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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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."

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?
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。