My name is Willem. My home country is South Africa and I am a believer and follower of Christ. I want to tell you how I was lead by the Lord to do weekly prayer walking.

My wife Lynne and I came to Japan because of my work and with a hunger to do something for God. Strolling through a narrow street in the Dogenzaka area in December 2014 I came across a satanic sticker of a goat head in a pentagram – the logo of the church of satan. An upside-down cross was etched on the goat’s forehead and it disturbed my spirit deeply. I said, “Dear Lord, this mocks and dishonors You as the Lamb who died for our sins! What can I do?” The Holy Spirit whispered: “Restore the cross to its rightful position!” “Ok, Lord”, I said, “I’ll return every week and pray at this spot.” I did not try to remove the sticker because I sensed I should use it as a reference point.

Of course, praying in front of the sticker didn’t restore the cross to its upright position! For my 9th visit I therefore designed my own sticker with a cross symbol and the words of 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I pasted this below the satanic sticker and said, “Amen, Lord!”

In January 2015, because of my interest in personal prayer walking and through the TBC Salt & Light ministry, I obtained a map of the Dogenzaka area of Shibuya with about 60 “love hotels” indicated as yellow stars. Spending 2.5 hours one Sunday afternoon, I walked past each of the love hotels and wrote their names on my map. Whils doing so I encountered great spiritual darkness. There are many sex clubs and signs of satanism in that area. Gradually, a prayer route began to form in my mind.

Let me be very clear: I did not do this on my own initiative. The Holy Spirit prompted me. I could have said, “Lord, I’ve never done prayer walking and I’m not comfortable doing so.” But when God calls, He also equips.

Jesus gave His all when He died on the cross for our sins; I therefore decided to commit to prayer walk every Sunday, beginning in February 2015, with the Holy Spirit as my Guide and Teacher. I told God I’ll go whenever He wakes me, and sometimes went at 1am, 2am, 4am or 5am.

To prepare for each prayer walk I use about 50 Scripture verses for my protection, on my authority in Christ, on the power of the declared Word, and asking God to protect me from satan, the enemy. I declare some of these Scriptures out loud to break down strongholds while I walk. I now have printed stickers of the cross with selected Scriptures printed on them. There are 57 of these crosses along my route of about 1.5 km and I replace the ones that are torn off. One is hidden under the door mat of a business where I take a weekly stand and pray for it to close down.

Is it easy to commit like this? Yes and no. The enemy will try to stop you, but God will encourage you. On my 26th prayer walk in August I almost gave up on this calling. An unexpected spiritual fatigue set in when, at 5am, I reached the Hyakkendana gateway on my route. Suddenly, the weekly commitment felt overwhelmingly strenuous and I sat down with doubts flooding my mind. “God, what am I doing here? Do my prayers have any effect? Please release me from this work”, I prayed.

All of a sudden, Isaiah 6:8 came to mind. Interestingly, that verse begins with, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord.” In that verse, God asked: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?” Isaiah answered, “I’ll go. Send me!” God reminded me that I used the same verse when I volunteered to be His ambassador and pray each week. As if to add confirmation, a Chinese prostitute who tried to solicit me during an earlier prayer walk, approached as if from nowhere and said: “I remember you… and your God.” Without a further word she turned and walked away. Yes, my prayer walks sometimes bring me in contact with prostitutes. I always ask their names and tell them there is a God who loves them and cares about them.

I’ve been prayer walking for over a year now – 55 prayer walks totaling 68 hours of praying and interceding in the spirit.

What have I learned from the Lord about prayer? When you pray and declare God’s Word He overcomes the enemy through you. Isaiah 55:11 says the Word of God will not return to Him empty, but will achieve the purpose for which He sent it. You and I may not see the results of what we pray for through our natural eyes, but we must accept in faith that God uses our prayers. How awesome to be able to team up with the Creator of the universe by being His ambassador and declaring His will until the wall of evil that is 15 minutes from TBC starts crumbling!

Does God stir you to make a commitment to pray? Do not delay! God can, and wants to, move mountains through your obedience.

Would you like to join me on one of my prayer walks? You are welcome. Among others we’ll pray for a man who has a little shop on one of the narrow streets and once told me: “I keep your little book” – TBC’s “Steps to peace with God” that I once gave him. We’ll also pray for the female manager at Shiyoda Inari Shrine. She doesn’t understand why I visit the shrine each week and stand in front of its bell rope but never pull it; instead I declare God’s Word from Isaiah 42:8 out loud: “I am the Lord; that is My name! I will not yield My glory to another or My praise to idols.”

Prayer releases God’s power and destroys idols of the heart and brings unbelievers to salvation. Will you pray for the salvation of the unbelievers in Shibuya Dogenzaka?

Feb.28, 2016