Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Prayer Request 3/19 - 3/25


Tuesday
China is facing its most precipitous decline in population in decades. China’s notorious “one child” policy may have achieved its original aim of slowing population growth, it has also created new challenges for the government. Young Chinese couples who are predominantly one-child themselves are not interested in having more children. We pray that Christian parents will see children are gifts from the Lord and know that it is more than providing education but also teach children to know the Lord from a small age.
Wednesday
China raised the limit to two children for all families in 2016, in hopes of encouraging a baby boom, but it did not work. A decline in the birth rate and an increase in life expectancy means there will soon be too few workers. Aging of pastors and church members, in general, is an obvious trend too. We need to pray for the Lord of the harvest to provide more workers for His field, who effectively minister to the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of seniors in church.
Thursday
The birth rate in China went up slightly after the relaxation of the one-child policy but continued to fall again in 2017, with 17.2 million babies born compared to 17.9 in 2016. Although the number of families having a second child rose, the overall number of births continued to drop. Many young Chinese couples consider having children as expensive and troublesome. We pray for Christian families that they will see raising children to love the Lord is the most blessed and rewarding accomplishment of their lives and enjoy the fruit of their labors.
Friday
In China, the total number of births for 2018 could fall to as low as 15 million. The fertility rate required to maintain population levels is 2.1 children per woman, a figure known as “replacement level fertility.” Let us pray for the children's ministries in China. It is always God’s desire that parents shoulder the responsibility of raising up godly children for Him. We pray for vision and strategies for church leaders as they work out ways to provide worship for the entire family under the given restrictions.
Saturday
China’s fertility rate has officially fallen to 1.6 children per woman, but even that number is disputed. As in other countries, there are myriad reasons for the declining birth rate, including rising prosperity and new opportunities for women to work outside of the home. Couples who are both the only child have a heavier burden in caring the elderly parents of both sides. We pray that all believers will fulfill their responsibility of honoring their parents, supporting them financially and spiritually, so they would also be blessed by the Lord.
Sunday
China’s economic expansion has created a society where many young couples now struggle with economic pressures, including rising education and housing costs, making it difficult to have even one child, let alone two. Let us pray for Christian parents and grandparents who will pledge themselves to be the spiritual pillars in their families, like Joshua who proclaimed, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”.
Monday
The most profound cause of the drop in birth rate in China is the “one child” policy. Fewer children were born, and because of cultural preferences for male offspring, fewer of them were girls. Most churches in China do not have many young believers. Young sisters are often pressured by their parents to marry earlier and often with non-believers. We ask the Lord to give them the very best marriage partners and provide them mature elders in the church who would care and minister to them.
  星期二
中國正面臨數十年來最急劇的人口下降情況。雖然過去的「一胎」政策已經實現了其放緩人口增長的目標,但是也給政府帶來了新的挑戰。一般年輕夫婦自己就是獨生的一代,認為養育孩子的代價太大,沒有興趣多生孩子。但願基督徒夫婦能看見孩子是神賜的產業,也明白教養子女不只是「教育」、「養育」,更是要付代價讓兒女從小認識神,培育出敬虔的後裔。
星期三
政府抱著引發嬰兒潮的希望,在2016年把家庭生育孩子的上限提高到兩個。事隔兩年多,暫未見成效,出生率仍然偏低,再加上預期人口壽命延長,意味著勞動人口將劇減。中國牧者和信徒的老齡化也是一個明顯的趨勢。我們求莊稼的主差派更多工人收割果實,也能供應教會中越來越多的老齡信徒的需要。
星期四
中國自2016年起可生第二胎後,出生率有短暫上升,但到2017年再度下降,從2016年的1790萬下降到2017年的1720萬。儘管生二胎的家庭數量有所上升,但總體出生率繼續下降。許多中國年輕夫婦認為生養孩子既昂貴又麻煩。我們為信徒家庭禱告,求主幫助他們體會養育孩子一生愛主,是他們最蒙福和最有價值的事情,也能享受辛苦的成果。
星期五
中國2018年的出生嬰兒總數可能降至1500萬。若要維持人口水平,每個婦女需生育2.1個子女,這個數字被稱為「更替生育率」。隨著社會的富裕和老齡化,許多發達國家的生育率都下降。神的心意清楚表明父母有為神養育敬虔後裔的責任。我們為中國教會的兒童事工祈求,求神賜教會領袖有異象和策略,在現今種種的限制中,讓孩童能有機會接觸信仰,與全家一同敬拜神。
星期六
官方公佈的生育率已降至每位婦女生育1.6個孩子,有專家們認為這個估計算還是偏高了。與其他國家一樣,生育率下降的原因有很多,包括富裕程度不斷增長,以及女性更多外出工作的新機會。夫妻若同是獨生子女,會有更沉重的負擔,因要贍養雙方的年老父母。我們為信徒在孝敬父母上有美好的見證禱告,不單單是盡力供養,也能關心他們的靈命,與他們分享福音的好處,得着屬天的福氣。
星期日
中國的經濟發展造就了這樣一種社會:許多年輕夫婦現在生活在巨大的經濟壓力之下,教育和住房等生活成本上升,讓他們感到要一個孩子都有困難,更不用說要兩個了。我們為基督徒的父母和祖父母禱告,叫他們願意成為家族中的屬靈樑柱,多代人的祝福,如同約書亞宣稱;「至於我和我的家,我們必事奉耶和華。」
星期一
中國生育率下降的最深層原因是實行三十多年的「一胎」政策。這政策不僅導致少生了孩子,還在傳統偏好生男的情況下,做成男多女少的現象。教會中的年輕人本來就不多,加上父母親的催促與焦慮,姊妹們與未信者交往的可能性很高。我們特別為姊妹們禱告,求主將最好的賜給她們,也興起教會的長輩們來關心她們的身心靈健康。