Prayer #249: For Japan During Its New Spike of COVID-19
Japan is now experiencing its third wave of COVID-19. Back in early April, the daily reported cases peaked at 743. Then in early August, the second wave peaked at nearly 2,000 cases per day. Now in its third outbreak of the virus, Japan is reported its highest daily case number thus far, 2,545 yesterday. Even more alarming to that nation is the fact that it is seeing a major surge in suicide. More than 17,000 people have taken their life in Japan thus far this year, with 2,153 in October alone. By comparison, less than 2,000 people have died from COVID-19 this year. Health officials say that the pandemic in Japan, which has a higher rate of suicide than most countries even in more normal times, has increased depression and melancholia due to such things as prolonged lockdowns, isolation from family members, unemployment, and a lack of school structure.
Pray for Japan during this very difficult time. Pray today especially for the spiritual needs of this nation. Pray that many would find the supreme and profound that only God can give them. Over 70% of its people claim no personal religion, but according to Operation World, "the majority follow the demand of idolatrous and ancestor-worshiping Buddhism and rituals of polytheistic Shintoism." There are only 0.5% evangelical Christians in Japan. "Japan is a nation facing many crises and is a culture with no apparent direction. Accompanying this is its lack of hope or confidence in the future." (Operation World by Jason Mandryk, 7th ed., pp. 489-90.
Zeph. 3:17: "The LORD your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing."