Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Prayer Request 6/11 - 6/17

Tuesday
The development of rural churches in China is very different. In the North, churches are very prevalent while in the South they are relatively scarce because of the cultural differences. We pray that believers in both regions will have a firm foundation built on God's Word and a deep commitment to Him, that they will grow daily in their faith to be spiritually mature people and be fit for the Master's service, not live as babies in Christ.
Wednesday
Sociologists say, "Chinese peasants choose a religion or belief that meets their daily needs and helps them in what they lack in life and relationship. Christianity meets their needs." We pray specifically for pastors who are serving in the rural churches who are trying their best to care for the emotional and spiritual needs of their flocks, despite the fact that there are not enough of these pastors and the needs are very great.
Thursday
When Christian churches started in villages in China, the early converts were fellow villagers, neighbors, relatives, and friends. What was taught to converts were the basic truths of God Who brings healing and comforts. Only God is eternal and everything else is transient. And, God has predestined all things but prayers bring about salvation. In the past, there were many miraculous signs and wonders among the rural churches in China. We continue to pray for the mighty works of the Holy Spirit and at the same time a real hunger for His Word and growing deeper in the foundation of faith.
Friday
Ancestral worship and the passing on of the family name are the beliefs that matter the most to the peasants in the southern part of China, where ancestral memorial pagodas and elaborate graves dot the landscape. These values and practices are deeply entrenched and are very difficult to change. Most of the churches in southern China are in the cities. We pray that urban churches will redouble their evangelistic efforts to the villages near them, and not simply give up because of resistance and rejections.
Saturday
Farmers in southern China rejected Christianity because it preached against ancestral worship and regarded their ancestors as devils, claiming the power of the Lord Jesus would satisfy all their needs. Believers in the city often overlook and ignore the fact that there are so many villages around them where people have not heard of Jesus Christ. We pray that God will always remind us that we cannot simply ignore our own "Samaria". We also pray that all Chinese believers can give good explanations of why we discourage the practice of ancestral worship.
Sunday
Success theology had a great impact on Chinese churches. It offered a gospel stripped of the Cross and sufferings, substituted it with the false promises of easy lives, healings on demand, a good university, a plum job, and prosperity. Churches in China face the temptations of the prosperity gospel. We pray that our Lord will preserve our pure love for Him, not just for the material riches. And, that we will persist in our love for the Lord in all adversities and testings. We should not ask only for blessings, but love the one whom all blessings flow.
Monday
No matter how many believers there are in China today, less than five percent of the population is Christian. There are 2,300 provincial and municipal cities in China, and only one-third of them have any churches. In the western part of China, there are very few Christians. We pray for churches in China to stand firm in a time of persecution. And, to have an even greater faith in the Lord in the harsher days ahead, knowing His return is coming, just as the night is the darkest before the dawn.

星期二
農村家庭教會在南北兩地的發展並不均衡,北方農村家庭教會盛行,南方卻相對緩濟不前,原因在於文化上的差異。社會學家認為,北方農民選擇基督教,是因為“耶穌厲害”,把耶穌叫做「主」。我們來為兩地信徒禱告,求神幫助大家對神的認識和委身都是有根有基,信心日漸漸成長,不停留作屬靈的嬰孩,能長大成人,成為神能使用的器皿。
星期三
社會學家認為,「農民選擇某種宗教或信仰形式,目的是滿足日常生活所需,彌補他們在生活、人際關係的缺乏,而基督教正好滿足到他們。」我們為牧者能夠盡全力地關心信徒身、心、靈的需要禱告,雖然服事人手有限,資源亦缺乏,但仍按著主交託的,忠心服事,讓眾人得益,叫神得榮。
星期四
當家庭教會在中國農村裡建立起來,傳道者都是本村本族的人,甚至是鄰居和親朋好友。他們大多知道各人狀況,容易解答農民的困惑,撫慰他們受傷的心靈。例如告訴農民:世間一切都是虛幻,只有神是永恆的;或者生活現況是神安排的,只要禱告,神就會拯救。過去農村教會有許多的神跡奇事,求主繼續作工,也願信衆不是衹是追求神蹟奇事,而是在神話語上扎根,讓信仰有根有基。
星期五
祖先崇拜和傳宗接代,是中國南方農民最主要的信仰。這個信仰涉及到農民活著的意義,較為根深蒂固及很難改變。在南方農村,我們依然可以看到高大的宗祠和鱗次櫛比的祖墳山,這些都是農民信仰的載體。南方的教會大多數都在城裡,我們禱告教會不因向農村傳福音所遇的阻攔和抵制而灰心,求神繼續引領衆信徒,打開農村福音大門,搶救靈魂。
星期六
當基督教徒進村傳教,南方的農民多表厭惡,覺得基督教排斥他們的祖先,將祖先視為「魔鬼」。即使傳道人宣稱主耶穌的力量偉大,能滿足農民的需求,農民也不會為了「小利」而放棄祖先信仰。城市的信徒常在傳福音上省略離他們不遠的農村,而到遠處去宣教。求主賜我們智慧,對執著祖先崇拜的人有清楚而合理的解釋,不忽略身邊的「撒瑪利亞」。
星期日
成功神學對中國教會影響很大。它是抽去十字架的福音,宣稱信主後就不會遇到困難和身體疾病,考上好的大學、工作順利和賺大錢。當今教會面臨許多壓力,求主保守我們對祂純全專一的愛,願意明白祂的心意。深信神允許各樣逆境的發生,正是考驗、建造就我們靈命,願我們不是只愛主的祝福,而是更愛賜福的主。
星期一
中國至今仍然少於5個百分點是基督徒。2300個省市級的城市,卻只有三分之一的城市有可看見的聚會點。至於中國的西部地區,基督徒就更少了。我們禱告:為中國教會在日益增強的逼迫中能站立得穩,求主堅固衆信徒在越艱難的日子裡,信心越增強,面對黎明之前的黑暗,知道主回來的日子近了,越充滿堅定的盼望。