Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Prayer Request 1/22 - 1/28

China forbids anyone under 18 to believe in any religion. Forbidding summer camps for adolescents is to make sure young people will not be converted during these summer activities. Bible clearly tells us, “And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. (Mal. 2:15)” We pray that all Chinese Christian parents will know that the best things they can give their children are godly examples and persistent prayers for them.
There are many house churches in Northeast China that are loosely organized. They have spread widely both in cities and villages. However, in recent years, rural house churches face​ mounting problems of aging, secularization, and decline in attendance. We pray for a revival of God's churches and His protection on those who love and serve Him.​ We ask Him to corrupt the attacks of cults and punish those wolves in sheepskins who treat the House of God as their own enterprise.
House churches in rural China are going through a transition as ​villagers move to cities for work. The churches are rapidly becoming older and secular and Northeastern China is no exception. If house churches remain as they were two decades ago, they will certainly decline rapidly. Aging of rural pastors is also a serious problem. We pray for all of the older pastors in China that they will share their rich pastoral experience and be willing to mentor the younger ones.
The mandatory retirement age in China is age sixty for men and only fifty-five for women--very early. For women who are in management it is only fifty years old, however.​ Many believers are retired and in only their fifties and sixties but they still have a lot of energy and are able to help in many aspects of ministry in the churches. Some are even equipped to be pastors. We pray that many of these people will be called by the Lord to serve Him and be effective as they serve with their maturity and experience.
Domestic violence is a social ill that is found in the homes of church members as well as in other places. If churches are to be cities "set on a hill" or lights "on lampstands" perhaps they should participate in counseling cases of domestic violence as a way to share the gospel. We pray that the Lord will help people in the churches to repent first rather than being judgmental and mindlessly quoting Bible passages and that they will be sensitive and compassionate to the victims of abuse in various situations.
The number of elderly people in large cities in China has soared. In Shanghai, nearly thirty percent of the people are over sixty years old which represents a gain of over five percent from a year ago and strains the country's rudimentary system of caring for elderly urban people. It’s not only children putting caregiving demands on urban Chinese women. Let us pray for all the Chinese sisters who have the responsibility of caring for their elderly relatives. We pray they can share the joy and the gospel with those whom they care for.
In China, it is the duty of married couples to care for their elderly parents. However, the bulk of the responsibility usually falls on the adult females. Wives are often expected to care for their own parents as well as their husbands’ parents. Let us pray for strength and cheerful hearts for all Christians who shoulder the responsibility of caring for their elderly parents. We know honoring our parents is all about providing and caring for them, and doing so brings about the promised blessing of God.

政府禁止未滿十八歲的青少年接受任何宗教信仰。禁辦夏令營會也是防範年輕人信主。近年中國的宗教政策越來越緊縮,連三自教會都受到許多限制。聖經告訴我們,「(神)為何只造一人呢?乃是祂願人得虔誠的後裔。」(瑪 2:15) 求主幫助中國信徒家長知道,給孩子最好的禮物,就是日常敬虔的榜樣與持續不斷的禱告。
現今的中國農村家庭教會正面臨轉型,因農村人口逐漸向城市轉移,家庭教會面臨老齡化、世俗化, 東北地區也不例外。若家庭教會的聚會模式仍停留在二十年前的狀態,教會將會走向萎縮。農村教會所面對的一大問題是教牧人員的老年化。我們要為年紀大的教牧同工禱告,願他們能將豐富的教牧經驗傳給接棒者,又與年輕一代在溝通和牧養輔導諮商上能有更多互動和成長。
家暴的問題不僅限於一般社會中,連教會會衆裡亦有。教會在世上該作光作鹽,先鞏固好自己的家庭,如遇上社區有家暴情況的家庭,未嘗不是信徒們傳福音的契機。求主幫助教會先改變我們好定罪的傾向,不一味用聖經指責,而是根據不同的情況作應對, 更是有主耶穌那樣的憐憫心腸來關懷協助。
大部分都市家庭中已婚夫婦都負責照顧老人,其中主要責任落在女方身上。除了自己父母外,妻子們還常要擔當照顧公婆的責任。人若不看顧親屬、 就是背了真道、 比不信的人還不好. 不看顧自己家裡的人、 更是如此。(提前5:8) 讓我們為所有照顧年邁父母責任的信徒求能力與喜樂。 孝敬父母就是供養與照顧他們,也是帶有神祝福的應許。