Both the hajj and umrah are pilgrimages following the example of Muhammad to commemorate certain supposed events in the life of Abraham. The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and occurs during a specific time each year while the umrah can be done at any time. The hajj is one of the largest gatherings of people each year; over 1.3 million Muslims travel from nearly every country, with the largest numbers being from Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Saudi Arabia hopes to dramatically increase the number of umrah visas each year, with 60 million expected in 2018.
The focus of activity during the hajj and umrah is at Makkah (Mecca), the religious center of Islam. Non-Muslims are not permitted in Makkah, except at the bus terminal outside city limits. The vast majority of non-Saudi Arabians participating in the hajj and umrah travel by plane and arrive in the city of Jeddah, a short drive away.
Some of the foreign workers in Saudi Arabia and even some Saudis are Christ-followers. There are many restrictions on their ability to practice their faith, even on gathering in homes. Yet we know their presence means the Holy Spirit is active there too.
“Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” (Psalm 24:7): God of Abraham, stir up Your people in Saudi Arabia to possess the gateway cities. Strengthen them to exalt Your name. We declare the opening of doors for the King of glory.
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17): Holy Spirit, come upon the nations in Jeddah and Makkah. Give pilgrims dreams and visions and enable them to hear of Your mighty works in their own languages.
Ask God how else to pray.
Go to a local transportation center and worship the Lord. Let Him be enthroned on your praises (see Psalm 22:3).