Praying for India during the COVID-19 crisis

people in boats

By: Affinity of South Asian Peoples

International Mission Board

  • Christian leaders are working tirelessly to serve—finding oxygen cylinders, medicine, empty hospital beds, meals and burial sites for countless people. Pray Isaiah 40:31 that as they wait on the Lord, they gain new strength—“that they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
  • This new wave has provided so many opportunities for brothers and sisters in Christ to serve others and to “be the church” to those around them. They are sharing the reason for the hope they have within. Pray for believers to not let these opportunities pass them by. Pray for boldness to share their faith and faithfulness to pray!
  • Pastor and other believers who have a never-ending list of people who need prayer and help are facing exhaustion. As the virus passes from church member to each member in their families, the needs never seem to be satiated. Pray for God to be their strength in weakness!
  • Some believers in India seem panicked because they have put their hope in prosperity and health and their faith is faltering under the reality that many believers are dying too. Pray that this would awaken them to understand the true gospel—to long for more of Jesus, and to be a beacon of hope to the lost world around them. 
  • In the rural villages of India, millions and millions have little access to good medical care and no means to self-quarantine. Families live in very close quarters, sometimes living together in only one room. There are reports of whole villages being infected. Many of these rural peoples—approximately 65% of India’s population—are poor and live day-to-day under normal circumstances. These lockdown restrictions on work and movement, along with sickness, make an already difficult life feel desperately hopeless. Please pray for God to pour out His great mercy on each and every village in the remotest parts of India. May the knowledge of the glory of the Lord cover India as the waters cover the sea (from Habakkuk 2:14).
  • Pray for those who are currently recovering from illness. Pray for them to recover quickly.
  • Pray that the light of the gospel would outshine the light emitting from the crematoriums. Pray that God would breathe on this place and bring life, washing out the smell of incense offered to idols and the smoke from the crematoriums.
  • Pray that the hospital and emergency workers, being surrounded by death and hopelessness, would receive the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel during this time.
  • Bangalore Baptist Hospital has had to turn many people away due to the high volume of COVID patients as compared to hospital capacity. Many staff are sick, with several admitted themselves to the hospital and one on a ventilator. Even the weather is hard with summer heat, protective gear and no air conditioning. Healthcare professionals also face emotional trauma as patients die and people have to be turned away. Chaplains are ministering to COVID patients by phone since they cannot visit them, and they are finding some response to the gospel. Pray for renewed strength for the hospital staff. Pray for those who are battling COVID to recover. Pray for God to give wisdom and favor to the hospital administration as they seek to serve the community and show the love of Christ to those suffering.
  • Rajesh*, his wife, Lalita*, and their oldest daughter, Meera*, are faithful disciple-makers and church-planters living in a remote desert village. They could not reach those they were discipling by bus because of travel restrictions. They knew of believers in another village who needed SD cards and training in order to be able to share with their family and community. They set out on foot and walked 27 miles carrying SD cards loaded with God’s Word, the Savior film, as well as evangelistic and discipleship tools. Please pray for these new believers in this remote desert village. Please pray for boldness in sharing during these days when entire families are locked down together. Pray that the Word of the Lord will be honored in every home. Pray that, because of the faithfulness of Rajesh, Lalita, and Meera and the boldness of these new believers, the Word of the Lord will spread throughout the whole region (Acts 13:48-49). (*names changed)
  • In one village four children lost their parents to COVID-19. This was not yet a believing family, but they had been listening to the gospel story. When the parents died, the believers in the community came together to help and care for the children—providing care, providing food, and helping to tend to their animals and fields. In this situation the government or extended family could take away the children’s land and they’d be left with nothing. The local believers are helping to protect the children, their home and their farmland so that when they grow older, they will still have their home and fields to sustain them. Praise God for the elders leading the Body of Christ in this village and the example they set of sacrificial love. Pray for the four children. May they grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. May they grow to know and love the Lord with all their hearts and souls and minds and strength, and may they seek to serve Him all the days of their lives.
  • Isaiah 43:1-2 says “Now this is what the LORD says—the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel—”Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 tell us to “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Pray for comfort for those who are suffering. Pray for trust for believers, that they will not be afraid. God knows each one by name. He is with them.
  • In the past week alone, there have been so many faithful believers being “promoted to glory” as believers in India sometimes say. In one family, a pastor, his wife, mother-in-law and brother all passed away within just days of one another. In other areas, pastors even in their thirties are dying from COVID. In India, these brothers and sisters in Christ being welcomed into the arms of Jesus represent a minuscule minority of the thousands dying without ever hearing His story. Please pray for all the believers in India, to allow the joy of the Lord to be their strength. Pray against the enemy’s attacks that could disable His church in India with fear and distraction. Pray for believers across India to share more boldly and shine more brightly than ever. Please pray that as food distribution efforts begin again in many areas that the Father would lead and guide every detail and use every gift given as a way for His kingdom to grow.
  • Please pray that the Indian church will boldly rise up. Pray that during these difficult days that their work is produced by faith, their labor is prompted by love, and their endurance is inspired by hope in Jesus Christ. Pray that the way in which they love during this crisis will be a model to all believers. Pray that the gospel will ring out from them throughout India and South Asia, and to the ends of the earth and that their faith will become known everywhere. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-8)
  • Pray the Lord would use the attention India is getting in the media to direct the global church’s heart toward South Asia. Pray for God to call out more laborers to India and South Asia. The harvest is truly plentiful, but the workers are so few. (Luke 10:2) May God raise up the church from around the globe to steward their lives that the people of South Asia may have the opportunity to hear and believe. 

This was written by Affinity of South Asian Peoples and was originally published at imb.org

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