Prayer Focus in August: Week 2.
1. Prayer for Japan – Part 2.
2. Global Concert of Prayer: Your Part in the GCOP: Read More.
Prayer for Japan:
1. The Rising of the ‘Son of Righteousness’ over the Land of the Rising Sun!
Japan is known as ‘Nippon’ – the Land of the Rising Sun. And, there is hope for Japan because God has promised that the Jesus, ‘The Son of Righteousness’ will rise with Healing for the Nations.
But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings;Malachi 4:2
Therefore, despite the present conditions, there is Hope to pray for Revival in Japan!
a. Hope of Transformation!
Japan is called by some as the ‘Graveyard for Missions’ due to challenges and failed endeavors in the past. Christianity was brought to Japan in 1549 Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary, and in a short period of two years, Jesuits estimate that a thousand Japanese converted to Christianity. Xavier was so impressed with Japan that he called for only the missionaries of highest quality to be sent. He wrote, “Japan is the only country yet discovered in these regions where there is hope of Christianity permanently taking root…. These are the best people so far discovered.” In 1597, it is estimated that approximately 300,000 Japanese had become Christian, 1.6% of the population. Later Nagasaki was called the Rome of Japan and was basically established as a Christian city and at its peak, there were up to 500,000 people identified as Christian.
However, because Japan’s Rulers feared that it will open for European conquest, in 1612 as many as 300,000 Japanese Christians were persecuted and many were martyred. The country was closed to all foreigners for 250 years! The gospel returned only in the late 1800s when Japan re-opened its doors to the West, yet it was followed by renewed suspicion and rejection.
b. From Graveyards to Gateways!
However, history reveals that God specializes in His glorious work of Transformation from Graveyards!
In the Old Testament from Joseph’s dead bones which had a prophetic promise of deliverance from Egypt, to Elisha’s grave, and to Ezekiel’s vision of Israel’s graveyard of dry bones, we find God’s transforming power.
In the New Testament from Lazarus stinking grave in Bethany to the Grave of Joseph of Arimathea where His Son was buried, Graveyards became the Gateways to life and resurrection.
Therefore, we believe that Japan is best placed right now at an Ezekiel 37 moment, and spiritual deadness is only opportunity for God’s resurrection life. He is asking the Intercessors of the global Church: “Can these bones live?” As we engage in praying prophetically the Ezekiel 37 Prayer, the Spirit of God will breathe the Revival Winds over this Nation.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.Ezekiel 37:4-5.
a. A Fresh breath of the wind of the Holy Spirit to blow through Japan.
b. God to raise a bold prophetic voice to speak Life over the nation.
c. For that the new converts from this move of God in Japan to become a mighty army.
“So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.Ezekiel 37:10.
c. Seeds of Martyrdom on Japan.
Revival in Japan is possible because of history of courage and martyrdom of Christians who paid a high prices to sow the ‘seed of revival’. The first century martyr Tertullian said: “Blood of the Martyrs is the seed.” The seeds of revival sown by martyrs is not dead in Japan! It is time to pray for the Revival and life to sprout through the Church!
In the early 17th century, Persecution forced Christians in Japan to go underground, becoming known as Hidden Christians (kakure kirishitan). Under successive shoguns, persecution intensified and came up with strategies to root them out. In 1635, the government required all subjects to register themselves at a local Buddhist temple, and also imposed the ‘fumie,’ the “stepping-on pictures” where Christians were called step on small pictures of Jesus made of metal, stone, or wood as a public denial of their faith. Those who refused faced execution, crucifixion or torture – forced into boiling hot springs or suspended upside down in a pit of excrement.
This severe persecution caused the number of Christians decline to 20,000. Such sacrifice and courage has laid the foundation for the future revival and therefore we should pray in faith. Read More about ‘Fumie’: BBC Report: Japanese Christians forced to trample Christ’
a. Thank God for the martyrs who laid their lives for their faith in the past.
b. Pray for Japanese Christians to be bold in their witness for Jesus.
c. Believe that the seed of blood is going bear fruit in Revival in Japan.
d. There is Hope because of the Church in Japan!
God can still use the minority of the Church in Japan to turn the nation around!
Cities and people of Japan has Hope because God told Abraham regarding the city of Sodom that, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” (Genesis 18: 33)
Isaiah was promised that in Jerusalem if ‘one man’ could be found it could save a whole city!
“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares.If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.Jeremiah 5:1
Let us stand together with the Church in Japan in intercession to strengthen their faith and expectation for revival. The church in Japan has a good reputation, and an influence greater than its size. Many Japanese Christians have sacrificed much to become church members, so they tend to be serious about their faith. They have a sense of responsibility and usually give generously. Increasingly churches are becoming more willing to try innovative means to reach people.
Pray for the Assemblies of God Japan that God will use the church as an instrument of Revival in the Nation.
- The Leaders of the AG Japan, the Executive Committee and other leaders.
- Rev Kiyoshi Tsuchiya (General Superintendent)
- Rev Hiromasa Amano
- Rev Makoto Hosoi
- Rev Yoshio Sanga
- Rev Tomomitsu Shibuya
- Rev. Ichiro Noguchi
- Rev Tamotsu Uchimura
- For Pastors and Churches of the AG Japan that God will strengthen them to expand the work.
- Pray for the Bible Schools and Training centers, that God will call many young people to be trained in ministry. Provision of pastors and training of lay leaders.
e. There is hope because of the Next Generation.
Although most churches are fewer than 30 members and an increasing number of churches have no pastor and Baptisms may be rare, we can pray for a revival among the children and youth.
We believe that God has a promise for the Next Generation of Japan that He is able to raise them up to experience Revival!
- Pray for openness in the next generation to the Gospel.
- Pray for young people to come in to ministry and be trained for leadership.
- Pray for new breed of young pastors who can make church vibrant and relevant to their generation.
Operation World, OMF, ABWE, BBC.