As one looks across the face of the earth today, it doesn't take a large amount of spiritual discernment to see that things are shaking as has been prophesied over the past few years. Many voices, including mine, have spoken over what is known as the Rim of Fire nations, or the Pacific Rim. These are approximately 40 nations that ring the Pacific with some sort of volcanic activity.
The tragedy in Japan brings this prophetic shaking starkly to the forefront of the news. Many are asking the question, "What is taking place?"
First of all, I know that we must stand in the gap and pray for Japan. The enormity of the loss and the intensity of what has transpired will continue to unfold, and it is hard to grasp with the natural mind.
What do we know? God had warned us that shaking was coming. This doesn't mean it was His desire for it to happen but that it was more of the biblical fulfillment that He doesn't do anything without first warning through His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7) In fact, I along with others prophesied volcanic eruptions would occur in the Pacific Rim.
Others might ask, "Was this a judgment from God?" This is a difficult question. I tend to think God is grieved that so many have died because, no doubt, many of them did not know Him as the Savior. He is not willing that any should perish without knowing Him.
However, if we all pray and act in this crisis, I do believe that the Holy Spirit wants to breathe the wind of revival across Japan and bring a mighty spiritual awakening to the "land of the rising sun" with healing in His wings.
Christians throughout the years have paid an enormous price for the evangelization of Japan. Early missionaries suffered the most horrific forms of martyrdom at the hands of ruthless leaders. At one time in the city of Nagasaki, even little children were crucified.
Great Christian leaders such as Yonggi Cho have spent countless hours and efforts in Japan. The All Revival Koshen Mission under the direction of Paul Ariga during the late 1990s prayed for hundreds of thousands of hours and saw a stadium event in which thousands of Japanese came to Christ.
Japanese Christian leaders made prayer journeys to Korea and other nations to repent of the war atrocities from World War II. There was some gospel advance, yet Japan has historically had 12 of the mega-unreached cities of the world—those with more than 1 million population.
I personally have felt that one reason Japan was such a hard group for the gospel was the fact that they have had a direct link with the Imperial family and a direct link with the sun goddess, Amaterasu.
After the end of World War II, under the U.S. agreements with Japan, this connection with Amaterasu was renounced. It is hard for those in the Western world to understand the connection idolatry had with the suicide bombers in World Ware II, as they dedicated their lives to the Emperor and this principality. After the nation no longer had this idolatrous connection, Japan flourished economically.
However, in recent years this link with Amaterasu and sun worship was reinstated in a ceremony in which the new Emperor once again participated and "spent the night with the goddess" after eating the sacred rice.
I believe this is one major reason Japan has gone downhill economically in such a drastic way. The debt ratio to GDP is now 200 percent. With the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the economy and banking systems and the insurance industry, and others, will certainly take a massive hit.
In the early 1990s, the Lord gave me a prophecy for Japan that it was a "sickle in the hand of the Lord" that will be used for great harvest. The physical geography of the islands looks like a curved sickle with the handle being the island of Hokkaido in the north. One could also say that it looks like a curved sword. Though Japan has historically been a sword of war across Asia, I see God raising up young revivalists from the nation who will impact Asia and the world for the gospel.
On the other hand, if you look at it another way, this island, Hokkaido, looks like the head of a dragon with the body being the rest of Japan. The people of Asia have worshipped the dragon for 5,000 years. If one looks at the place where the earthquake took place, it looks like the soft underbelly of the most vulnerable part of the dragon. Let's pray the deep idolatry and the worship of hundreds of idols under the guise of Shintoism, Buddhism and allegiances to being "sons of the dragon" will be broken and that thousands will turn to the Lord.
My interpretation of this is that while God did not want people to perish, He is going to use this to "pierce" the darkness surrounding the Japanese people if we will cry out to God for them in the midst of this crisis. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, need to pray and act. We need to stand with relief organizations such as Somebody Cares, led by Doug Stringer, who is half-Japanese and has family still in Japan.
We Americans treated our fellow Japanese-Americans in an atrocious way during World War II by putting them in concentration camps and taking away their dignity and property. There has been an apology to them from our government and a measure of restitution.
This is our prophetic moment to be a light to the nations and stand with the Japanese people. I feel that God is especially calling for Japanese-Americans, as well as the whole nation, to help in this crisis. We did so in Japan after World War II, and now we must do so again.
If we respond correctly, the darkness and the grip of idolatry of all forms that has blinded the eyes of so many in Japan will be broken off them. The faithful believers in Jesus Christ will be strengthened as they are used for great harvest across Asia and the face of the earth.
Here are some prayer points:
- Pray for the Japanese people that those who may be still alive under the wreckage will be recovered.
- Pray for the rescue and recovery workers.
- Pray that the relief administration will function in a way that all the aid from the nations will be fully utilized.
- Pray that Christian relief agencies such as Somebody Cares will have the funding they need for the relief effort.
- Ask God to comfort the nation.
- Pray for laborers to go into the harvest fields. Let's especially intercede for the body of Christ in the nation.
- Ask God to anoint and release a new generation of passionate revivalists, both for and in Japan.
About the author: Cindy Jacobs is co-founder with her husband, Mike, of Generals of Intercession (generals.org) and founder of the United States Reformation Prayer Network.