Worldwide Prayer Meeting - November 9, 2023
India Western Territory
Welcome! Maybe this is one of those morning you found it a little hard to get started. The arms and legs seemed to weigh more than normal or the head took a little longer to clear. Maybe that cup of coffee didn’t take hold as quickly as you wanted. Never mind. You have found the day is merciless and it insists on going on whether you are ready or not. But you have this to lay hold of. God is ahead of you in each moment that unfolds before you. And whether or not you are ready, He definitely is. As the old Salvation Army song declared, “Never mind! Go on!”
Gracious God, Thank You that just as I am surrounded by the an atmosphere to breathe, spiritually I am surrounded by Your tender mercy and grace. I cannot survive without mercy and grace! I have no standing with You outside of them. Thank You that Jesus came and rescued me from the terrible fix I was in, that He saved me and not only rescued me from a awful destiny but gave me a life to live that is so much better than any life without You. This is the best life, even with its problems and challenges because You are in it with me. And when I mess up, when I fail, when I am bewildered, there is Your mercy and grace, Your Holy Spirit guiding me. Thank You, dear Lord. I rejoice in You, my Savior and Lord. I declare my full dependence on You and it is in Your precious name I offer this prayer. Amen.
Listen to the a band from the India Western Territory play “O Come, All Ye Faithful” as an early preparation for the Christmas season.
Background of the India Western Territory
The India Western Territory, composed of five states, has a population that is larger than that of the entire United States. Four of the five states are larger than most countries in the world. It is also one of the most challenging areas for Christian ministry and as a result, Salvation Army work as well. We will take a brief look at each of the five.
Goa: The smallest of the five, Goa has the highest percentage of Christians although many of these have blended their faith with Hinduism. A beautiful area that attracts many visitors, it also has become a center for drug trafficking and child prostitution.
Gujarat: A center for religious tensions and persecution, Hindu extremists persecute both Christians and Muslims aided by the government and the police. There is a great deal of intimidation and slander as well as anti-conversion laws that make Christian work difficult. This, despite it being Ghandi’s birthplace with his legacy of religious tolerance. But the persecution has led to a spirit of revival and new life among believers. In five of the districts there has been significant growth with The Salvation Army being one of the leaders in that growth. Yet nine districts remain largely unreached.
Madya Pradesh: This was one of the last states to open to missions, is strongly Hindu with stern anti-conversion laws. It has large numbers of tribal peoples that is being reached through a strong house church movement. In the capital city of Bhopal, there are high tensions between the Hindu and Muslim populations exacerbated by poverty, illiteracy and crime in the over 300 slums ringing the city that is also subject to disastrous flooding.
Maharashtra: This state plays the key role in India’s political, cultural and economic identity. Mumbai is like the New York City of India. Its economy pulls in people from all over India that has unfortunately created India’s largest slum. There are over 200,000 victims of the sex trade, 100,000 street children, and 300,000 AIDS cases. On the positive side, Mumbai has the second highest number of Christians among India’s megacities. There is a challenge in raising second generation church leaders among believers and persecution is rising. Tribal groups are becoming increasingly responsive to the gospel for which we praise God.
Rajasthan: Although Christians are still a small minority, there has been encouraging growth, particularly among the Bhil tribe. Persecution has increased and an anti-conversion law passed in 2008 has made life difficult. Hindu extremists have not only targeted churches but Christian orphanages and hospitals causing more moderate Hindus to push back in defense of Christians. Evangelistic efforts among the many Indian tourists is yielding encouraging, if small, results.
The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army began its work in Bombay (later Mumbai) in 1882 by Major Frederick Tucker (later Booth-Tucker) and Veerasoriya, a Sri Lankan convert. This was the first point of contact for The Salvation Army officially in India. They established the first headquarters for the Army’s work in Khetwadi. The work spread across India from there. The India Western Territory was established in 1921.
Facts, Stats and Leadership of the
India Western Territory
- Total population with which to fish and disciple: 352,645,251
- 404 officers, 19 cadets, and 324 employees
- 238 retired officers
- 276 corps; 275 outposts
- 38,376 senior soldiers
- 2,706 adherents
- 6,817 junior soldiers
- Territorial Commander: Commissioner Daniel Raju Dasari
- Chief Secretary: Lt. Colonel Zothanmawia
- President of Women’s Ministries – Lt. Colonel Vanlalnungi
Prayer Requests of the India Western Territory
Please give thanks and praise for:
- Praise God for the spiritual life of our people.
