Int’l (MNN) – For nearly 25 years, Paul Filidis of WorldChristian.com has been inviting believers around the world to pray for Muslims through the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World prayer guide. But for the first time, Filidis has created a prayer guide focused on the one-billion-plus followers of Hinduism.
How the prayer guide came about
Filidis is originally from Germany. His heart for Muslim people began when he was living in Afghanistan where he met his wife, became a believer, and started ministering. For the past 25 years, he’s lived in the United States, providing resources to Christians through his online bookstore.
The Hindu god, Ganesh.
When Filidis was first asked to be a part of creating a guide that helped Christians pray for Muslims, he thought it would be a one-time project.
But, he says, “It continued to grow and grow and it’s a big thing on everyone’s mind because we see the Islamic world featured every night on TV. And a lot of Christians may not know any Muslims and therefore the attitude that they have towards Muslims is one of fear or hatred.”
Every year, about 100,000 booklets are distributed in North America. More booklets are sent to other nations as well. Through prayer, believers around the world are growing their heart for Muslims as they ask God to reveal Jesus to them.
A heart for Hindus, too
But the growing interest got people thinking about what other prayer guides could be created. Filidis says last year, he was approached by people from the United Kingdom, India, and Texas. They all had one request for him—create a prayer guide focusing on the Hindu world.
“They felt a godly jealousness to want to also see the Hindu world promoted to a similar degree. We all know that, of course, Hinduism is not on the news every night, so it will not be as big as the Muslim prayer focus.”
But the prayer guide will help to activate the Body of Christ in prayer for Hindus as well. The days of prayer kicked off this past Sunday, October 8, and will continue through the 22nd. These dates roughly coincide with a season of Hindu festivals, but the guide is not limited to this date range.
Aside from North American participants, Filidis says other nations have expressed interest—New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines. “I can already say it’s an international prayer mobilization.”
The first run of booklets—10,000 copies—ran out even before September ended. A few thousand more were printed.
Missions at home
But it’s not just about praying for people far, far away. It’s about preparing for interactions that might take place in your own community.
“Traditionally we’ve always talked about missions going to other parts of the world. And nowadays, we see a lot of the world coming to us. So missions is becoming much easier in a sense–if we as the North American Church or the Western Church could open our hearts and embrace people and welcome people.”
Fidilis emphasizes the importance of this welcoming attitude. For people coming from a totally different country or culture, a welcome means so much. It’s the beginning of building a relationship where Christ can be exemplified and shared with others. That brings up another aspect of this guide.
“If we want to affect the world in which we live, we need to understand the world in which we learn. And part of it is that the world is internationalizing,” Fidilis says. He explains that when people come from different parts of the world, it’s important to learn about them.
“What excites me about the 15 Days of Prayer for the Hindu world… is the fact that it is not just a list of items to pray for, but it has pictures, it has text. In other words, it has an [educational] element to it. People can learn about people in the … Hindu world. People can learn as they read through it and that gives a little bit more context to pray with understanding.”
While the days of prayer have already begun, you can still get your copy, either digitally or as a hardcopy. And don’t feel like you have to limit the prayer to these 15 days. The guides are wonderful prayer tools for individuals, small groups, and churches all year round. Click here to get your copy!