Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Prayer Request 1/23 - 1/29

Tuesday
In China, women made great strides in the early decades of Communist rule. The Communist government has taken pains to portray women as equal to men, starting with Chairman Mao's declaration that women “hold up half the sky.” We pray for all the women pastors serving in China, although many of them will not be ordained formally, we praise God for their faithful dedication, the Lord bless them with ministries will be even more powerful and effective.
Wednesday
As China shifted to a market economy recently, the State media have published glowing reports of “wonder women”, suggesting that many Chinese women have become successful in the business world. We pray for believers who are working mother, the Lord give them strength and wisdom, not only at work but at home. May their faith in God be a powerful influence at home and their prayers for their children answered.
Thursday
There is a resurgence of long-repressed traditional Chinese values, as more and more men and women say “a woman's place is in the home”. It is becoming common that wealthy men take mistresses in a contemporary reprise of the concubine system. Extra-marital affairs or having a mistress is considered a norm for those who are rich or in business. We pray for safeguard of all believers, the Lord protect their marriage and strengthen their bond.
Friday
The pressure for Chinese women to marry young is intense. In the office, Socialist-era egalitarianism has been replaced by open sexism, in some cases reinforced by the law. We pray for those sisters who suffer sexual harassment, discrimination and outright abuse at work. The Lord comfort them, become their refuge, answer their prayer for justice and give them joy at work
Saturday
Chinese women are losing ground in the workforce compared with men, Women make up 44.7 percent of the work force, but just 25.1 percent of people with positions of “responsibility”. Although few women are in the prominent church leadership role, we praise God for churches in China because they are blessed with so many women pastors and lay volunteers.
Sunday
In China, the phenomenon of women not able to get promoted is called the 'sticky floor'. The term “glass ceiling” describes the inability for women in China to advance into management level. Most women simply stay in the entry and clerk level. Women pastors are commonly ordained in Three-Self churches. but not as often among the house churches. We pray for those women preachers who serve faithfully but have not been ordained, the Lord encourage and strengthen them.
Monday
The powerful cultural assumptions that women should marry young and focus on the family after a child is born account for disparity of women not being promoted or advance in workplace in China. Most married women pastors must shoulder all the loads of church, family and motherhood. We pray for strength, endurance and God's grace for them. The Lord give them fresh insight to His Word every day.


星期二
在共產黨執政的頭幾十年,中國女性地位取得了巨大的進步,從毛澤東說女性能「頂半邊天」起,政府就把女性描述成與男性地位平等。我們為教會的女傳道禱告,她們長久的服事,也不一定會被正式按立成牧師,我們為她們的忠心擺上感謝神,求主厚賜她們能力,使所作的更有果效。
星期三
最近,隨著中國向市場經濟轉型,官方媒體常會宣傳「女強人」,帶有欣賞意味的報導正表明中國女性在商業上也取得了成功。我們在禱告中記念要外出工作的信徒媽媽們,求神賜給她們智慧能力,把工作和家庭能平衡,叫她們的信心成為家人的榜樣,子女也受到影響,一生敬虔愛主。
星期四
近年來,中國女性的地位逐漸抬頭之際,長期被壓制的傳統價值觀卻似乎也正在復蘇。越來越多人(不論男女)均認為女性應主內。另外,舊社會的妻妾制度在當代重現,富裕的男性又養起了情人。男人有錢就變壞,差不多成為理所當然的事,尤其是商人。求主常常提醒信徒要持守貞潔,謹守婚姻的神聖盟約,而夫妻也因著連於神而關係更親密。
星期五
女性面臨很大的早婚壓力。在職場,社會主義時代的平等主義被公開的性別歧視所取代。在某些情況下,性別歧視甚至被法律加深了。 我們為主內姊妹面臨性騷擾、性歧視,甚至被佔便宜的來禱告, 求主安慰並成為她們的避難所,也為她們彰顯神的公義,又給她們在職場再次擁有喜樂的靈。
星期六
女性在職業階梯每上升一步,她們所佔比例會隨之穩降。女性在勞動力中所佔比例為44.7%,但在「負責人」職位中只佔25.1%。雖然僅有少數女性晉昪為教會的領導角色,我們為中國教會有許許多多的女傳道和同工們感恩,她們全然擺上,忠心服事,叫神的家得著益處。
星期日
女性在職場無法被提升的現象被稱為「粘地板」,中國也有玻璃天花板 (不能進入管理階層),但大部分女性甚至從未離開過粘地板。 通常只有三自教會按立女性牧師進入管理階層,在一般家庭教會甚少見。我們感謝主有許多忠心的女性傳道,不論是否被正式按立,都在辛勤服事。求主幫助弟兄姊妹明白,在教會裡女性也可以發揮她們屬靈的恩賜,也鼓勵及厚賜她們能力担任主托負的事工!
星期一
女性不常被昇遷,無緣進入管理高層的部分原因,是傳統觀念認為女性應早早結婚,生孩子,照顧家庭。中國教會中已婚的女傳道人,往往要挑擔教會,家庭和做母親的全部重責。求主加添她們力量,賜足夠的恩典幫助她們能秉承異象堅持事奉,也天天降下嗎哪,親手扶持她們。

