Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prayer Request 1/15 - 1/21

Many Chinese believers do not understand the Biblical teaching of marriage. Young believers even live together on a trial basis before their marriage. After living together for a while, they ask to be married by the pastor in church. We pray for guarding of hearts of all believers, not to be swayed by the cultural and societal norm. We pray that preachers can teach effectively and early so Christians will not make mistakes because of their ignorance of God’s desire and plan for marriage.
When Chinese pastors evaluate why their young people live together before marriage, they discovered that one reason is that “everyone else is living together”. However, churches have not taught about marriage and young people do not know living together is not Biblical at all. In general, Chinese believers do know trial marriage is not correct, but among some urban churches, young people do not think it is against our faith. Let us pray for all believers who are in love and considering marriage - may the Lord give them understanding of His will.
Many urban churches have many young intellectuals and their leaders who are recent college graduates. It is a good thing but because they lack life experience which comes with age, they are not able to effectively empathize with difficult situations in life and be effective shepherds. We ask the Lord to give wisdom and empathy to all young pastors as they minister to people who are older and with many personal issues. May the Lord give them humility and above all, compassion as they give advice and guidance with God’s own promise and comfort of the Spirit.
As the Chinese society becomes more complex and education level of believers continue to rise, believers are no longer satisfied with the one-way, top -down style of teaching of truth. We need to pray for the quality of shepherds China churches need now and in the future. Churches need pastors who are better and well-versed in everything. We ask the Lord for not only quality of better equipped church workers but also for more of them to minister in all churches.
Some Chinese are economically backwards and the residents spend much time not being productive but rather living easy life. These cities have many shops catering exclusively to playing mahjong and people spend more time in gambling rather than working. Gambling is pervasive in the level of city, creating much social ills, and leads to low productivity. We beseech the Lord in changing such evil influence. We need to Lord to soften the hard soil in people’s hearts, to allow the seeds of the Gospel to grow and lead to healthy value system and positive lifestyle.
In China, plenty of people are so addicted to mahjong gambling, that their family and marriage suffer terribly, ending in divorces. Many Chinese admire historical heros, have little interest in Christianity and even reject it as foreign. It is true that evangelism in China is no long easy as it once was. We ask the Lord to rekindle in us the passion and fire to share the Good News of Jesus. It is true that people are not as receptive but more Christians must have the burden to evangelize.
It can be said that Chinese churches demand better quality in their pastors. In addition to the spiritual knowledge and wisdom, churches expect their shepherds to know how to encounter the society and help their flocks to navigate in today’s complex society. We pray that all the Chinese pastors will have the heart of a father, knowing how to guide with experience and expertise. We too pray that more believers will step up to help their pastors in serving in church.

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