Originally published in Eternity News
Christians in Japan are asking the world for one million hours of prayer for their nation throughout the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Japan 1 Million is led by the Japan international Sports Partnership (JiSP) and Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA). They are calling on churches, individuals and families across the world to unite in prayer for Japan as it takes centre stage from the Opening Ceremony on Friday July 23.
“What a gift to Japan from the global Church – one million hours of prayer for God’s Glory to fall upon our land,” said JiSP leader Pastor Keishi Ikeda.
When it comes to the good news of Christianity being spread, Japan is the second largest un-reached people group in the world. Less than one per cent of its 126 million population attend church.
Pastor Ikeda is driven by a vision to see the Japanese Church grow to ten million people by 2024.
“Imagine ten million Christians in Japan … This would change Japan,” said Ikeda. “And not just Japan, we could send teams from Japan into other countries that many can’t get into as our passport is powerful.”
As Japan steps into the spotlight these Olympic Games, Christians in Japan are calling on their global brothers and sisters to sign up for at least one hour of prayer for the spiritual awakening of Japan.
The Japan 1 Million website invites people to record their hours of prayer and access daily prayer updates during the Olympics and Paralympics.
“The spiritual need in Japan is desperate,” said JiSP’s Marty Woods. “If God could miraculously break through, we will be sending Japanese believers to the world.”
Woods is an Australian missionary who was invited to Japan by JiSP because of his ministry experience at the past five Olympics. He is amazed by the enthusiasm around the world for the Church to stand with Japan. He knows God acts through believing prayer.
“It’s a grassroots movement of people across Japan and the world who want to come together to see a move of God in Japan,” he said.
“Whenever there is an awakening there are three things evidenced. People coming together ‘in one accord’, people hearing the Good News in their own ‘heart language’ and a deep, ongoing passion and commitment to prayer.”
Already, International Prayer Connect is on board with the movement, launching the prayer programme to more than 4 000 different prayer networks around the globe.
The Japan 1 Million team has also partnered with Bible app YouVersion to create Pray 4 Japan, a 17-day Bible and prayer challenge for Japan and the Olympics which is accessible internationally in Japanese and English.
“Currently we are witnessing the fruit of people’s prayer for Japan. We long to see more,” said Woods
“Recently, Pastor Keishi looked me in the eye and exclaimed, ‘I will do anything to see ten million believers in my country by 2024. I want to see my nation come alive spiritually, not just to host an Olympic Games.”