Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Prayer Request 10/6 - 1012

TuesdayThe Chinese Communist Party considers all religion capable of being organized and connected with outside powers to challenge its own authority to rule. Let us continue to pray for the churches in China because of the uncertain policy of the government toward them. May the Lord have mercy so that believers in Jesus are not seen as a threat to the government but as a positive influence.
China is extremely cautious in her approach toward any organized religions, because of the possible connection with religious entities abroad, creating and possessing untoward influence and control. “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Prov. 21:1 (NIV) Let us pray for all levels of officials who are in charge of executing religious policies and actions. We pray for favor for believers in their eyes.
The Chinese government has given up restricting religions, instead it grants believers a certain freedom of worship but still controls them with bureaucracies. However, the recent demolition of church building in Wenzhou shows how the government can apply restrictions whenever it wants to. We do thank the Lord for giving Christians more freedom, and we pray that churches will use these windows of opportunity to be His witness and spread the gospel.
Religion is not a high-priority issue for the Chinese government; it has its own long list of urgent matters. When Christians live out their lives as the light and salt of the world, they can exert a powerful influence in society, business and even in politics. As Christians become active and effective when the government allows, people will look to Christianity for answers. We pray churches will go into the “world”, living out the love of Christ and care for the needs of people in the community.
Some churches in China , especially those in rural areas, are caught between following Biblical teaching and traditional practices. Some lack Biblical training and do not even reject customs that are not Biblical. We pray that rural pastors will know and teach the truth of the Bible, and honor God above all. May all pastors have wisdom, teaching their flocks how to honor God more than the traditions of man.
Customs vary from region to region in China. When a parent dies, a pious son must kowtow so others will attend and help with funeral arrangements. In many places, funerals are held by a Taoist monk. Many Christians in China do not know whether to bury their parents with Christian rites or Taoist practice. We pray churches can always help their members know how to resolve these conflicts of Biblical teaching and local practices. We pray for a good testimony for all believers.
The divorce rate among Christians in China has shot up sharply reflecting that of society as a whole which creates single-parent families with neglected children and causes churches to lose a good opportunity to be a shining testimony for God. We pray for more marriage counselors. May the Lord help us to honor the sacred marriage covenant and may He help all pastors as they counsel believers not to give up quickly on their own marriages.

中國政府對於宗教採取謹慎的態度,是因為擔心宗教組織的發展 (尤其是來自海外的宗教組織) ,會讓其對群眾擁有過大的影響力或操控力。「君王的心在主手中,就好像河道裡的水,隨他意而流轉。」(箴21:1當代譯本)。我們來為制定、負責和執行宗教政策的官員禱告,求主引導他們的決策,能善待神的子民。
中國政府已經放棄嚴格控制宗教, 而以法規取代全面限制,讓基督徒也擁有某些程度的自由。然而最近溫州教會拆十字架的事件反映,地方政府仍然會給信徒各種難處。我們為近年中國教會多了一點空間感恩,求主幫助信徒能夠把握這種自由所帶來的契機,成為好的見證人,將福音廣傳。
宗教並非領導人的優先考量事項,他們還有很長一份問題清單要處理。當基督徒在生活中「做光做鹽」時,他們就能在社會、企業,甚至在政治上發揮影響力。在政府許可的空間裡,教會能成為人民尋求人生解答的對象。 求主賜信徒智慧、膽量,而不是採取「出世」的態度,各人都願意在社區中流露基督的愛,並關心鄰舍的身、心靈的需要。

No comments: