More and more Chinese are getting hooked on nicotine despite the repeated efforts of the government to control it, the public outcries, and the many campaigns to promote awareness of it. We pray for believers to be powerfully delivered from addiction even though their family members smoke, and especially for those who have teens who smoke. May the Lord set them free from all addictions to smoking, gambling and pornography.
Nearly seventy percent of Chinese smokers started between the ages of fourteen and twenty-two. Men smokers outnumber women who smoke by two to one. They learn to smoke though curiosity, rebellion, or peer pressure. Many Christian parents are deeply pained knowing that their children or other family members smoke. Let us join them in praying for God's deliverance from this harmful habit and that the Lord will open their hearts to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
More than half of the smokers in China started to smoke in their adolescent years and find it very difficult to quit, no matter their educational background. Those who are more highly educated are less likely to quit than those with less education. It is difficult for parents to teach their children not to smoke when a spouse smokes. We pray for believers who have unbelieving spouses but want their children to know Jesus. May the Lord strengthen their resolve and give them patience.
During the last thirty years, the phenomenal economic growth and improvement of lifestyle in China have contributed to the spike in incidences of cardiovascular disease and stroke. There are many stroke patients in China and it is the responsibility of the families in the churches to care for these patients. We pray for patience, grace, and the joy of the Lord for them, especially in times of frustration and helplessness.
China's embracing Western foods such as red meat and soda pop has exacerbated the obesity problem there. Fast food restaurants are very popular in many provinces, especially among rural children. Rural churches have millions of youth and children who grew up with some Bible knowledge but few of them have solid spiritual roots so they quickly abandon their faith when they go to work in the cities. We pray for the grace of God for them and His protection from temptation for the young ones in rural churches.
Obesity is an alarming problem in China because many families move from villages to the cities and their physical activities are limited there. Smoking is also a widespread problem with more than half of the men who smoke in spite of the repeated efforts of the government to curb it. Young people in the rural churches will eventually move to cities to work so we pray that they will be spiritually equipped, have the habit of daily Bible reading and prayer before their leave their homes for work. We pray that like Daniel in the Bible, who refused to defile himself with the king's food, they will be able to resist temptation.
China is the world's largest market for tobacco with more than 300 million smokers--a whopping 33% of its adult population. Central and western China (including Yunnan province) have the highest percentage of smokers, with nearly half smoking more than half a pack daily. Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit purchased with a great price, we pray that all believers will take good care of that with which the Lord has entrusted to us and flee from all kinds of sin that defile us.