India has always been an important focus of the prayer strategy of the AD2000 movement. It was one of the first countries prayed for in Praying Through the Window I in October, 1993. And in October, 1995, Calcutta was one of the 100 "Gateway Cities" featured in Praying Through the Window II.
Calcutta is an amazing testimony to the power of prayer. An estimated 35 million Christians focused their prayers on Calcutta one October day, with believers from 13 countries actually praying on-site in the city. A month of systematic prayer by local Christian leaders followed. They divided the city into 25 routes for prayer walks. Many of the citiy's 160 churches adopted one or more of those routes, claiming the territory for the Lord Jesus Christ. The results of that concentrated time of prayer are still visible today. That month of prayer enhanced the Mission Calcutta 2000 Network, whose aim is to establish a church in every one of the city's 93 postal code zones by the end of the year 2000. Great progress has been made. Thirty zones that did not have a church now have one. Today, only 30 other zones remain untouched.
Calcutta is not the only city in India to experience the power of prayer. Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh is Hinduism's holiest city, with thousands of temples centering on the worship of Shiva, an idol whose symbol is a phallus. Many consider this city the very seat of Satan. Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges River at Varanasi washes away all sins. A number of Christian workers took up the burden of prayer for this city and in prayer walks boldly declared before the idols, "You are not a living god." One year later, it was discovered that church planting works had opened up in sixty villages around Varanasi over that past year, with 300 baptisms reported.
India knows that prayer works. The North India Harvest Network has developed a prayer strategy focused on their 500 PLUG target units -- "every people in every city, in every language, in every distrct." Their goal is to find 1,000 intercessors within India who will each adopt one or more of these units. They are also seeking an equal number of intercessors outside India to partner with them, making a grand total of 1,000,000 intercessors.
An intensive training program has been implimented to teach people to practice intercession for the target units. An experienced prayer warrior from Africa, Dr. Zacariah Fomum, has played a key role in this training for prayer. Already 10 prayer conferences have been held. Prayer walks have been started and a major recruitment drive has been initiated. Can God's power be long in coming when there is such a focus and outouring of united, effective fervent prayer? India is ready and waiting.
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