Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Prayer Request 07/21 - 7/27

TuesdayMillions of ordinary investors who piled into an ever-soaring Chinese stock market over the last year, are bracing for a roller-coaster ride. Many are retired people who could not afford the high-flying real estate so they borrowed money to put in the stock market. Many Christians also got caught up in the stock frenzy and entire churches got swept away in making fast money. We pray that all believers will be reminded once more of the danger of greed. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation… (1 Timothy 6:9)
Wednesday
During the past year the stock market in China has looked like an episode of madness when the crowds of investors seemed to lose their senses. They borrowed money on a slim margin and bought shares they couldn't afford gleefully believing ​the price of stocks moved in only one direction. We pray for God's mercy on believers who are now in debt because of their loss in the stock exchange. Let us remember to "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."" (Matthew 6:33)
Thursday
In China, mom-and-pop investors, rather than big institutions, make up the bulk of stock purchases. As droves of investors jumped in, the stock market boom began to head into bubble territory. Such smaller players don't necessarily have the resources to withstand the volatility. ​"He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, or he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 5:10). We pray that the Lord will really challenge us and help us to know who is the master of our lives--God or money.
Friday
In recent decades​ Christianity has been growing in popularity in China but church leaders say there has been a crackdown on Christians since the authorities have been demolishing churches and removing crosses from the skyline. Many pastors have expressed their concern and feel that churches need to be more cautious and low-key. We pray for the churches in China, especially those that are in a bind with the officials. May the Lord help all churches to witness in their "restricted and limited" environment.
Saturday
It is the Tibetan strain of Buddhism rather than the Chan (Zen)​ tradition once popular in China that is attracting new converts, particularly students, young professionals and business people. It appears that both the changing and the physical, spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism are appealing to some people. We praise God for the urban churches in China even though the people there are known for being so busy with careers, caring for families, investments, and buying apartments. May the Lord give the pastors wisdom to know how to minister to these people.
Sunday
Buddhism is treated by most people in China more as a culture than a religion. People may visit temples or read Buddhist books, but few treat it was a religion that requires serious commitment. Many believers also are merely carnal and only attend church but have no spiritual life. May the Lord have mercy on all the weak and lukewarm Christians and remind each of us that we should "count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:8)
Monday
Chinese people who identify themselves as Buddhists do many non-Buddhist spiritual things such as believing in feng shui, consulting fortune tellers, practicing​ qi gong, as well as sampling books and practices of other religions. May the Lord have mercy on those Christians who foolishly believe that these practices are "harmless". We pray that churches will have clear and powerful teaching against such things and the believers will wholeheartedly trust in God because "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

星期二
過去一年,數以百萬計的普通投資者湧入不斷飆升的中國股市。近日,他們遭遇了像過山車似的大起大落。這些人中,有些是退休人士,有些更是借錢來炒股。不少信徒也染上了炒股熱,甚至全教會都沉迷於賺快錢。求主再次提醒所有信徒貪婪的危險,因為「那些想要發財的人,就陷在迷惑、落在網羅……」(提前6:9)
星期三
中國過去一年裡,就像又上演了一場群眾性的癲狂劇,很多投資者像失去理智般借錢炒股,買入他們原本負擔不起的股票,興高采烈地以為股價只升不降。求主赦免那些因炒股賠錢,欠債的信徒,又額外施恩憐憫,幫助他們度過當中的艱難。願神的兒女都緊記主的教導:「你們要先求祂的國和祂的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。」(太6:33)
星期四
在中國大量購買股票的皆是大媽、老爹級的小散戶,而不是大機構。投資者蜂湧入市,但毫無警覺股市正走向泡沫化的危機。可悲這些散戶不一定有足夠的資源承受股市波動。「貪愛銀子的,不因得銀子知足;貪愛豐富的,也不因得利益知足。這也是虛空。」(傳 5:10) 求主校正我們的心態,認清主宰我們的是創造天地萬物的神,還是金錢?
星期五
雖然基督教在中國也經歷了極大的復興,但是教會領袖表示,當局一直沒有放棄對教會的監管,近年更有教堂和十字架遭地方政府拆毀的事件。近來,許多牧者說,他們必須謹慎,教會也要低調。我們為中國教會禱告,求主為那些遭逢困難的教會開路,給所有教會在「受壓和有限的空間中」,有智慧又有膽識地為主做見證。
星期六
近年來藏傳佛教在中國十分興旺,吸引了許多學生、年輕的專業人士和企業家信奉,而不是過去流行的傳統禪宗佛教。我們為許多城市教會有不少高學歷的年輕家庭感恩。這批年輕白領群的難處是「忙」— 忙事業、忙孩子、忙投資、忙置屋等等,求主賜牧者恩典與智慧,用神的話語來引導、扶持和牧養他們。
星期日
大多數中國人把佛教當作文化看待,他們去廟裡燒香,讀讀佛經,只是一種傳統習信,但把佛教當作真正信仰的並不多,也缺少嚴肅的委身。教會信徒中也有冷淡、世俗化的,只來聚會卻無委身參與服侍。求主憐憫那些不冷不熱,軟弱的羊群,也再次提醒我們將身體獻上當作活祭,以耶穌基督為一生的至寶。
星期一
中國許多所謂的佛教徒,也會做很多不是佛教信仰的行為,例如看風水、算命、練氣功,甚至閱讀道教書籍和跟從其做法事。可惜也有不少無知的基督徒,認為涉及這些行為「不傷大雅」。求主憐憫,賜給教會對這些事有清楚明確的教導,幫助信徒知道,專一仰望依靠神,敬畏耶和華才是智慧的開端!