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Prayer Request 1/16 - 1/22


Tuesday
​In 2015, the average age of marriage in China was twenty-six and the expense for marriage was exorbitantly expensive, exceeding what most Chinese of that age could afford. It is a special blessing for a church to host a wedding which is a sign of vibrancy in the church to be followed by adorable little ones later. We pray that God will bless many churches in China with young and newly-wedded couples bringing joy and renewal to them.
Wednesday
In 2016, the average cost of a wedding in Shanghai was 200,000 Renminbi or about $30,000 U. S. This does not include the cost of an apartment and a car which are widely considered prerequisites for an engagement and are typically purchased by the parents of the young man. ​Parents prepare financially years in advance for the marriage of their only child. We pray that those who are believers will pray for Christian friends for their children and it is never too early to pray for a godly spouse for one's children.
Thursday
In China, matchmaking remains popular because each side knows exactly what the other’s background​ is and candidates are approved by parents from the beginning. Chinese parents and churches alike are usually timid on subjects of dating and sex. We pray that parents and churches ​ alike should have sessions on what God desires of them and about Biblical dating way before​ the dating age comes.
Friday
Patriarchal values are making a comeback in modern China. Many Chinese families have entered the middle class and they want to solidify their status by marrying people from a similar background. Marriage is a decision that affects the whole family. ​Without a good parent-child relationship, it is difficult for Christian parents to insist or even suggest seeking a believer for marriage for their child. We pray that Christian parents will improve their parenting skills and know how to rear a godly child as well as be an example of faith for their children.
Saturday
In 2010, the birth rate in Taiwan dropped to 0.895 per childbearing age woman, lowest in the world. It did improve to 1.175 in 2015. But, by 2060, Taiwan will be the country with the lowest birth rate. Declining birth rate will invariably affect the second generation ministry in a church, especially children's Sunday School. We pray that church leaders will have strategies in place and concrete approaches to improve their current programs.
Sunday
In 2016, in Taiwan the average age for marriage was 34.4 for men and 31.4 for women which is much higher than it was a decade earlier. "Marrying late and being childless" and "staying single" are serious social issues requiring the intervention of the government. ​Taiwan is the most liberal country in Asia in terms of the gay movement. We pray for churches there as they speak out against legalization of homosexuality, non-traditional families and other social issues.
Monday
Young people in Taiwan pursue college or advanced degrees, but the job market is very competitive and salaries ​ are depressed. They worry about starting a family, delay marriages and hesitate to have more than one child. Young people in Taiwan are very political. We lift up the young believers in Taiwan as they try to express the Biblical family values in the public arena and engage in political processes.

