Churches worldwide are joining together October 28-November 11 to pray for our world’s over 1 billion Hindu neighbors. This time period encompasses the significant Hindu Festival of Light known as Diwali. It’s the biggest, brightest and most elaborate festival in all of India. Similar to Christmas celebrations in the Christian world, Indians celebrate it by lighting and displaying rows of small oil lamps, participating in family gatherings, consuming special sweets and watching fireworks.
Families also celebrate this festival with a Lakshmi pooja, or worship of the goddess that includes a prayer for prosperity. During this time, Lakshmi is believed to visit homes and offer blessings, so it’s important for families to have clean, well-lit homes to welcome her. It’s been said that if families aren’t home when she comes or if their home is dirty, she will leave the home without a blessing. Therefore, Hindus light clay lamps, or diyas, and open their windows and doors to show their desire for Lakshmi’s arrival and to celebrate the victory of light over darkness.
94% of India’s population is considered “unreached” (see Joshua Project). Hindus worship over 33 million gods and goddesses. If you’d like to learn more about how to pray for India, download a prayer guide at 15 Days of Prayer for India.
Jesus said “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12