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TAKING THE GOSPEL TO MOUNTAINOUS AREAS OF THE WORLD WHERE OTHER MISSIONARIES CANNOT OR WILL NOT GO

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15 Days of Prayer for the Hindu World
Gary Fallesen
/ Categories: Nepal, Project Prayer

15 Days of Prayer for the Hindu World

Project Prayer Oct. 24-Nov. 7, 2021

We have set aside 30 days of prayer for those in the Muslim world every Ramadan since 2011. We joined numerous other ministries in this effort. In 2018, we added 15 days of prayer for those in the Hindu world. This is our fourth annual Project Prayer: Hindu World. From Oct. 24 to Nov. 7 our focus will be on those born into, living, and dying in Hinduism. It coincides with Mission: Nepal 2021 so we invite you to follow us in Nepal, the second-largest Hindu nation in the world, behind only neighboring India. We have Kingdom workers and ministry partners in both India and Nepal. Pray on!


NEPAL

DAY 1 (Sunday, Oct. 24)

When we arrived in Nepal for our current Mission: Nepal 2021, the Hindu Dashain Festival was being observed. This is a popular festival on the jam-packed Hindu holidays calendar, especially among children who get a month off from school. Dashain is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. We know from the Bible that Jesus Himself said, “Why do you call me good? Only God is truly good” (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19). The apostle Paul quotes Psalm 14 when he writes in his letter to the church at Rome: “All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one” (Romans 3:12). Sin makes us unworthy of being in God’s presence, but God sent His Son Jesus to redeem us and offer forgiveness to us if we turn to Him in faith. That is the only way to victory over evil. PRAY that those who are Hindu would recognize this truth.

DAY 2 (Monday, Oct. 25)

Nepal is a former Hindu kingdom in which Christianity was outlawed. The absolute power of a Hindu monarchy ended in 2008 and Christians in Nepal thought this was an answer to prayer. Doors were opened to ministry and evangelism among mostly unreached people groups in this Himalayan country. The church became one of the fastest growing in the world. But everything changed again in 2015 when new laws criminalized leading others to Jesus. Nepal touts itself as a secular country, but the Hindu majority defends (sometimes violently) its traditions. “During the enforcement of the new Constitution,” ministry partner Pastor Tej Rokka said, “the anti-conversion law was added, stating that all acts influencing a person in converting her/her religion will be held in contempt and strict actions will be taken. Due to this evangelism has become very hard.” Difficult, challenging even, but not impossible (see Philippians 4:13). PRAY for wisdom and courage for all who are called to be witnesses for Christ in Nepal.

DAY 3 (Tuesday, Oct. 26)

Converts from Hinduism to Christianity are considered untouchable. Caste discrimination is illegal but still occurs in Nepal. “Those who convert from the Hindu or Buddhist (religions) are called part of ‘cow-eater religion,” said Climbing For Christ worker Megh Gurung. PRAY for an end to the injustice experienced by Nepali Christians who are deemed to be lower-class or lower-caste.

DAY 4 (Wednesday, Oct. 27)

William Carey first translated the New Testament into Nepali in 1821. Eight of Nepal’s 80 languages have a complete translation. But low literacy hampers the effectiveness of written translations. That’s why our Mission: Nepal team brought 150 audio Bibles to deliver to those who cannot read. We thank Michigan-based World Mission for its support. But carrying audio Bibles as we travel is a lot of weight and potential risk, and shipping audio Bibles is very expensive. That said, we know this is crucial. During a teaching in the church at Pokhara, we urged believers to be in the Word every day. One woman, a new believer from a Hindu background, raised her hand and said she couldn’t read the Bible. Our answer: an audio Bible! PRAY for the provision of more audio Bibles so God’s Word can be heard.

DAY 5 (Thursday, Oct. 28)

Flying through Nepalgunj in southern Nepal along the border of India on our way back to Kathmandu from serving the churches in Nepal’s remote reaches during Mission: Nepal 2021 is never a treat. Nepalgunj is across the border from Uttar Pradesh, a state in which persecution against Christians continues to grow. Since late June, the International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented at least 30 incidents and reported the arrests of at least 71 pastors. One church leader told the ICC: “There is a sense in our neighborhood that we Christians do not belong here.” Hindu nationalists held a rally in August advocating for acts of violence against Christians. This hatred spills across the border into Nepalgunj where at least one Hindu nationalist group is headquartered. Pastor Tej Rokka said, “In recent years, the number of people persecuting Christians may have decreased, but there are still radical Hindu followers and groups who blame Christians for everything (bad that happens to the country).” PRAY that this cruel behavior toward Christians would be eradicated.

DAY 6 (Friday, Oct. 29)

Hindu rituals such as sacrificing water buffalo, goats and chickens during festivals are not followed by all Hindu people. Some cannot afford financially to conduct these age-old rituals. This has led Hindus to adopt some Christian practices, like gathering to pray instead of sacrificing animals. “It has really created confusion between people to realize which way is the truth – Hindu or Christian,” Pastor Tej said. This is also common in Muslim countries, where followers of Islam are imitating Christians and causing confusion about the different religions. This is the father of lies at work, deceiving people from following the one true God. PRAY that people, including those following Christ, would not be confused and recognize the Truth and follow Him.

