East Asian Church 5x5x5 prayer guide

We invite you to pray for the East Asian church, for just five minutes a day, for five days, for FIVE STRATEGIC AREAS. Your prayers will open doors in powerful ways, encourage believers, release strongholds and bring great glory to God.

Around 2 billion East Asians have never heard the gospel. Many have never even crossed paths with a Christian. Recently, when a group of students in Vietnam were asked if they knew who Jesus was, they replied, “Is that a Korean pop star?”

James Hudson Taylor, the pioneering British missionary who founded OMF, knew well the enormity of his missional task when he landed in China more than 150 years ago. Still, he prayed in faith that God would reach the lost through the church. Since those faith-filled beginnings, we’ve seen whole people groups in Asia transformed by the gospel.

Though a large task remains, we worship a God of miracles. Because the vision and power rest in his hands, we pray with confidence, knowing he is willing and able to build his church. Join us in praying for movements of God among East Asians who remain unreached with the message of Christ.

Day One – Grace Fuelled Church

Church movements and mission movements are works of God. They happen because the Holy Spirit moves hearts and transforms lives. Only by God’s grace can believers proclaim the hope of Christ to the hundreds of distinct people groups in and from East Asia that are currently without a church.

The Lisu people of China, once animists who worshiped many gods, heard the gospel for the first time in the early 20th century. Through the working of God’s Spirit, the Lisu are now considered a Christian people group. Read more about them here:

Lord, help cross-cultural workers recognize that the work of missions depends on you, not them. May they trust in your Spirit for direction, guidance and spiritual fruit.
Lord, prepare East Asia’s unreached peoples to hear the message of salvation. May they come to know you as a God who is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.
Lord you know the unique cultures, worldviews and beliefs of each people group in East Asia. Open their hearts and minds to the message of Christ. May it not strike them as a foreign gospel, but as one that they can immediately identify with and embrace.

Day Two – Authentic Local Churches

God wants to carry out his mission through his global church. Since God’s “church” is not confined to a building, each gathering of believers will feel, look and act different depending on the culture that has shaped them. As God sends out his disciples cross-culturally to start new communities of faith, pray that Christian workers will support the unique identity God has given local churches.

While working in a Japanese restaurant in Taiwan, Kaiyuan met Elisabeth, a missionary who invited him to help her with ministry to other shopworkers like himself. Kaiyuan is now the pastor of Taipei’s Shopworkers Gospel Church. Read more of his story here:

Lord, help Christians serving cross-culturally to separate essential tenets of the gospel from cultural influences that have shaped their own churches at home. May they share the whole gospel in a culturally relevant way.
Lord, as Paul aimed to become “all things to all people,” we pray that long-term workers would similarly adapt to their new culture in ways that please you.
Lord, may new churches reflect the beauty and creativity you’ve imparted to the local culture. Help workers to celebrate and not discourage their differences.
Lord, help local believers to discern when cultural traditions incorporate or promote sinful behavior. Give them the humility to surrender actions that displease you.

Day Three – Biblical Churches

Many people in East Asian societies have strong allegiances to the majority religion, be it Buddhism, Animism, Shintoism or other traditions. Churches often struggle to follow Jesus in the face of cultural pressures, but we pray to see churches formed and transformed by the word of God. Biblical churches develop when local leaders evaluate everything through God’s word and are taught by those who do the same.

Twenty years ago, Krung villagers in Cambodia heard the gospel and started a house church, but many drifted back into animist practices and the pastor struggled with sin issues. Years later, a missionary began discipling four church members and Bibles were made available. Lives started changing and the church grew. Read more about the Krung people here:

Lord, for those who have spent their whole lives following other gods, release their grip on former things and give them strength to follow after Jesus.
Lord, may new believers and churches learn to love the word of God, study it earnestly and obey it eagerly.
Lord, help Christians serving cross-culturally to clearly communicate the Bible’s core message.

Day Four – Multiplying Churches

Communities that have been transformed by God’s Spirit have a compelling testimony. Pray that local churches in East Asia would not be content to keep God’s word to themselves. Instead, may they be churches that go and start additional churches, sharing what God has done and allowing the gospel to continue its work in their lives.

The Pwo Karen church of Thailand started with one believing family. As missionaries came alongside them, the gospel spread and a church formed. Before long, more churches arose as Karen believers shared the Good News with their families and neighbors. Read the full story here:

Lord, give East Asian believers the confidence to share their hope in Christ with others. Do not let fear of inadequacy keep them from sharing their joy.
Lord, lead churches to identify churchless communities near them and to start a congregation in those places.
Lord, may cross-cultural workers have the discernment to guide new churches into maturity without holding them to unnecessarily high standards.
Lord, we pray for the gospel to deeply transform East Asians individually and corporately.

Day Five – Missional Churches

We not only want to see communities of believers reaching out to their friends, families and neighbors. We want to see them sharing the hope of Christ with people who have entirely different backgrounds or worldviews than themselves. A cross-cultural church is our best chance of seeing God’s kingdom reach every nation on earth.

The So people of Southeast Asia began coming to Christ just 10 years ago through the witness of a believer from a neighboring province. Since then, the So church has grown and reached out to another unreached ethnic group, the Yellow Leaf People, who live just across the river. Read the full story here:

Lord, thank you that the gospel is the “good news of peace” (Acts 10:36). Please use missional churches to bring about reconciliation between people groups.
Lord, we pray that Christians serving cross-culturally would see today’s mission field as tomorrow’s mission force. Help them to encourage a missional mindset in young churches.
Lord, break down the walls that keep believers from sharing your love with people who are different from them.
Lord, show churches that lack an abundance of resources how they can still take part in mission.

Next Steps

LEARN. Every day, the gospel is transforming lives in East Asia. To read more exciting stories about God’s work, visit the OMF Blog.

GO. Is God leading you to serve East Asia’s unreached peoples firsthand? For more information visit the OMF Opportunities site.

PARTNER. OMF’s long-term workers in East Asia are committed to sowing seeds of the gospel among unreached peoples. Partnering with a worker is an amazing way to support local church movements—plus see God’s work unfold in real-time. Visit the Contact page to request more information from your local center.

Continue your prayer journey and pray for Japan.

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