Day 28. Najdi Arabs in Saudi Arabia (nahj-DEE)
Arabs who speak the Najdi dialect live in the large central plateau of Saudi Arabia, and have been led by their royal family, the Al Saud dynasty, since 1744. However, the whole peninsula was loosely controlled from 1517 to 1918 by the Ottoman Turks until they sided with Germany in WW1 and subsequently lost their empire. Then the Saudi king fought the Arabs of the Red Sea and Mecca/Medina area, who speak the Hejazi dialect, finally conquering them in 1932, forming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia is in the Najdi area, with seven million people, a third of whom are not Saudis but expat workers. Slavery was abolished in 1961, but many former slave people remained in Saudi Arabia.
The public practice of any religion other than Islam (including Christianity and Judaism), is not allowed. Saudi Arabia requires their citizens to be Sunni Muslims. Thousands of people flock to Mecca on pilgrimages each year to seek God’s forgiveness and blessing.
Prayers for the families of the Najdi-speaking Arabs:
Lord, lead the Najdi-speaking Arab families to know You, the One True God. Show them the path to You though the Messiah You sent, Isa (Jesus). Allow Your love and light to shine through followers of Jesus who have come from other countries to work in Riyadh and serve their families.
Lord, bless and protect the Muslim families, taking away any fears they have of studying Your Word. Help them grow in understanding Your Word and sharing in their families and communities. Forgive and heal them in the name of Jesus.
Lord, produce the fruit of Your Spirit in those who follow Jesus: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. May their joy and righteousness show clearly the reality of the forgiveness and cleansing from sin found in Jesus.
God’s blessing on the Najdi-speaking families: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Is. 43:19)