Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Prayer Request 9/1 - 9/7

TuesdaySome of the biggest victims of the stock market crash have been ordinary Chinese people. Two thirds of new investors in the Chinese stock market didn't complete high school. Many have bought stocks with borrowed money. ​Greed makes people do irrational things and even Christians fall prey to this same predicaments. We pray that this stock market crash will wake them up. We are reminded of the word from Colossians 3:5--"Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world."
The Chinese stock market has slumped dramatically recently, taking down many investors including many Christians. The attitude of the investors has been wanting to get rich quickly rather than disciplined investing. Greedy people try to get rich quickly but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty. (Proverbs 28:22) May the Lord enlighten and search our hearts to see if we have been blinded by our greed.
In China this year 7.49 million people graduated from college--an increase over the 7.27 million in 2014 and 6.99 million in 2013. Every year these grads face fierce competition to land a job. College education no longer guarantees a good paying job for young people in China. We pray for those college graduates who are Christians and are still looking for work. May the Lord give them faith and keep them walking close to Him.
Although house churches have grown remarkably in the past four decades, they have now entered a crucial period where they need to define their own​ theology, their approach to pastoral care, and their method of governing the church. Many are now turning to denominations to find answers since personal interpretation of the Bible along with leaders who are not held accountable open the churches to abuses. We pray especially for believers in groups under these charismatic leaders . May the Lord grant them discernment and genuine, vibrant spiritual growth.
Essentially​, each person in a house church believes what the leader teaches which often leads to an over- emphasis on personal gifts, charisma, and authority. Members of house churches desire more inter-church fellowship but prefer not to have the simplified statements of faith held by denominations. ​Many members of these churches are now educated and have become professionals so they are less likely to accept the "iron fist" management style of their pastor. We pray for unity in the church and also humility for both leaders and pastors along with the young members who attend.​
​People in the house​ churches often debate about the need​ to join a denomination and wonder if that would be good or bad for evangelism, church planting, and the united effort to send out missionaries from the churches of China. They question whether denominations have their place in China. We thank the Lord for denominations because they have poured a tremendous amount of resources and manpower into helping house churches. We pray for God's will to be done in the churches in China. May the name of Jesus be glorified and may there be true unity and humility in each of the churches there.
In the Three-self Church in Jiangxi Province there are two sessions of the so-called "chairman" and half of the presidents are women which gives them a ministry in the church. The saying is that the women are "half the sky" which gives effective strength to the ministry and develops positive factors not only in Jiangxi but in other places as well.​ ​We pray for all of the grandmothers, mothers and unmarried young ladies that God will help them to be lively spiritual models and gain spiritual strength from God's word to teach other believers and be a blessing to the church.​

對當今中國家庭教會而言,宗派問題是一個容易帶來爭論的議題。宗派對於家庭教會是傳福音、建造教會及教會合一宣教的助力還是阻力?宗派在中國教會的存在有價值嗎?不同的宗派曾為中國教會提供了大量的資源和培訓,幫助了許多的家庭教會,我們感謝神! 願主的名大得榮耀,滿足祂的心,不論是家庭教會或是三自,都能在主裡有真正的團結與謙卑。

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