Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prayer Request 2/23 - 3/1

This year many young people have chosen to spend their Spring Festival at home. Instead of the traditional personal New Year greeting they use the internet, SMS, or make a phone call. Couples, especially, like to stay at home. Many literally spend the whole holiday playing mahjong and few people venture out on the streets. Many churches hold their annual evangelistic meeting during the Spring Festival time. We thank the Lord for all of these efforts and pray that the Holy Spirit will cause all the seeds that are sown to grow. May the Lord grant these churches the growth they desire.

Experts say the chief reason for China's high rate of saving is the imbalance in the ratio of males and females. With more boys than girls being born, parents of boys tend to save more to make their son more competitive in the marriage market. Finding a Christian mate is not easy for believers in China. As a result, many parents are not able to "insist" that their children marry within the faith fearing they will be single for life. We pray that all Christian parents would not only pray but also trust God to provide the right companion for their only child.

This year there will be 6.3 million college graduates looking for work compared with the 190,000 in 2009. From now until June is the season for fierce and stressful competition in job hunting in China. Let us pray for Christian college students as they start to search for employment. May the Lord give them peace and confidence that He will provide for them. We pray, too, that those who lead them in college ministries will equip them well in their faith during these last six months before they leave the campus setting.

The president of Taiwan praised the Buddhist charity groups for doing a better job than the government itself by being willing to get involved socially. These charities movilize a large army of volunteers complete with well-publicized strategies that runs as efficiently as enterprises. Many churches are involved with relief and community-based work without getting much publicity. We pray that all churches will be light and salt in the community. We pray, too, that believers will not be discouraged in doing good deeds in the name of Jesus. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Gal 6:9 ).

It is estimated that by 2012 the number of wealthy Chinese should reach 1.3 million and that 92.6 percent of them will spend up to $10,000 USD yearly on family recreation or entertainment. The top favorite destinations are Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan (in this descending order). Many have observed that urban churches in China are now materially rich but spiritually lukewarm like the Laodicea church in the book of Revelation. We pray for God's mercy in helping us all to see our own spiritual destitution and the desperate need to evangelize. We all need to return to our first love and regain our passion for evangelism.

"Meeting enemies opens old wounds." is a phrase commonly used by Chinese people. Putting it bluntly, Chinese are taught that they must avenge their enemies before they die no matter how long it takes. There is a saying, "Ten years is not long for a gentleman to get revenge." As long as vengeance is on one's mind, one can take as much time as is necessary to get it done right. It is hard for Chinese people to truly forgive others. Culturally, it is shameful to let the enemy, the person who hurt us, get away without punishment. May the Lord grant us mercy and help each believer to understand that God forgives us as we forgive our debtors.

Workers returned to Guangdong early because they were worried about not being able to get train tickets after the Lunar New Year. Some have found better-paying factory jobs in the Zhejiang province and not going back to Guangdong. Factory owners have resorted to withholding salaries or giving bonuses to entice their workers to return. We pray for all those believers who are separated from their families because of work. May the Lord give them a great desire to walk closely with Jesus even when they are away from their home and church. We also pray that they will keep their relationships with their children strong.




台灣總統大力讚揚佛教團體「很多工作做得比政府還好」,具有「入世性」行動、「志工化」體制,還訂定「策略」,徹底執行。台灣宗教團體的運作其實很「企業化」。相對的很多教會雖大力參與救援及社區慈善工作,卻沒有獲得廣泛報導。讓我們禱告教會都能在社區作鹽作光,信徒奉耶穌的名行善時,能堅持「我們行善,不可喪志;若不灰心,到了時候就要收成。」 (加拉太 6:9 )

預計2012年中國富裕人口將增約500萬,達1370萬人。有92.6%的富裕家庭其休閑和娛樂方面的花費高達1萬美元。最大的消費項目是旅遊,而香港仍是首選,其次?澳門、泰國、新加坡及日本。 富裕的城市教會一旦習於處在不冷不熱的溫吞水狀態,難免同樣受到主對老底嘉教會的責備,尤其是失去了當初愛主及傳福音的熱心。求助憐憫人們靈性貧窮,需要主耶穌的救恩,也幫助我們更能看到自己的責任。


返鄉過年的民工擔心節後一票難求,許多紛紛選擇提前返回廣東。不少人移轉浙江打工,找到福利、待遇均比東莞好的工作。老板們為了讓工人節後準時回來上班,有的強行扣工資,有的加發開工利市。 我們記念所有因工作與家人分離的信徒,求主保守他們雖遠離家和教會,仍然緊緊跟隨著主。也為他們能保持與家人,尤其跟孩子有良好的親子關係來代禱。

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