Join YWAMers around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!

This month, we invite you to join the YWAM family as we pray for the largest metropolitan area in the world, the greater Tokyo area. By worldly standards, Tokyo has it all, but spiritually the 35 million people in the Tokyo area have many challenges.

The list of Tokyo’s notable global rankings goes on and on. Tokyo has ranked first in the Global Economic Power Index, was listed as most livable city in the world in 2015, is rated out of 60 cities in 2017 as first in terms of safe cities index, and Tokyo has the highest number of Fortune 500 companies. Tokyo will also host the summer Olympics in 2020 (July 24 to August 9).

However, from a spiritual perspective, there are challenges in reaching the people of Tokyo and Japan in general. Japanese nationals are steeped in a culture that esteems honor, harmony, loyalty and long work hours. They are very much a people group who value and care for those around them. But most of them don’t understand the true message of Jesus. It is estimated that fewer than one percent of the people are evangelical Christians. The national religions of Buddhism and Shintoism are closely tied to the Japanese identity, so choosing to follow a different religion can be perceived as rejecting your family or choosing to no longer be Japanese. Additionally, there is believed to be only one missionary for every 64,000 people in Japan. As YWAM’s JP Cohern notes: “That’s like one person being tasked to reach an entire football stadium!”

According to the YWAM Tokyo Facebook page, “The Japanese culture reflects the Kingdom culture. As a culture, they love politeness, they crave community and relationship. They reflect the kind nature of kingdom culture so selflessly and yet they still don’t know the king they reflect.”

Tokyo at night Photo credit: Global Sherpa

Despite these challenges, the YWAM Tokyo Facebook page notes that something has started to shift in Tokyo. They are witnessing miracles in public, there appears to be a new level of openness in the hearts of the people, churches are uniting and supporting each other and ministry pioneers are rising up all over the nation of Japan.


Listen to the letter

Please join us this month for YWAM’s prayer day, called The Invitation, as we pray for the people of Tokyo. If you only have a few moments to pray during The Invitation on Thursday November 14 please pray that the missionaries and Christians there would experience a new power in their ministries and that God would open the hearts of the people like He did with the early church.

Thank you for being part of The Invitation. We would love to receive stories from you regarding how you prayed. You can email us at prayer@ywam.org.

A woman in Tokyo.
Photo credit: YWAM Tokyo

Prepare to Pray:

As a group, consider and discuss the mission field in Tokyo and greater Japan. Considering less than one percent are evangelical Christians, this represents a huge opportunity with many challenges. Look at a map of Tokyo and/or Japan. Now consider and discuss the early church based on your knowledge of the book of Acts. How might a movement to reach Tokyo and Japan be similar to the early church movement? How are they likely to be different?

Review and pray these verses that represent progress with the Gospel for the early church one at a time, and as you do, ask God to show you how they might apply to Tokyo. List key points that God shows you regarding Tokyo and incorporate those points as you pray.

  • Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:41)
  • But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)
  • So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)
  • When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)
  • So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. (Acts 16:5)
Praying at YWAM Tokyo
Photo credit: YWAM Tokyo

Pray for Tokyo:

  • Pray for Japanese individuals to be bold in choosing Christ, for the church to support and surround new believers, and for believers to be courageous in sharing their faith so that others might believe.
  • Pray for the people to choose their identity in Christ over other religions. At the same time, pray for believers to discover ways to honor and redeem Japanese culture.
  • Expectations regarding long working hours keeps the people away from spending quality time with their family and also limits interactions with friends who could share Jesus with them. Pray for the hearts of people to change so that there is greater balance of work and social interactions. Pray that they will have time to encounter God.
  • Pray for strengthening of families through faith in Christ. Pray for quality time with one another. Pray for the Japanese children to be trained in the way they should go by their parents. Pray for transformation and wisdom for parents.
  • Pray that God would release more laborers to come to Tokyo and Japan and for others to invest in the Kingdom work there.
  • Pray for workers in Japan. It often requires years of relating and befriending locals before they accept Jesus. Pray for favor and patient endurance. Pray that they will see a shift in the openness of the people.
  • Praise God for public miracles and other works He is doing in Tokyo.
  • Pray for short-term missionaries to come and evangelize the young people.
  • Pray for greater networking among churches and mission organizations.
  • Pray for the upper classes of Japan to be receptive to the gospel. Pray for Christian businessmen from other countries to share their faith with Japan’s affluent.
  • Pray about the secular aspects of the culture: 70 percent claim no religion but many still follow ancestor-venerating Buddhism and polytheistic Shintoism. Most Japanese are secular. Some of Japan’s leaders call the nation a “superpower without a moral compass.” Pray they see Christ as their true moral center.
  • Over 30,000 suicides are committed per year in Japan. Pray for those facing depression.
  • Teenage prostitution and bullying is a problem amongst the youth. Pray that Christians would be agents of healing to those who are hurting.
  • The world’s lowest birth rate and highest life expectancy has produced a large senior citizen population. Pray that God would move amongst the senior citizens.
  • Pray against the idolatry in temples and ancestor worship in homes that blinds the minds of even the very secular “non-religious” Japanese.
  • Strong pressure to conform causes converts to Christ to compromise or fall away. Half of those who get baptized leave their churches within two or three years. Pray for believers to be strong.
  • Pray against the strong materialistic mindset. Only 10 percent believe in the existence of a personal God.
  • Sokka Gakkai has grown to 10 million affliates. Many new religions start each year based on the occult, worship of extraterrestrial aliens etc. Pray against a stronghold of delusion.
  • The church in Japan is fragmented but the recent tsunami and earthquake resulted in better unity amongst the churches as they worked together to bring relief. Pray that it continues to unite and become a powerful witness.
  • Pray for the ministry of YWAM Tokyo (ywamtokyo.org). Among other ministries, they have a seminar called “A Million Lights” in which they train Japanese believers how to share their faith clearly with their family and friends.
Beautiful Tokyo; Beautiful People
Photo credit: YWAM Tokyo

Take Action

Tokyo Wallpapers
Photo credit: wonderfulengineering.com
  • If you are interested in prayer and communication, you can be part of The Invitation. Contact us at prayer@ywam.org. We need an administrator/coordinator; photographers/videographers; and researchers.
  • Share on facebook.com/youthwithamission, post a picture and add a comment about how you prayed.
  • Go to twitter.com; search for #praywithywam and tweet about your prayer time/post a picture. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
  • Send an email to prayer@ywam.org letting us know how you prayed and what God revealed to you.

How We Prayed

 October 2019 – Children At Risk

  • The YWAM Facebook post for The Invitation was shared 119 times. Many indicated they were joining in prayer. One person encouraged people to support and pray for YWAM.

Future Topics:

  • December 12: Yemen

Series: Spiritual Principles from YWAM’s Early Days

  • January 9: Lordship of Christ (Darlene Cunningham)
  • February 13: Holy Living (Lynn Green)
  • March 12: Fear of God (Maureen Menard)
  • April 9: Seeking God (Loren Cunningham)
Mount Fuji
Photo credit: YWAM Tokyo

Don’t Miss The Invitation:

  • Sign up for prayer updates. Go to ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
  • Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
  • Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the Facebook page on the second Thursday at facebook.com/youthwithamission or on Twitter @ywam, hashtag #praywithywam. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
  • You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to: ywampodcast.net/prayer.
  • If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: prayer@ywam.org.