Daily Topic for August 09, 2006
Do you ever wonder why some prayers seem to go unanswered? James suggests one reason: we often seek personal pleasures more than God’s purposes. It is not wrong to pray for things we need-indeed, the Scriptures urge us to. But it is a wonderful experience to pray for something that is good and right and for which we gain no personal benefit. For example, we do know that God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. His Word promises that all peoples will be represented before His throne in heaven.
Father, liberate us from self-centeredness. Teach us to pray!
If you ever visit Japan on Children’s Day, you won’t want to miss seeing their display of carp (fish)-shaped kites. Because the carp are known to swim up waterfalls, they represent strength and success in life. With a bright orange color, they are also especially beautiful!
Japan’s Kunigami people especially enjoy this festival. There are about 65,000 Kunigami people living in northern Okinawa, an island in southern Japan. They are related to six other people groups, which live on another one of Japan’s islands. Originally every group spoke a different dialect, but today most of these groups speak Japanese, except for the older generation.
Kunigami people take their Shinto religion seriously in an effort to live in harmony with their many gods or spirits found in nature, in their dead ancestors and in specific emperors or shamans. They have shrines in their homes for daily rituals. They use tombs, temples and shrines for religious ceremonies, and physical items such as lion figures and fences around their houses to keep away evil spirits.
The challenge for reaching the Kunigami people remains great. The Christian tools: radio, television, Bibles, films and the Internet are available in Japanese. The people, however, are not receptive. This has left them slaves to religious beliefs that keep them away from Christ.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that they will taste and see that the Lord is good. Pray that the Holy Spirit will thrust forth sensitive, informed hard-working believers to the Kunigami people.-PD