Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Prayer Request 10/22 - 10/28

Trade schools offer hope for rural migrants in China. For the children of China’s 200 million migrant laborers, vocational schools offer the promise of better-paying and more stable work than their parents have. Chinese parents take great pride in having children who earn a lot of money. Let us pray for pastors and others who work in churches that the Lord will bless them and richly reward their efforts so they will see that they are accumulating treasure in heaven.
While China has long had state-run vocational schools, critics say that these schools are bogged down by bureaucracy and overwhelmed by the huge number of youth who need further training.The training of Chinese pastors in the past has focused more on knowledge and less on character and spiritual formation. We pray that those who lead the training sessions will have spiritual insight and wisdom and emphasize training the whole person, preparing a vessel suitable for the Lord’s use that will build up the Body of Christ.
Courses in vocational schools cover a wide range of subjects which often depend on the needs of the region. In Liaoning Province, an industrial area in the North, courses in automotive repair and construction are popular. In the cities, students opt for courses in tourism and customer service, Learning about the installation and upkeep of air-conditioning are popular. Theological training for church workers must be coupled with the building of character and maturity of interpersonal skills. We pray that new church workers will be thoroughly equipped with Biblical knowledge, a beautiful testimony, good interpersonal relationships, that they may be good examples for believers.
While newly-minted university graduates face a tight job market, skilled vocational school graduates are in high demand with employment rates above ninety-five percent. We pray for the new generation of church workers, that the Lord will give them wisdom in the use of their time so they will take time to continue to study, that they will understand and empathize with their sheep, and be a model of love and faith for their congregation.
Popular online dating and the low view of marital commitment are seriously affecting fidelity in marriage among Christians in China. The churches do not have enough pastors which hampers effective pastoral intervention when infidelity does take place. We pray that churches will not shy away from discussing how a Christian man should be a godly husband and father. We pray for male pastors, too, since they are favorite targets of the devil. Let us pray that teaching against infidelity be strong and concrete.
Among believers in China, many marriages truly need God’s healing. Not only is there difference in the value systems of the husband and wife but there is also a lack of communication which affects the marriage, the relationship between parents and child, and that with the in-laws. We remember those who are struggling with unbelieving spouses and even face opposition at home. May the Lord have mercy on these families and give them grace, strength, patience, and love so they will not lose faith in Him and even help to change their families through His love.
Since training for marriage counseling is not yet widely available in the churches in China, they need more books on marriage and the family. In particular, they need books on how to pray for their husbands, the role of spouses, and communication between spouses. Let us pray for more resources to help Christian couples. We beseech God, too, to give churches many elderly and mature couples who can give wise advice to younger ones who are struggling in their marriages.


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