Dear Father, my focus turns today to the nation of India. It is home to an estimated 1.2 billion people, over three times the population of the United States. It has the world’s sixth largest economy as well as the third largest standing army. However, most of this prosperity is in the major cities. The people who live in the rural areas experience extreme poverty. It has been reported that one third of all the world’s poor live in India. Over 40% of children in the country are malnourished. 58% of the population do not have private toilets in their home, a figure that reaches 100% in the slums. This causes widespread disease like cholera. Parents are reluctant to send their children, especially girls, to school because of the lack of sanitation. This problem is severe also in cities as the population has grown far beyond the capacities of the sanitation systems. Untreated sewage is causing water pollution, especially to the Yamuna river, a river that is worshipped by Hindus. The santitation crisis is simpacting India’s natural resources and biodiversity. The healthcare system isn’t any more encouraging. It has been reported that 50% of the rural population have no access to healthcare. A significant percentage of women in the country have experienced domestic violence, rape, or victimization in the sex trafficking trade. On top of all of these problems, India is known for extensive corruption. It has been estimated that 92% of the population has had to bribe a politician for the politician to do anything on their behalf. Politicians build their own wealth through excessive regulations, theft of property, unregulated bureaucracies, government control of key industries, preferential treatment, and excessive taxation.
Father, if there was ever a people who should be eager to hear the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the people of India. However, the state of the church in India is equally disturbing. 93% of the population are either Hindu or Muslim. Less than 3% of the population consider themselves Christian and many of that number are Roman Catholic. Father, pastors in India have reported that many churches in the country are led by inadequately trained pastors. With so many people hurting in the culture, the “prosperity gospel” thrives. Many are attracted to the church, not because of true confession and surrender to Christ, but because of hope of deliverance from their poverty. Pastors accommodate this longing and preach how salvation in Christ will lead to financial well-being. There is a large emphasis on miracle healings, challenging believers to have enough faith to be healed. Many pastors are reluctant to take a stand for righteousness for fear of alienating those who do come to their services. Therefore, believers are taught “hyper grace”, a belief that You overlook human rebellion and disobedience because You are, essentially, a nice guy. There is widespread fear of persecution for declaring faith in Christ. It is known that announcing your faith in Christ will certainly lead to alienation from friends and family.
Father, India is a dark place. I ask for Your mercy on this nation. Father, I believe the starting point is for a genuine revival among pastors who are not walking with You. May they confess their rebellion from You. May they surrender their lives to You. May they courageously and fearlessly challenge their congregations to follow their examples and to do the same. May they emphasize that true spiritual wealth is a personal relationship with You and the subsequent bounty of blessings of character strength that will help people overcome any challenge in life. May believers throughout the country develop a deep love for You and a desire to love their neighbors in crisis. May believers fearlessly share their faith and prove their faith through striking acts of compassion for others in need. Father, it is when a church that has dedicated themselves to You is demonstrating the love of Christ in their local communities that a genuine revival will spark and grow.
Father, please make this change happen. Make genuine and authentic Christianity thrive in India in the 2020s and 2030s. May that revival lead to improvement in all of the social problems facing this nation. May millions of people be able to associate the revival of faith in Christ to the reduction of corruption, poverty, illiteracy, and crime against women and an improvement in health care, sanitation, education, and natural resources. All things are possible with you. Raise up for Yourself an army of people to pray in this fashion. Amen.