星期二
按官方統計,2015年中國平均結婚年齡為二十六歲。然而,大多數這個年齡的人都無法承擔結婚所需的鉅額花費。能在教會舉行婚禮實在特別的有福氣,求主祝福教會有更多年輕弟兄姊妹,願意在主裡建立家庭,為教會教會帶來活潑生氣和新生力軍。
星期三
2016年,在上海舉辦一場婚禮的平均費用為二十萬人民幣,這尚未包括一套公寓和一輛車的費用。公寓和汽車被普遍視為訂婚的先決條件,而且往往是由男方父母提供。中國家長很早就開始為子女的婚禮費用作準備。求主提醒信徒們為自身為家長及有成年子女的肢體代求,得要早早為孩子的伴侶禱告,願神賜給孩子一位敬虔愛主的配偶。
星期四
現今在中國,相親仍然大受歡迎,甚至相當普遍。這因為從一開始,兩家父母就明確知道對方的家庭背景,對象已然經過了篩選,這樣比較有效率。中國家長向來含蓄,鮮有公開談論異性交往與性生活的議題,教會更是如此。求主幫助教會趁早刻意預備機會,教導年輕信徒要立定心志,在異性交往上討神喜悅,仰望神的引導與預備。
星期五
近年,家長制的價值觀正在復興中。很多中產家庭希望通過與同背景的人結婚鞏固社會地位,因此孩子的婚姻就關乎全個家族。有良好的親子關係,家長才能建議孩子結交基督徒的朋友。求主幫助信徒家長能改進他們的親子關係,有智慧養育愛主的子女,最重要的是,成為孩子的信心榜樣。
星期六
台灣生育率2010年便以0.895(每名育齡婦女平均生育子女數字)掉入全球之末、2015年生育率稍有改進1.175,但直到2060年,台灣恐仍難逃成為全球生育率最低國家的命運。生育率的劇減必定會影響教會第二代事工,尤其是兒童主日學。 求主賜教會領袖有對策,更是要改善現有主日學事工。
星期日
2016年,台灣平均結婚年齡為男34.4歲,女31.5歲,較十年前高。「晚婚不生」或「不婚不生」是社會很大危機,政府正鼓勵年輕人早點結婚。近年台灣已成為亞洲中同志運動最前衛的國家。我們為台灣的教會禱告,求主幫助教會在同性戀合法化及多元成家議題上,能表明並活出聖經的教導,成為社會的光和鹽。
星期一
台灣年輕人雖然普遍有大學或研究所學歷,可是畢業進職場工作不穩定,薪水亦不高,自然會擔心結婚生子拖累未來。因為結婚年齡延後,生第二胎機率也隨之減少,又或不敢生第二胎,人口當然越來越少。台灣年輕一代比以往更關心政治。我們為年輕一代信徒禱告,能靠著神,按聖經原則在公共場合為神出聲,用正確的渠道明確表達立場。

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Prayer Request 1/9 - 1/15

Tuesday
Those who return to China with a foreign education usually struggle to find a decent job, often with no premium and real benefit for their foreign education. We pray for those returnee who are new converts, not to complain and giving up God because of their inability to find jobs, but rather to have stronger faith, knowing God will lead them and they should trust Him wholeheartedly.
Wednesday
To those who went abroad to study, returning home is seen as a failure on their parts. Their parents have also lost the opportunity to emigrate abroad. The job prospects in China is worse than abroad. It is common for the converts to feel God has not listened to their prayers to allow them staying abroad. We pray for those who started to doubt their faith and God. May the Lord comfort them so they will know, “all things work together for those who love the Lord”.
Thursday
Chinese students studying abroad are the only-child at home, as they return to China. Their parents anxiously want to “recoup investment” and have them start making big money, get married and produce grandchildren . Even the young converts cannot escape this expectation and pressure. We pray young converts will stand the pressure of their parents as parents trying to re-insert their control and influence over them. Above all, we pray that they will know God's plan in their lives and love Jesus above all things.
Friday
It generally takes time for returnees to find their places again and fit back in a country that is undergoing rapid economic and social changes. And because churches in China operate under a controlling and suspicious atheist state, it is difficult to find churches that provide a welcoming and intimate environment. We pray for Christians who will reach out to these young returnees with love and acceptance, able to encourage these new Christians from abroad to continue growing in Christ.
Saturday
In 2016, more than half a million Chinese students studied abroad. After graduation, many return home by choice, while others are unable to find jobs and work visas. From 2012 to 2014, nearly 1 million students returned to China, exceeding the number of returned students from the previous 30 years combined. The large number of returnees will definitely change China and churches there. We pray that God will use the Christian returnees to change and bless churches in special ways.
Sunday
Returning Christians from abroad are new believers and need lots of nurturing. Many of them stop attending churches or no longer practice their faith. We pray for continuing spiritual growth and strengthening of their faith for all young returnees.The Lord sustains them so they can thrive under the great pressure and temptations of China's city living.
Monday
There are many English speaking congregations who meet on Sunday in larger cities in China. Although, they are mostly attended by foreigners and expats, but one can find believers from all nations and all walks of lives. We pray for these special churches attended by foreigners and expat in China, the Lord give them much opportunities to share the gospel with people they work with or in their business.


星期二
海外歸來的學生也面臨謀職壓力,雖有國外的教育學歷,很多人仍不易找到學以致用的工作,或只找到與國内大學畢業生等同的工作,這意味著留學的資歷並沒為他們帶來太大的助益。求主幫助回國的留學生,以及在國內大學畢業找不到工作的年輕信徒,不因工作上的挫折而埋怨神,放棄信仰;而是有更堅定的信心,將一生交託給神,知道神必引領他們的道路。
星期三
對一心想藉留學而移居海外的留學生而言,畢業後沒能在國外找到工作,實在是一種失敗,而回國謀職的壓力也非常大;對他們的父母而言,也失去了移民國外的良機。許多在海外信主的人,往往因想留在當地的禱告未蒙神垂聽而產生失落感,導致對神失去信心。求主幫助這些信徒,當面對壓力和困難時該更加依靠信實的神,因萬事都互相效力,為教愛神的人得著更大的益處。
星期四
海外留學生多屬 "獨一代" 。家長對其獨生子女的期望,就是努力賺錢,然後是結婚生子,生孫子陪伴祖父母,似乎一生軌道都已安排妥了。在國外信了耶穌的年輕人,也得面對如何滿足父母為他們預備的人生計劃。求主幫助年輕信徒真能明白神在他們生命中的美好計劃,叫他們能愛主遠超過一切,也能回應神的呼召。
星期五
留學時信主的基督徒通常需要一段時間重新適應中國快速的經濟和社會變化。由於中國教會在無神論的政府監視下,所以在國外信主的人不容易找到主動接納和親密的教會。回國的信徒需要時間來適應國內的大環境,就是在教會裡,剛開始他們也會覺得格格不入,求主賜給他們有愛主的弟兄姐妹們來接納和陪伴,鼓勵他們繼續追求靈命的成長。
星期六
2016年,中國出國留學人員總數為54.45萬人。除了自己選擇外,由於畢業後在海外找工作及簽證更困難,從2012到2014年,兩年間有一百萬學生回國就業,這是過去30 年回國的總數。近來國內的發展環境和機遇很被看好,也是「海歸潮」興起的重要因素。海歸潮必定對中國社會和教會有極大的影響。求主藉著在國外信主的信徒們能成為國內教會改變的動力和祝福。
星期日
信主不久的中國學生回國後,急需有愛心的教會和靈命成熟的信徒繼續的跟進。因為許多在國外信主甚至受洗的人,回到中國就不再去教會,也不再追求成長。回到中國的留學生需面對許多生活上和信仰上的壓力,且在城市裡有著極大的誘惑;求主施恩保守他們,又堅定他們信心有自己的追求,靈命日日向高處精進。
星期一
在中國的大城市,都會有英語教會,有公開的主日崇拜。參加者一般是來自各式各樣背景的外國人或是回國的華人。我們為這些特別的教會祈求,求神祝福他們的事工。我們也為回國的信徒禱告,求主給他們機會,藉著生命見證,透過與家人朋友與企業同事們的接觸,能分享福音領人歸主。

