In Jordan, where my husband and I have lived, the Muslim call to prayer sounds five times daily. Mosques all over the country synchronize their calls to prayer. Varying tones of the Arabic-speaking muezzins echo against the stone and concrete walls of the buildings.
A friend of mine who visited Jordan on a layover disliked the sound of the Muslim call to prayer. She described it as eerie. Although my husband and I do not necessarily like hearing the Muslim calls to prayer, we grew accustomed to them. They are part and parcel of living in a Muslim country.
Jordan is a moderately religious country. This means that many citizens have a moderate view of Islam compared to countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia. Most Muslims in Jordan do not stop what they are doing when they hear the call to prayer. They continue with their day. But a few people stop, unroll a prayer rug, place it on the ground, and go through the physical motions of Islamic prayer. They recite memorized prayers. In Arabic, these prayers are called salat.
Have you ever heard the call to prayer? I am not talking about the Islamic call to prayer sounding from the minaret of a mosque. I am talking about God Himself calling you to pray.
Perhaps He has called to you in the middle of the day as you went about your tasks. You sensed an urgency to stop what you were doing. Perhaps He placed a specific person on your heart to pray for.
Maybe you have heard the call to prayer in the middle of the night. You woke up as the call to prayer drew you out of your warm, cozy bed. You began to pray in other tongues, that language God gave you for self-edification and to intercede for others.
Maybe God wanted to spend extra time with you because He knew that a trial was coming your way. He knew you would need His strength.
Calls to prayer are not relegated only to the Muslim world, which follows Mohammed’s teachings outlined in the Koran. Christians should be aware that God calls us to prayer. However, He does not want us to pray rote, repetitiously. Instead, His call to prayer is personal. It gives us the wonderful opportunity to communicate with our loving heavenly Father.
When we hear God first call us to prayer, we might not recognize His voice. So, we continue with our day, as many Muslims do.
When God called Samuel, it took some time for Samuel to recognize God’s voice. He had to learn how to identify and respond to God’s call to prayer. “And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth” (I Samuel 3:10, KJV).
Let’s develop our sensitivity and obedience to God’s voice when He calls us to prayer.
When He speaks, let’s respond. When He calls, let’s answer His call!
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for calling me to prayer. It is a privilege to be able to talk to You and to hear You talk to me. When you call me to prayer, I don’t want to be so busy that I ignore or disregard Your call. I want to respond to Your voice the same way Samuel did. Speak to me, Lord. I am listening. I love to hear Your call to prayer!