Over one billion people across the world follow Hindu traditions; that is over 14% of the world’s population. People are seeking peace and immortality. People are hoping, somehow, to find their way.
Every year Hindus celebrate Diwali – the Festival of Lights. It is one of their most important celebrations as, for five days, they participate in family gatherings, lighting and displaying rows of small oil lamps, consuming special sweets and watching fireworks. In a similar way to our own Christian festivals, Diwali has both religious and historic roots but these are often overshadowed by cultural traditions. But whatever the motivation for the celebration, it is a time of joy and excitement.
Over the past few months I have been involved with an international group wanting to encourage Christians to pray during Diwali. The result of their hard work is the Hindu World Prayer Guide. This guide covers the ten days leading up to the festival as well as the festival itself (8-22 October). It is a framework to help us pray for those who live across the road as well as those who live across the world. It gives insights into lives, beliefs and practices. It is prayer fuel to help us intercede, with better understanding, for people-groups, situations and locations.
I am reminded that Isaiah prophesied “The people living in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:1-2) and Jesus said “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). I long that all the world’s people will have an opportunity to freely see, hear and understand the light of God incarnated in Jesus Christ. In the UK there are almost one million Hindus, it is imperative that we inform ourselves, pray for others and support opportunities to make His light known.
To order a copy of the Hindu World Prayer Guide click here (price £2.50 including P&P. There are substantial discounts for 10 or more copies),