Very early on we set out to pray against temples. In fact, our third day in India we visited a temple in Delhi where people and animals are sometimes sacrificed (Wesley blogged about it). Before I came to India I was told how there is a temple around every corner, and i thought I understood. But I didn’t. Around EVERY corner, at every bend in the road, at the front of every bus, in shops, in most homes, in the stairway of hotels and guest houses, on the roof of hotels and guest houses, and standing thirty feet tall towering over a city are shrines, idols, and temples to one of several billion false gods.
We go directly to the temples, walk around them, stand outside, or pass by them, and pray against the bondage Satan has over the people. A national brother who we spent a lot of time with told us to bind Satan’s strongholds in prayer before we do anything- to pray that the people would be set free. I was walking in front of him past a temple high in the mountains, and heard him repeating, “Jesus, set the people free,” since then I have found that prayer constantly on my lips.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
While we are at, within, or passing by temples, shrines, statues, and idols we simply pray. If people approach us we talk to them, but we do not intentionally get in the way or attract attention to ourselves. We look people in the eye and beg that they would be free from the bondage they are under worshiping demons, false gods, and created things. We pray against these things stealing glory of God. Feels real Old Testament.
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and anothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:19-20
As the struggle becomes more evident and we go deeper into unreached areas it gets harder to be here, muscles stay sore, migraines, homesickness, exhaustion that doesn’t end, unexplained pain, and general resistance that is rebuked in the name of Jesus. Please pray for us and the believers working here- this is a dark place.
“He too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15
In the midst of utter darkness the Lord is constantly at work, redeeming people and setting them free. We met a man in the last city we were in who began to follow Christ two days before we met. He came with us to hike a waterfall and explore some caves, then later that night our team went to his family’s house to meet with him and his cousin. While the girls taught his cousin I asked him how he met Jesus. Although I was expecting a two minute story he told me the entire story of his life, some of which I’ll share with you:
Brother S’s family were nominal belivers most of his life, and he wanted nothing to do with that. After running away from the military boarding school they sent him to he found himself on and off the street. He was involved with a street gang, the abuse of various substances, and black magic. For a while he lived above a temple- drinking instead of eating, and living completely in the dark. He sought peace in more black magic and went to visit the manifestation of a goddess that had appeared in the mountains, but only saw “evil” more visibly with him everywhere he went. He called a local brother who was a a friend of the family and after some time gave his life to Jesus, he said he had a real peace and joy for the first time. He shared with us that right as he became a believer (the day before) he was fasting, and begged God for help. After he closed the Bible and gave up hope he was given 1 Peter 2:15-17. We got to pray with him and encourage him to continue to pursue true peace in Jesus. Several days later he called us from a tea stand. He was on the way to a village to share alongside the same brother he originally called but it had started raining so they had to wait it out. He also asked us to pray for a trip he was taking in several days, alongside that same local worker, to an very distant and unreached area of HP to continue to work for the Gospel to be spread.
“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:15-17
Two days ago Wesley and I prayer walked our current city. We had climbed far too many foot-high stairs, and reached the half way point of the major temple in town. We were praying over the temple and the area when a local man approached us. We found out he spoke English, along with four other languages, and was a three star colonel in the police force. Never quick to pass up and opportunity we asked him if he had ever heard of Jesus. He said no and sat down, so we sat down next to him and shared the Gospel of God’s Grace with him in slow, deliberate English. As our conversation wrapped up he took a few phone calls and eventually said he had to go. We parted ways and climbed more stairs, but after we reached the next level we looked back and saw our new friend still standing there on the phone, looking at us. We took the anti conversion laws into account, prayed for safety and discernment, then found a small footpath that wound around the mountain and away from the temple, so we took it. After sliding down part of the mountain into a water treatment plant, we made our way back into town, unabated, and were led to pray over countless temples and people in the market as we found our way back.
We have been allowed to see answered prayer. Whether that is lives transformed from slavery, people hearing the Truth for the first time, or the Gospel being taken into very dark and difficult areas by Westerners and Nationals, prayers are being answered. Thank you for supporting us in prayer and please continue to as we move into our last new area of ministry for the summer- if the roads don’t get washed out.
Grace and Peace,
“Dominion to the Lion and the Lamb”