Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. II Thess. 3:1 (NIV)
The Apostle Paul was probably the greatest missionary who ever lived. Not only was he a great teacher and tireless evangelist, but he was specially called by God to be an apostle. God entrusted him with special revelation and insight into the Hebrew Scriptures. A large portion of our New Testament was written by him. Yet even he recognized that he needed the prayers of God's people. Numerous times in his writings he asks people to pray for him. If the Apostle Paul needed the prayers of God's people in his missionary work, then certainly we do.
Here are some ways you can pray for us:
- Spiritual growth and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Please pray that God would protect our hearts, that we would grow in our love and devotion to him, and that we would experience his presence with us and rely on him moment by moment. Pray that as we teach the Word of God, that we would be letting the Holy Spirit teach us. Pray for us to humbly confess our sins and to be an example of honesty to the flock that is under our care. Pray for us to genuinely love those around us as he does and treat others as better than ourselves. Pray that God would seize our hearts with his love for the multitudes of lost souls all around us.
- Opportunities to share the gospel, especially with those who have hearts to receive it.
It is our prayer that, as the Apostle Paul told the Thessalonian believers, the message of the Lord may not only spread, but be honored. Many Japanese have an aversion to anything that sounds religious, especially if it does not fit into the category of Japanese tradition. Pray that God would lead us to people who are receptive, whom the Holy Spirit has prepared to receive the gospel. Pray that many sinners would be converted and that God's glory would be made known through his mercy in Christ Jesus.
- Our family.
Pray for God to protect our family from danger without and danger within, from physical accidents and disease as well as from temptation, distraction, fear, and discouragement. Pray for God to build up our marriage and give us good family time together, that the business of our ministry would not cause us to neglect spouse or children. Pray for our children to have good friends and for them to be a godly influence on those around them. Pray for them to develop a habit of prayer and to bring all of their joys and troubles to God. Pray for them to be able to accept their bicultural identity and be able to comfortably live between two worlds, knowing that their real citizenship is in heaven. Most of all, pray that God would grant them a strong and abiding faith that they might joyfully serve him with all their hearts for all their lives.
- Our church in Sendai.
Pray that God would give Joel wisdom in leading Izumi Park Town Christian Church. Pray that this congregation would be a lighthouse to the whole community and that through her many more people would come to believe in Jesus. Pray that God would give us wisdom in guiding the church to greater maturity. Pray for lay leaders who would be able to take care of many of the day-to-day needs of the church. Pray for wisdom for us in training and encouraging them. Pray that by the time we leave for our next home assignment the church would be strong and able to continue without any outside help from missionaries. Pray that this church would begin its own daughter churches and that God would use it to continue to spread the gospel throughout this city and this region.
If you would like to commit to praying regularly for us, please contact us and let us know. We will be sure to put you on our prayer letter mailing list so that you get regular updates delivered by mail or e-mail.
Other Ways to Get Involved: Giving