Nara (Naugh-raw) is located on the main island of Honshu within one hour’s travel from Kyoto or Osaka. In 2010, Nara celebrated the 1,300th anniversary of its ascension as Japan’s imperial capital.


As Japan’s first permanent capital, Nara was established in the year 710 at what was then called Heijo. There are many historical sites within the city including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. Nara now has a population of about 360,000. Buddhism still remains very strong in the city. As is true in most of Japan, less than 1 percent of the population is Christian.


Nara’s largest industry is tourism. Visitors, both domestic and foreign, come to see the many ancient temples and the restored old palace grounds. Tourists can be seen feeding the deer that roam freely throughout the city. A ceremony is held each fall to remove the antlers from the deers. The deer are regarded by some as heavenly protectors of the city.


Since Nara City is most known for it’s ancient Buddhist temples and its deer, the city has developed a fictitious character to promote tourism. Sentokun is a friendly young boy who has the antlers of a deer. Sentokun’s official character profile describes his personality as “good at acquiring wisdom for tomorrow from old knowledge.”


Prayer starters:
• Pray for God to lead Christians to the city to share with the residents the love and salvation of Christ.
• Sentokun is said to be “good at acquiring wisdom for tomorrow from old knowledge.” Pray that the citizens of Nara will come to know the Giver of Wisdom written about in the book of old knowledge-God’s Word. Pray they acquire wisdom from God through salvation in Jesus Christ.
• Pray that God will give faith to the citizens of Nara to believe in His Son and depend on Him instead of the local deer for protection.
• Pray for workers in Nara to till the soil, sow the seed, and reap the harvest of new believers who will plant future churches in Nara City.


Prayer Profile – Nara City (Downloadable PDF File)


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