Due to the recent (March 11) 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, nearly 12,000 are missing, and more than 7,600 people have been confirmed dead (source). Towns have literally disappeared from the map, cities have been destroyed, three nuclear plants are leaking harmful radiation, food and water supplies are dwindling, thousands upon thousands are now homeless, and even those in Japan who knew no loss are sure to have lost someone. Millions are without food, water or power. The people of Japan are in need of hope and, indeed, salvation and God’s saving grace.
According to the Joshua Project, less than 2% of Japanese are professing Christians. When I think about this in light of all the lives lost, I can’t help but feel a great burden for the Japanese people. Relief in the form of money, supplies, and teams are being sent from all around the world. People are responding to Japan’s great physical need at this time, and that is wonderful. But what about their spiritual needs? Will they be comforted for a time, but never know the great Comforter? In light of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, I want you to remember to pray for the Japanese people. Pray for the Japanese Christians and missionaries, too, that they would use this time to continue showing God’s love and displaying His great compassion and mercy. Pray that the name of Jesus would be known in Japan, that more and more would be saved. And pray to the God of the harvest to send more workers into this field.
In Matthew 9, as Jesus went through cities and villages with His disciples, He noticed that many of the people were helpless and in need, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:36-38 ESV).
This passage is as true today as it was then. Jesus did not come to save those who have it all together and everything figured out, but He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). God has compassion on the orphan, the widow, the homeless, those who are hurting and in need. Shouldn’t we?
So I urge you today to pray. Pray for God to send more laborers. Pray for Japan.