Prayer Requests 2-9-19

Anyone have something to share?

Psalm 10

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
   His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
 like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
   He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
    they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
    he covers his face and never sees.”

12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
   The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.

23 thoughts on “Prayer Requests 2-9-19

  1. Good (early) morning, prayer warriors. I apologize for asking for prayers for my mom and then going MIA for two weeks. My mom is in a skilled nursing home rehabilitation facility. Her progress is infinitesimally slow. Doctors currently predicting six to eight weeks in facility, but that seems optimistic to me.
    Please pray for my dad, too. My parents started dating when my mother was sixteen and my dad was nineteen, a freshman at Rice University (where my mom followed one year later—she graduated from high school early). They married in 1955.
    Thanks . Anonymous =Ann

    Liked by 6 people

  2. The Japanese comprise the world’s second largest least-reached people group (0.3% Evangelical Christians among 127 million Japanese). The average church size is 30 members, mostly located in urban areas. There are nearly 1,800 towns in rural Japan with no church at all.

    We want to bring the Gospel of Christ to the 34 million people living in these neglected regions. Specifically, pray for five rural prefectures in: Ishikawa, Toyama, Miyagi, Kanagawa and Mie.

    Please pray…
    Although Japan has freedom of religion, and grants missionary visas, the vast majority of Japanese have been unresponsive to the message of Jesus Christ for centuries. We are calling on God to break through their hardness of heart.

    Pray for a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Pray for new innovative ways of sharing the message of salvation with the Japanese.

    Most Japanese do not acknowledge their sinfulness. Ask God to give the right keys that will unlock their hearts.

    Pray that urban churches will catch a vision to adopt unchurched towns: to pray, evangelize and start daughter churches in rural areas.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m sorry to hear that. I had previously heard that the US occupation opened the country to missionaries and that there was a large number of Christians.
    Since there is no emperor worship, what do they have?

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  4. I’ve heard about the distinct coldness to the faith that’s so prevalent in Japan. Many are self-sufficient.

    Prayers for my friend S (we grew up next door to each other and still are in fairly close contact) who found out yesterday she has stage 1 breast cancer; seems like a very good prognosis, thankfully, she’ll have a lumpectomy followed by 3 weeks of radiation, the doctors told her it’s all looking very positive. But still … 😦 She also has Crohn’s so has had her share of health issues in recent years anyway. She grew up Methodist, her brother became a minister (now retired), but she’s been awol from the church at large since she was a teen and decided they were all hypocrites. I think she thinks she’s fine with God but her status doesn’t seem very clear to me.

    Praise: I got up this morning to an urgent email on our church prayer thread, a couple who live in my area had their car stolen from their driveway with their toddler son inside. Another email followed saying the boy was located, more info to come. I don’t know this couple, they’re new and are preparing now to become members of our church.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Between 1913-1918, The Oriental Mission Society claims to have visited every home in Japan (10 million plus) and left a tract or copy of the Gospel at each one.

    This is the subject I’ve been investigating for a possible biography for the last two years.

    The question is, if this is true, did the OMS’ efforts result in an “inoculation” against the Gospel in what had been a closed society?

    If it did happen, how /why would this nation go to war in such a nasty way a generation later?

    We’ve turned up information indicating that Japan was one of the most stringent appliers of the Geneva Convention following WWI. They were very careful with their prisoners and how they treated them.

    The concept of Bushido–in which a warrior kills himself rather than be embarrassed by what happened–actually came from a glorification of the Samurai ideal in a book written by a Japanese Quaker about this same time. He was attempting to influence and massage the history of the Samurai into something admirable along the lines of the Sermon on the Mount.

    In the 1930s in Japan, a warrior portion of society rose up wanting to go to war. In 1936, they sponsored a coup against the Japanese military to get rid of any senior member who did not want to go to war.

    At the same time, as best we can tell, a deliberate effort was made to persecute the Christians in Japan. It succeeded.

    Remember, it only takes 10% of the population to be Christian to change the tenor of a society.

    This is a timely topic because a similar activity is now going on in China–where the governing authorities are alarmed at the “leavening” results of Christianity spreading through their nation. Western businesses in China have seen a real change in the attitude of the people to working conditions–and they are forcing positive change.

    But the government doesn’t like it.

    Post WWII, General MacArthur invited missionaries into Japan. We know some of those missionaries. The OMS held another “Great Village Campaign,” similar to the 1913-1918 campaign. I’ve just started reading that book so I cannot comment on the outcome.

    General MacArthur himself, was a conundrum and basically ran eastern Asia as his personal fiefdom. Once of my distant relatives, as a matter of fact, was sent to Japan to tutor the Crown Prince in western ideals.

