When we signed up for coming to Japan a couple of years ago, we realized that not only did this mean we were going to have to make serious adjustments to our missionary lifestyle all over again, but we would be confronting the enemy in one of his most entrenched positions. Whenever Christianity has broken through in Japan in the past (and it has a couple of times), something was there to stomp it back down. In fact, Japan has one of the most historically cruel eras of persecution against Christians. Breakthroughs do come, but they come at a price of prayer and persistence 30 times greater than the same breakthroughs in many other parts of the world. (This is the stat I recently heard about praying for someone’s salvation in Japan).
While we really want to bring this number down and the number of salvations up, it does highlight a need of ours that can make or break this work: prayer covering. We have won a number of Japanese for the Lord, but we have found that even after they make decisions for Christ, they still need this intense prayer covering, for they have not been removed from the world or its influence. This battle is not for the faint of heart. The devil is tenaciously trying to hold back the tidal wave of revival that is about to sweep this nation. Our heart and our desire (and certainly that of God) is to see each person become fully mature Christians capable of leading others. Our desire is not to lose a single one that the Lord has given us. To see that happen, we need breakthroughs in prayer and prayer covering.
However, where darkness abounds, even a little light seems that much brighter, and the way the Holy Spirit is speaking with people is fantastic. Sometimes it seems like the book of Acts.
For example, in our last cell group we talked about the imminent return of Christ and how preaching the Gospel in all nations will help bring about His return. After our discussion, we all took 30 seconds just to listen to what God was saying to each — the thoughts, impressions, ideas that each person had. I felt strongly that the Holy Spirit had chosen each person there. So I shared. The next two people shared that since Christ is returning, we must live a life of purpose to tell others about Christ and make disciples of Him. Next, one of our new brothers said He felt like God wanted to give us faith to make big dreams come true. We were really excited at this point, when the last person shared. She saw a mini movie play — our church was gathered in a stadium worshipping Jesus! We were in awe as we saw that not only does the Holy Spirit speak to us individually, but collectively. The Holy Spirit had given each person a little puzzle piece of what He is doing here in Japan and it all works together, hand-in-hand.
Would you recommit yourselves to praying for this vision with fervor? Pray for each and every one of the Japanese that is coming to Christ and being raised up to see this vision fulfilled. Pray for them, that as they continue their lives in the world that they would in turn influence the world and not be influenced by it. Pray for God’s purposes to accomplished in their lives. Pray that we not lose a single one. Breakthrough will come in Japan, and it will come as the Church is unified in prayer, in heart, in focus and in vision. Let’s storm the gates of hell!