DAY 7 (Saturday, Oct. 30)

A giant Shiva statue stands at the head of Kathmandu Valley. There are idols everywhere in the Hindu world. Pilgrimages are made to many places in worship of idols. We have encountered countless pilgrims, mostly from India, in the Humla district in Nepal’s northwest corner. They trek from there to Mount Kailash in Tibetan China. They believe Kailash is Shiva’s home and they go to worship this “Supreme Lord,” who creates, protects, and transforms the universe. PRAY that people would turn from “worthless idols” and turn to God’s love for them (Jonah 2:8).

DAY 8 (Sunday, Oct. 31)

Hindus believe that marginalized people groups are being paid by Christians to accept Jesus. They are missing the whole point: the love of Christ which embraces people who are “untouchable” and not accepted under the Hindu caste system. PRAY that Hindus learn why marginalized people are coming to Christ and seek the love and forgiveness offered only through Jesus.

INDIA

DAY 9 (Monday, Nov. 1)

“People think Jesus belongs to America and British nations and people here say, ‘There are many million gods in India, why have another God?’” said Sister Sara, a long-time Climbing For Christ member in southeastern India. “People here think Jesus followers are very poor people and they look down on Christians. In some regions, untouchable people follow Jesus (so higher caste people will not believe).” PRAY for the Holy Spirit to tear down the lies and kick down the walls of prejudice and make Hindus aware that God gave His one and only Son for the eternal sake of all people.

DAY 10 (Tuesday, Nov. 2)

Anti-conversion laws, the rise of persecution, and violence by radical Hindu nationalists against Christians plague the church in India. “Nowadays, we have lots of restrictions in sharing the Gospel,” said ministry partner Rohit Mattoo, who serves in northern India. “Many fanatic groups are coming up against Christianity. Many new rules are coming up. We need more of God’s grace and wisdom to share the Gospel and conduct Gospel meetings.” PRAY for protection and boldness for believers in the face of opposition.

DAY 11 (Wednesday, Nov. 3)

Today is the start of Diwali or Festival of Lights, India’s biggest Hindu holiday in festival. (In Nepal, it is known as the Tihar and is the second most important festival after Dashain.) Fireworks, the lighting of clay lanterns, and hanging string lights are the way Hindus celebrate the triumph of light over darkness during this five-day event. It is said that the Diwali is as important to Hindus as CHRISTmas is to Christ followers. However, the focus of Diwali (and Tihar) is on the Goddess Lakshmi bringing wealth to people. In Nepal, they say the lights guide the goddess to a person’s house. PRAY that Hindus looking for temporal wealth will be guided by the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, to a treasure in heaven.

DAY 12 (Thursday, Nov. 4)

India and neighboring Pakistan have been antagonists since the 1947 division of British India into what is now the Republic of India, a Hindu nation, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. While Pakistan is 97.9 percent Muslim, there are about 4.5 million Hindus (two percent of the country’s population) living there. Hinduism has a long history in Pakistan, dating back to long before Muhammad. The oldest Hindu text, the Rig Veda, is believed to have been composed in the Punjab region. But Hindus are treated as poorly as Christians in Pakistan – often born into slavery, inheriting the debts of past generations, and with women facing forced marriages and conversions. Hindus and Christians may convert to Islam, but any other conversion is opposed. PRAY for freedom for Pakistani Hindus to find Christ.

DAY 13 (Friday, Nov. 5)

Persecution is not new to believers in northern India. “But we bravely stand in the Lord and in our faith,” said ministry partner Rohit Mattoo. “People come to the Lord, and it is not by force or any other means, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit, which we understand but people outside don’t. We are always blamed for converting people, but we don’t. The Holy Spirit does the work. We teach them the Word and help them to grow in their faith. It will continue until the Lord comes.” Amen! PRAY for believers facing one-to-five years in prison (three to 10 years for converting a minor, woman, or low-caste member) stand strong in the faith.

DAY 14 (Saturday, Nov. 6)

Only about two percent of the world’s mission force focuses on Hindu people. More workers are needed to GO to the harvest that the Lord is preparing. PRAY for hearts obedient to Jesus’ commands to declare, “Here am I! Send me.” Ask that sowers, church planters, and disciple makers would be sent into the Hindu world to serve. Lift Hindu background believers to be faithful and share the Truth that they have learned with those trapped in darkness and hopelessness.

DAY 15 (Sunday, Nov. 7)

Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Hindus need to know this reality. They need eyes to see that the God of the Bible is the only true God, rather than the more than 300 million deities that they worship. They need ears to hear that Jesus defeated death for us all, and leave the cycle of reincarnation and idol worship that traps them on a one-way trip to hell (Hebrews 9:27). They need hearts to understand that karma (the belief that a person’s actions in this life affect the next life) is not to be feared because Christ has overcome this world (John 16:33). PRAY for eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to accept that the way to freedom is not found in Hinduism but can only be attained by coming to the cross of Jesus (John 8:36).

Thank you for praying with us for the Hindu world. Our friends at Prayercast have prepared a video to help us pray for the 1.1 billion Hindus who do not yet realize the love of Christ. CLICK HERE to view it. And pray on!

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