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Prayer for Japan
A few editions ago we provided an extensive series of pointers to help us pray for the land of Japan. Do follow up the excellent links for prayer that you will find on that page!

Following a powerful prophetic trip that Sheena Tranter and other intercessors made to Japan recently, and the abdication a few days ago of the long serving Emperor Akihito (who has served his country faithfully and sought repeatedly to apologise for previous Japanese atrocities) share in this extended extempore prayer, set to a piece of music that I wrote with the nation of Japan and her people in mind.

Japan has often earned itself the unwelcome reputation of being largest unevangelised country in the world, where barely 0.5% of the nation are active believers, and millions know next to nothing about the Lord Jesus.

At this time when much that has given Japan stability in recent times is being shaken to the core, why not set aside some time to join in this heart cry for a land that is famed for its mountainous beauty and fiery colours of autumn forest and flowering cherry trees – as well as for its fishing and industrial savvy – but also for its earthquakes and tsunamis. Let’s push in and pray for Jesus to be known more widely!

The notes below seek to encapsulate and focus these thoughts so you have something to read as well as to listen to.

Join in this heart cry for many more to come to know and love the Lord Jesus in this land famed for its mountainous beauty and fiery colours of autumn forest and flowering cherry trees, and renowed for its fishing and its industrial savvy but feared for its earthquakes and tsunamis, where much that has given it stability in recent times is being shaken to the core.

The Lord knows how devastated the people were when they learnt that the emperor was not divine, and their cause not destined to win the Second World War; He saw how they took refuge in old traditional ways, and in new found prosperity through material things.

As these things are in turn being challenged, may the Lord sound a call that makes sense to restless questing hearts.

Yes we pray for true and honourable government, for stable conditions best favour the spread of your word – and Japan needs united and focus government at this time when it faces many external as well as internal challenges at this time for which it needs real wisdom. But we know that You use times of turmoil, Father, to shape and sharpen and people’s hunger for eternal things.

May He raise up prophets, pastors, and evanglists who put the cause of Christ above and beyond their own, and who shine a bright light that others can safely follow. May integrity mark the spread of the gospel to these islands that He has long longed to welcome into His courts.

May He raise up a people for His own possession, so filled with love for Jesus that they will model and reflect the ways of the eternal kingdom.

Then let it be that ancient traditions of courtesy find their true and proper mark, with their focus increasingly directed toward the one who is Lord of all and Prince of Peace.

In a land where the dangers of too much overtime at work are finally being recognised, may there be time for men to attend church functions, and for whole families to come to Christ.

Then may family loyalities and ritualistic traditions, qualities that appear attractive in themselves but which have so often proved a defence and stumbling block against wholehearted discipleship. May much be redeemed and find its truest highest mark.

In a land where congregations tend to be small, and almost entirely metropolitan centred, may the Lord raise up new and strikingly fresh initiatives across the land, including in the many towns and cities where there is currently no witness.

May voices be raised for You, Lord Jesus in schools and univiersities, and Your word be known and loved in places where there is so little voice for Him. Let there be a renewed drawing power from Heaven for when and wherever the invitation of Christ is extended: a warming of heart to embrace it, and a lowering of resistance in the mind as a result of understanding that the claims of Christ are clear and absolute in ways quite foregin to the Shinto and Buddhist ways.

Yes, may the Lord pave the way for a great opening of the heavens over Japan, for many to see and hear and gladly take to heart that that there is something here that takes them far beyond outward rituals into a reality of truth and grace, of life everlasting, and of Love made flesh – and to be willing to follow the One who warned that He had not come to bring peace but rather a sword that could not but divide.

Redeem the samurai ‘warrior’ quality, and let it find its true and final mark in a people prepared to take their stand for You and to advance Your kingdom in these islands steeped in tradition, but which now are being shaken to the core by many changes.

Remember the fate of the thousands who took their stand for Him and paid for it with their life in the early days after the Christian message reached the land. Water and honour the seed of the martyrs and cause a latter day harvest to emerge. Use every input from Radio, TV and Internet broadcast to stir hearts and to kindle curiosity. Stir up a hunger that will lead many to seek and quest until they find their peace in You.

Many of you may want to continue this prayer by considering the wider context of the region. Japanese invasion and occupation of both Korea and China in years past have left profound roots of resentments not far below the surface. There are also new challenges to face from the heavily militarised powers of both China and North Korea, both of which are adopting a more aggressively robust stance in recent days, leaving Japan feeling acutely and increasingly vulnerable. May the Lord use this to soften hearts and pave the way to break through into more and more people’s hearts.