24/7 PRAYER FOR JAPAN 日本のための祈りをつなげよう

PRAYER GUIDE – WEEK 8 (Oct 24th – 30th)

Posted on October 22, 2022

1. Region of Shikoku

Shikoku is a separate smaller island of Japan, made up of four rural prefectures. Most people live in the north of the region, while the larger southern area is mountainous and sparsely populated.

Thank God for the fellowship, cooperation, and prayer between pastors and churches in this region, and pray that this continues.

Churches in rural areas, as compared to urban ones, have their own specific concerns. Churches may be aging or declining due to demographic changes. Many of them may be without pastors or in need of renewal. Pray for God’s encouragement and provision for churches in rural areas of Japan.

2. Struggling Churches

Many struggling churches in Japan have a common feature: the pastor leads and members attend or participate minimally. One reason is cultural. Another reason is the busyness of church members. Some are simply too tired to attend church, let alone serve or engage with others.

Churches can start to lack joy, fellowship, and ownership. This can lead to a lack of outreach and few new believers. Churches face a very real spiritual battle and it is easy to get discouraged.

  • Pray for believers to be willing and able to use their gifts to build up the church and reach out to their communities.
  • Pray for God to strengthen members and leaders through worship, the Word, and fellowship.

3. Social Conformity

Pressure—to conform, to not make mistakes, to not admit weaknesses, to work beyond their limits—is often felt deeply by Japanese people. Many hide their true selves and are sensitive to how they are being viewed by others. When the daily stresses add up, the effects can be dire: mental health concerns, alcoholism, estranged families, and even suicide.

In a country where Christians are a tiny minority, pressure to conform can be felt as pressure not to become a Christian. For believers, conformity can be felt as pressure to keep their faith private and their struggles hidden.

  • Give thanks for Japanese believers who know that, through Jesus, God accepts them as they are.
  • Pray for Japanese people who are facing severe effects of stress to put their faith in Christ and receive his grace.

4. For those suffering from mental disorders and mental illness

There are about 4.2 million people in Japan who suffer from mental disorders. This is the number of people receiving treatment at hospitals. There are probably many more who suffer from mental illness and severe anxiety. Please pray that these people will be able to get the support they need and encounter Christ.

  • Pray that those who suffer from mental disorders and mental illnesses will be freed from suffering alone and receive the understanding and support they need.
  • Pray that families of people with mental disorders and mental illnesses will be given the knowledge and help they need.
  • That the work that stands up for them will receive the Lord's blessing and reach as many people as possible.
  • Pray that the discriminatory values and thoughts that are strongly rooted among us will be returned to the values God shows us in the Bible.
  • Pray that the eyes of our church will be opened and that we will become a welcoming community, removing the misunderstandings and discrimination that we carry without realizing it.

(Mental disorders include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, epilepsy, addiction, autism, developmental disorders, eating disorders, PTSD, and many other mental illnesses.)

By installing a smartphone app called Echo, you will be able to use various functions that help you pray, such as reminder notifications.

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