As we start a new year, we are focusing on world religions and how to pray for the various followers among them. This month we will look at Hinduism.
The wide and great diversity among what Hindus believe and practice can be somewhat overwhelming. About 15% of the world’s population call themselves Hindu and pride themselves on their liberal and accepting stance toward all other world religions. When a faith already encompasses 33 million gods, what’s one more god to the mix, right? The concept and truth of following just one is difficult for their beliefs and culture to grasp.
While I was growing up in Southeast Asia, it was evident with all the daily rituals and festivals the Hindus had, all the colors, sounds, and story-telling could be intriguing while also, unfortunately, be enslaving. Like many religions, Hinduism is based on fear and obligations.
We can be thankful and give praise to our one true God that many have become aware they can’t deal successfully with these obligations nor cope with sin day in and day out. This realization results in a genuine understanding of redemption in Jesus Christ.
While movement is slow, Christ’s name is being made known steadily among the Hindu. Join us in praying for them around the world and that new and strong believers would multiply.
1. Pray that more disciples of Jesus would learn how to communicate the Good News effectively to Hindus worldwide.
Praying for and reaching Hindus, “requires creativity, faith and boldness on the part of church planters and new believers,” says Ron, a Southeast Asia TEAM worker. “Following Jesus challenges the idolatry and immorality of the Hindu beliefs and practices”, he continues. As with many other religions and beliefs, it takes sensitivity, patience and direction from the Holy Spirit to jump into what may become difficult conversations.
We, as believers, know that our God can supernaturally show Himself amongst their curiosity so that they will desire to follow Jesus Christ exclusively. There are 2,328 unreached Hindu People groups that we can pray for, specifically their hunger and thirst for a relationship with the one and true living God.
Ask the Lord to be with the ones who go out and speak the Word and truth, that they would be emboldened, and share in a way that resonates with the Hindus.
2. Pray for those that have come to believe in the Lord, but have been shunned from their families and communities.
Persecution from the world is hard enough, but persecution from loved ones and long-term friendships is intimidating and burdensome.
Central Asia TEAM missionary, Ellen*, says that often ones who do accept Jesus Christ are literally kicked out of their families, as well as lose their friends and jobs.
One family in Central Asia had four members become Christian, one of them being the father. When the father passed, the oldest son who was still a practicing Hindu, became head of the household.
The fellow members who had become believers have been threatened by the oldest son to turn back and reject Christianity. Still today, this family shares with Ellen they are still believers, yet feel unable to practice their faith. Ellen asks for prayer for this family and the numerous ones like them in similar situations.
Pray for the confidence of the ones who have come to know Jesus as Lord. Pray they can practice without oppression and mistreatment.
3. Pray for new believers to grow in their faith, strengthening their walk and foundation.
Attempts from TEAM missionaries to reach Hindu peoples are being carried out in several different regions as well as across several different partnerships. It is encouraging and reaffirms the mission when one comes to call upon Jesus as their Savior.
“We prayed right there together and since that time, Maya’s heart was completely changed,” shares TEAM missionaries Ruby and Kevin*. “Only the love of Jesus can so powerfully transform a life like Maya’s (who previously had come from a Hindu background) and pour out of her that way to her roommates and family”, Ruby said.
Maya’s family has refused her new faith and she struggles. She is sincere with her commitment and new faith in Jesus Christ but her surroundings make it tough.
Pray for Maya and others like her to find believing communities. Pray for their non-believing families to see the light and come to know true liberation in Christ.
*Some names have been changed for security reasons.
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