Christians from all around India came together online to create “United to Pray for India” (UTPFI), a movement to pray for the country for a year from August 15, 2023, to August 15, 2024, on its 77th Independence Day.
UTPFI is an interdenominational initiative without any organisation or Church banners but has representation from many Churches who are committed to praying and intercession for the nation.
“It came about as a spontaneous prayer movement,” said Rev. Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) while speaking with CT India. “As God was putting into the hearts of many leaders across the nation, to mobilise sustained prayer for our country and for the well-being of its peoples. In God’s time and providence, we happened to speak together and a core group from different Churches and organisations was formed and the result is the launch today,” he added.
The prayer movement will work to disseminate prayer points on a weekly and monthly basis to Churches and Christian individuals across the nation for a year. Networks such as EFI, Mumbai Transformation Network and the Body of Christ are actively promoting the same.
Over 600 people joined the launch which was held on the Zoom platform. It is expected that the participation in the movement would grow as Churches and people become more aware of the same.
The launch opened with the National Anthem following a Bible exposition by Rev. C B Samuel on Psalm 144 and a declaration of hope in God based on the national anthem, led by Pastor Shelton Davidson.
The prayer time consisted of people praying on various themes like corruption, poverty, anti-human trafficking, persecuted Church, safety of women and so on. The assembled people also spent time praying for the nation divided into six regions: North, South, West, East, North East and Central India. Prayers were also raised for the upcoming state and general elections in 2024.
For each prayer point, there was a time of mass prayer, followed by an individual praying for the same. The opening and closing prayers were offered by women leaders, Tehmina Arora of ADF and Ms. Jayalaxmi. The entire event was bilingual with translation in Hindi being carried out.
Earlier on August 1, the UTPFI had held a pre-launch event, which was also virtual and had more than 200 pastors and lay leaders attend the same.