Prayer is crucial for reaching Japanese with the gospel. And everyone says, “Duh! Of course!” Prayer is vital for our Christian life and ministry. But it deserves special emphasis in our Rules of Thumb.
Japanese culture emphasizes prayer also, at the family butsudan, at the shrine, and even at the table. In some ways the Itadakimasu statement before the meal is a prayer. Often the important thing about prayer for the typical Japanese is not to whom you are praying, but the fact that you are praying.
However, our prayers must be centered in God the Father because of God the Son through God the Holy Spirit. I catch myself from time to time praying Japanese style, tossing out prayer items, not being too concerned about who might be hearing my prayers.
Help my prayers to be centered in You, O Lord.
There are a multitude of verses in the Bible to encourage us to pray, but Psalm 73:25, 26 has a special focus that I need to remember today.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has noting I desire besides you.
My flesh and my hear may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.