    Funny world. Tychicus’ point about the need to pray for Japan is absolutely accurate.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Michelle (or Tychicus) – Years ago, I had heard that after the war, MacArthur had urged people to send Bibles to Japan but Americans’ anger at the Japanese kept them from doing so. Supposedly, that has something to do with Japan’s current spiritual state. Does this sound correct from what you know?

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  7. I remember the Quakers were very involved in assisting the victims of the nuclear bomb drops, taking in many of them and providing for surgeries.

    But yes, I also remember feelings in my parents’ generation being none too soft toward Japan in those years after the war. The healing took a long time. But I don’t see how that would impact a culture’s openness to Christianity, especially considering it is a work of the Holy Spirit anyway. Perhaps cultures (ours may be headed or already there) go through generations in which the Light grows dim to accomplish God’s own purpose.

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  8. Michelle – Ha! Very good question. Maybe he wanted them to raise money for Japanese Bibles instead? I don’t even know if he did or didn’t, just that that was what I had heard at church, and that was at probably two to three decades ago, so my memory is fuzzy on what was said.

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  9. DJ – This was coming from a person who would not have been of the Reformed faith, so their perspective was different from yours. The gist of what he said was that supposedly MacArthur (or those Christians close to him) perceived an openness to the gospel in Japan right after the war, but American Christians didn’t want to help. And that that somehow caused the open door to close. Again, I don’t even know how true or not that was, which is why I was asking.

    *******
    In my saying that this person wasn’t Reformed, you may have noticed that I didn’t say he was Arminian. Many Reformed believers seem to think that if one is not Reformed/Calvinist, then one is an Arminian. But the churches I know which would be labelled such really weren’t fully Arminian. I remember, one day after church, overhearing my former pastor at my old church explaining, in a nutshell, Calvinism and Arminianism to someone. We did not fall into either camp.

    It’s the same with my current church, although I have heard Pastor Billy say that we don’t choose God, He chooses us.

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  10. I am feeling very unappreciated tonight. Our awards dinner was last night. I wasn’t mentioned.
    It is hard to give and give and not receive.
    I hate feeling sorry for myself.
    What I do know is that the sun will
    Rise tomorrow in the East and it will be better. I only have to survive the night.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Everything is better in the morning, Kim. Take each thought captive–tie it to a scripture that is uplifting and true–and shows the false lies to be false. You are loved and I bet more appreciated than you realize.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Seventeen year old daughter is bubbling with joy today. She says she gave her life to Christ last night. Pray that she did and will hold to it. He will do His part. Pray that I will not be cynical but will come alongside and help her find the tools to help her grow in Him. May He be glorified.

    Liked by 9 people

  13. I read there was an unprecedented gathering of believers, 130,000, in the UAE a few days ago. Mostly immigrant workers, but still, the government appears to be softening toward Christianity.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Remember “mmacmurray” from the WMB? She (Mary) is asking prayer for her SIL, Laurel, who is critically ill with the flu and pneumonia, and is in ICU. (Her husband and kids are just getting over the flu.)

    Liked by 6 people

  15. I have a relative who has spent most of the last two decades in outreach in Japan. It is very difficult. When he was first raising support, he said that he encountered older people in church in the U.S. who were very hostile to the idea of evangelizing the Japanese because of what happened WWII.

    The reason for a lot of the resistance to the Gospel overall is partly due to traditional ideas of family loyalty and honour – so that those who convert are constantly under pressure to come back and honour their ancestors – and partly due to the advanced technology and material wealth – Japan’s population is set to take a nose dive as the marriage rate is dropping off the scale because so few younger people are marrying and instead living virtual lives (including having virtual relationships) on the internet. Technology is actually a real problem throughout southeast Asia when it comes to evangelism – I have heard other missionaries say that it is becoming impossible to engage the young people in street evangelism because they keep their earphones in and concentrate on their smartphones while in public spaces. There are a large number of southeast Asian students here in the city, as there are two international high schools that wealthy Asian parents send their children to, and I can see how engrossed they are in their devices – it is troubling to see how completely they are caught up in the technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Michelle, have you read Silence? You should. It’s a movie now (which I haven’t seen), but I read the book perhaps 35 years ago and it is still haunting. Not an easy book to read by any means, but extremely important for understanding Japanese culture and religion and particularly its VERY limited connection to Christianity.

    The easiest way to describe it is this: It is a truism that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” This may be true much of the time, but the martyrdom in Japan was brilliantly sadistic, and it did not grow the church; it largely killed it, and sent what remained deeply underground (where it morphed into a nearly unrecognizable version, as growth away from sunlight is wont to do). I cannot say from this distance–it has been decades since I read it–how much of the book is factual and how much purely fiction, but it is definitely based on history and if you’re considering writing about Japan, it’s absolutely a must read. But it’s brutal and haunting, in the same way (but perhaps worse) as The Sunflower or Unbroken is.

    Liked by 1 person

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