Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Prayer Request 6/15 - 6/21

In 2009 Beijing boasted a personal GDP exceeding $10,000 US and had four million personally owned autos to be the biggest car market in China. However, now the traffic congestion there is the worse than that of any other place in China with an average drive of fifty-two minutes to get to work--far more than Guangzhou or Shenzhen. More and more people drive to church these days so finding a parking spot is a big issue for both the believers and the churches that want to grow and accommodate those who live far away. Let us pray for the ministry and growth of those churches that have little parking space, especially the house churches that meet in residential buildings.
The average starting wage for Chinese factory workers skyrocketed in June, following some well-publicized companies have increased their base salaries twenty percent to $300. US. In other provinces, including Beijing, a similar increase has raised minimal wages to 140.US (960 RMB) Asking for a raise is always a touchy issue for thsoe who serve in the church. We pray that believers will be fair and care for those who serve God. We also pray that church workers will not be swayed and distracted by the new that salaries in the factories and that they will know that God and their church will take good care of them and their families.
In China, many of the marriages in the villages are arranged. Couples get married and then hurriedly rush to work in different cities with little nurturing of the relationship. This arrangement leaves much room for misunderstandings and unfortunately a high percentage of these marriages end in divorce. Even among believers there is often a lack of taking time to build a good relationship before marriage followed by bickering after the event. There is virtually no premarital or family counseling in the vast majority of churches. Let us pray for God's grace and mercy for all of the "incompatible" couples. It is only the Spirit of God Who can make the husband and wife compatible and truly become one flesh.
Many say that Chinese young people today lack a spirit of acceptance and patience. After they get married the "honeymoon" is often short and conflicts quickly flare up because of the difference in their personalities. Minor household matters often lead to arguments and even fist fights. This problem often causes couples to drift apart and the frequent arguments seem to doom the marriage. Young Christian couples can benefit greatly from older and more mature couples in the churches. We pray there are some couples who can reach out and mentor these young people and model the Biblical role of both husband and wife. Often even the pastor's marriage is strained because of the demands of ministry so we remember the marital relationship of the shepherds, too.
It is commonly thought that most Chinese men once they reach middle age and are enjoying a successful career will succumb to extra-marital affairs and wreck their marriages, especially those businessmen or officials who often entertain for business reasons. In terms of morality or good example, there is little to help men stay true to their marriage. May the Lord help each of us, especially Christian brothers, to know how to "avoid the temptation of the affair". We pray for guarding of hearts for all male believers. May the Holy Spirit remind us that our bodies are His holy vessels and help us to guard our heart and minds with thanksgiving, contentment, and godliness.
It is estimated that twenty-six million Chinese suffer from depression and that ten to fifteen percent of them have attempted suicide. Officially, 287,000 Chinese die of suicide yearly and two million more attempt suicide. It is still a taboo and embarrassment for one to admit that he or she has depression. As Christians we believe that God answers our prayers for healing but most churches lack the expertise to help those who are suffering from symptoms of depression. Let us remember all who suffer from this problem as well as their family members. May the Lord give us each a tender and compassionate heart.
In China the majority of the high officials on the provincial level are people who were born after 1950 and many of them have advanced or even doctorate degrees. It can be said that the leadership of the Communist Party's core members are now those who are in their mid-fifties. Although there are still some older pastors in the churches in China, we do see more younger ones now (those in their 50's and 60's). We lift them up in our prayers and ask the Lord to give them physical strength, insights into His word and a desire to live a godly life, as well as boldness and a vision for their church.

2009年北京人均總收入(GDP) 突破一萬美元,汽車也超過四百萬輛,是中國最大的汽車消費市場。在北京繁忙時間開車上下班,平均單程要五十二分鐘,遠遠超過廣州、上海和深圳,是中國交通最堵塞的城市。越來越多弟兄姊妹開車上教會,卻不易找到車位,對於偏遠的肢體更是一大難題。我們為有停車問題的教會其事工與拓展代禱,特別是那些大樓內的聚會場所。
中國各地企業六月掀起加薪風潮,數家位於深圳的知名企業調薪超過20%,可達月薪三百美元的水平,其他省份如北京亦上調最低月薪達960 民幣(折合140 元。) 教會同工對於薪水調整總是難以啟齒,求主賜教會和信徒有一顆加倍敬重和關愛神僕人的心。也禱告教會牧者同工不因外面工資提高而動搖及分心,深信神必充足供應祂的僕人及其家人的需要。
全中國患抑鬱症者超過2,600萬人,其中 10%-15%選擇自殺。據官方資料,每年有28.7萬人死自殺,有200萬人自殺未遂。 在中國,個人是不會公開承認自己患有抑鬱症,且是個尷尬話題。 雖然目前絕大多數的教會仍缺乏實際幫助預防或治療抑鬱症的專業知識和支援,但神垂聽每一個求醫治的禱告。 讓我們在禱告中記念患抑鬱症者及照顧他們的家人。也賜弟兄姊妹溫柔、敏銳和同情的心,關懷周遭肢體的需要。

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