Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Prayer Request 3/9 - 3/15

An official report compares delinquency among high school students in China, Japan, Korea, and the United States. It looks at smoking, drinking, gambling, pornography, skipping school, and drug abuse. Drug abuse is lowest in China but they rate highest in running away from home with a whopping one out of five students! Having only one child presents a great challenge to parents of teenagers. We pray for wisdom, patience, and gentleness for Christian people who are struggling with parenting issues, especially when their children are rebellious and no longer interested in attending church. We pray, too, that churches can provide assistance to parents through training and support classes. font>
The breakdown of communication between parents and their children is a prevalent and a major problem in China. Children turn deaf ears on their parents and will not even speak to them, so many parents are at a loss to know how to get their only child to talk with them. Believers have few resources teaching them how to raise children according to the Scripture. Most church leaders struggle with the same problem at home as the laymen do. We pray for healthy Christian families and parents who are able to demonstrate God's unconditional love.
Singapore opened its very first casino during the Chinese Year of the Tiger. It has an ambitious goal of attracting 13 million tourists, with 20-25% of them from China. Although Singapore is small, it has many tourists, students and even immigrants from Mainland China. Let us pray for all the mission works, seminary training, and church support coming from Singapore into China. May these ministries and resources accomplish great results among China churches.
No one knows the number of Chinese pastors who quit their churches because of problems or infidelity in their marriages or other temptations. We hear how some leaders fall but many more simply silently quit. When it comes to serving in Chinese churches, workers are falsely pressured into believing that their marriages and family should be second to their church work. Infidelity and divorce are common in and outside of the church including church workers and believers alike. Sadly, the Chinese church is in great need of more marriage counseling skills. May the Lord have mercy on our families. Many stand in the pulpit but their marriages and families are in tatters. Let us pray about this heart-wrenching reality.
Ancient politics was all about "personal relationship" which decided whether one got promoted or demoted. Modern China is not a whole lot different and thus this the famous saying, "Guanxi (relationship) is everything." Many Chinese believers wrongly believe the best way to share the gospel is through personal relationships done discreetly and privately to avoid bringing unnecessary attention to themselves and their church. They literally fear that their identity as Christians will be known. We pray that all believers will have the courage to witness for Jesus.
What is the most common parent-child relationship problem in China? For urban parents, it is being too busy. In rural families, it is the absence of parents because they go to the cities to work and families are re-united only once or twice a year. Let us pray especially for Christian families that are practically disjointed. We pray for the children who usually live with a relative, for their fledgling faith and for the parents that they will stay faithful sexually and continue to maintain their faith in God.
Some churches in China still hold to the extreme idea of "suffering" and see confronting the officials as "suffering persecution for Christ". Within some rural churches it is considered an honor to go to jail and they adore those who suffered persecution during the Cultural Revolution. To comply with the government regulations or go against them is not only a deeply emotional but also a personal thing. We pray for those who choose to defy the government and are willing to pay the price of such an action. We uplift them in our prayers and ask the Lord to give them peace, the courage to live out their faith and convictions, and above all to have the love of Jesus Christ in their lives.

古代官場的潛規則無非就是利用私人關係獲得恩寵,也因為失去私人關係而敗落。今天的中國社會仍是要靠關係,「『有關係』就沒關係;『沒關係』就大有關係。」 不少中國基督徒誤認為傳福音要看場合、時機,最好是利用私人關係如同學親戚等私下場合傳。這種教導的主要顧慮是,如果在公開場合傳或向陌生人傳福音, 容易使家庭教會受牽連被發現,導致聚會停止,教會受虧損等等。求主給我們智慧膽量,能在人前為耶穌做見證。
中國信徒往往對「受苦」推崇備至,視「為主受逼迫」、「為主坐牢」為一項榮譽。因而對在文化大革命為主受迫害的信徒深表尊敬。政府對教會頒行的措施,決定選擇順從或反對 ,對許多教會而言都是左右為難。讓我們在禱告中記念那些選擇不依循政府的信徒,深知他們所付上的代價,能靠著主有力量。同時為他們切切求主賜下平安、鼓勵、信心和勇氣,時刻活在基督的愛中。

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