- Praise God for the local officers training taking place in various divisions.
- This year by God’s grace 15 cadets for session of “Champions of Mission” are entered in Officer’s Training college
Prayers for following:
- Please pray for Youth Councils that will be taking place end of this month and November. Young people need be empowered and encouraged.
- The theme of the territory is “Time to Be holy“ - 1 Peter 1:16. Every activity and program is helping others to learn more of holiness. Pray that every soldier and officer will follow the word of God to be holy.
- The territory is working on the Territorial Strategic Plans for 2024-2028. Please pray that God the Holy Spirit will guide the team in right direction to finalize the strategies.
- The territory has plans to prepare leadership among soldiers, local officers, youth and officers so that our spiritual ministry will grow more. The territory plans to start a Leader Development Training Center to equip 1200 people including soldiers, youth, local officers, women officers in 2023-24.
- The Women’s Ministry department is conducting seminars for local officers and corps officers for encouragement and empowering them for fruitful ministry. Pray for the women’s ministries.
- Our self-support plans are taking place for property redevelopment. Please pray that God may guide and give proper knowledge to do the proper things.
- Extension work to grow. Recently the territory has newly appointed officers in neighbor state Goa to spread the gospel and begin the ministry of The Salvation Army. Please pray for the work to grow in Goa.
- Other neighbor state of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh. A few officers are working to develop and increase SA ministry but there is big opposition from the very strong non-Christian and other religion groups. Please pray for the courage, strength and protection to our officers and soldiers to proclaim gospel.
USA Southern Territory Prayer Requests
- The family of Major Lorraine Delaney, recently Promoted to Glory
- Lt. Colonel Janice Riefer, Personnel Secretary
- Major Carolyn Nichols, Finance Officer
- Property Department
- Philip Gesner, Financial Project Manager, Finance
- Tim McCleary, Director of Constituent Relationship Management, THQ CRD Exchange
- Daniel Smalls, Client Management Systems Administrator, Social Services
- Captain Josh Hinson, Director of Mission & Ministry, EBC
- Cadet Patrick Lewandowski
- Captain Andrea Israel, Divisional Candidates’ Secretary, Florida Division
- Lt. Colonel Lesa Davis, Editor-in-Chief, NHQ
- Majors Anthony & Elizabeth Juliana, officers, employees and cadets at the Evangeline Booth College
- Youth Programs
- Anonymous request that there would be world peace and the madness would stop; prayer for good test results and healing so that she or her husband can be around for the family.
Something to Consider
It might be an old school with layers of dust on the desks, books strewn across the floor or an old house, with furniture turning moldy, curtains in shreds and darkened shadows cast against peeling wallpaper. Once someone was excited to enter these rooms for the first time, stories were told and laughter filled the air. Somewhere along the way it was decided that this place wasn’t worth the bother anymore, the contents not good enough to pass along to anyone else. The doors were locked and the place was left to rot. It is the very definition of destitution.
Far more tragic are the people who are abandoned. Some are left in nursing homes where the endless hours of television replace meaningful conversation. Others shuffle along streets until they find their places under the bridge where cardboard boxes shield them from the night air. Still others stare out the window searching for life in the neighborhood because the stillness inside the apartment is more than they can face.
Compassion can’t be paid at a discount, love cannot be rushed through the express lane. Nor can it be handled by proxy. To reach a person requires presence, our presence. For many this is draining, or inconvenient, or confusing. But the Lord does not give any of us a bye. “’Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’” (Matthew 25:37-40).
O Mighty God, Help us this day to remember that as we see the weakest among us we also see an opportunity to serve You. Help us to remember the persecuted, the lonely, the rejected, and the confused. Help us to know how to touch them in Your name and for Your sake. Amen.
In conclusion, conclude this time of worship by singing or listening to this beautiful song, “What a Beautiful Name It Is” by Hillsong Worship. The lyrics accompany the video to make it easier for you to join in with heart and voice.