayer in the early morning, I could not go back to sleep. In fact, I felt as if God was waking me up to pray for the Muslims. But now after some months, I am finding myself getting used to the call to prayer that I no longer hear it. It is funny how we as humans have the ability to get “used” to things and drown things out. I guess it is selective hearing or listening.
It is interesting how God had to bring me to a place about 2.5 hours away from the familiarity to remind me once again about the mission and purpose of why we have come to plant a church here in Indonesia.
The call to prayer is good for the Christ-follower because it is a reminder for us to pray to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Not only to remember God and seek Him, but to pray for our Muslim friends.
Here is a sample call to prayer.