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Prayer Request 1/2 - 1/8

Tuesday
For young Chinese who became Christians while study abroad, their families can be an obstacle to their new faith. Many female converts hope to find someone who is also Christian, but their parents often prohibit it and question “Why making it harder by only looking for Christians to marry?” We give thanks to God for all the new converts. The Lord bless and keep them, give them joy and courage, and allow their transformed lives to be a powerful testimony to their parents.
Wednesday
When parents in China discover their children become Christian abroad, despite their initial surprise, they seem to accept their children’s newfound faith, more from an utilitarian atheist perspective. They believe If their children’s faith causes them to live a healthier lifestyle and give them some supernatural blessing, so be it. It is indeed very difficult to share Jesus with parents. We pray for young believers able to share their testimonies and the reason why they believe Jesus, and also because of their transformed lives, improved relationship at home and humility.
Thursday
Parents often warn the returnee converts against “wallowing” in their new faith, like the teenagers addicted to online gaming and forget about studying and examinations. To many Chinese parents, both religion and video games are simply distractions to their children pursuits of higher goals. We pray the young converts will love the Lord, knowing Jesus Christ as the Master of their lives. God will give them wisdom and strength, so they know what it means “those who love their parents more than I is not worthy of being my disciples”.
Friday
As the numbers of the returnee from abroad increase, competition for jobs is fierce and many with advanced degrees could not find work in China. When disappointment is compounded with frustration, new converts whose faith was not deep-rooted often waiver and drift away. We pray that churches abroad will do a better job for the new converts, especially those who are going back to China, teach them how to cope with setbacks, how to share Jesus with friends and their own parents. New Christians returning to China need better spiritual preparation.
Saturday
This generation of young Chinese are the product of one-child policy, they are the only child and enjoy the total financial support from their parents. Their parents are willing to provide all of their financial needs, this means children and parents are financially inseparable. We pray for spiritual maturity and good testimony for all the young believers in China, so they will have the courage to share Jesus Christ with their parents.
Sunday
In China, there is a prevailing low awareness of Christianity, rather than intolerance. For a female converted returnee, she might wear a cross necklace to give a hint of her faith. But they would be hesitant in praying in public while having a meal colleagues. Many Christians in China will not reveal their Christian faith unless they are asked, especially at workplace. We pray for boldness and wisdom in sharing with friends and relatives, the reasons why we believe in Jesus.
Monday
Chinese culture itself also cause new converts to waiver in their faith when they return home. At workplaces, co-workers will likely to ridicule their Christian faith. Both the pop culture and traditional Chinese culture tend to reject Christian faith which is considered foreign and a religion of the older people. Chinese Christians tend to be low-key about their faith at work to avoid any bias. We pray that believers will have the sweet smell of Jesus Christ because of their good performance and interpersonal relationship.


星期二
留學生在海外信主後回國,通常遭到家長反對。而信主的女性希望交往對象是基督徒,也必遭父母質問「何必自找苦吃,使結婚的機率更加渺茫?」,甚至禁止他們繼續追求信仰。我們為初信主的年輕人感恩並禱告:願神保守和祝福他們,幫助他們倚靠基督,以致得著力量忍受一切的攔阻。求主使用他們的生命,成為美好的見證,有勇氣向未信的父母分享救恩。
星期三
有些家長雖然驚訝孩子在國外信了耶穌,但是都能接受,因為他們從功利主義來看,如果神給他們帶來更多的福氣,那也是好事。要向自己父母傳福音確實是不容易。我們為年輕信徒禱告,因著有生命的改變,活出主愛,使家人及人際關係復原並更融洽,也不灰心分享他們的信仰,見證主耶穌的信實。
星期四
在國外信主歸國的,他們的父母會常警告他們不要被耶穌「迷住」,就如同沉迷於在線遊戲,而荒廢了學業。對於許多中國父母來說,他們恐懼兒女被宗教和網路遊戲迷住,喪失追求向上的心志。求主幫助海歸信徒,用他們裡頭的新生命所產生的智慧和能力,帶給家庭和中國教會新動力,不但影響教會,而且影響社會,甚至影響整個國家,給國家帶來長遠的祝福。
星期五
隨著海歸人數不斷增加,謀職競爭性亦不斷加強,很多留學生雖在國外掙得高學歷,回國後卻面臨找工作的困境。困境又衍生經濟壓​​力,在挫折和壓力層層纏裹之下,若信仰紮根不深,很難繼續仰望神、依靠神。求主給海外教會做好培訓工作,幫助海歸預先思考回國可能碰到的實際挑戰,包括回去傳福音的道路,怎樣向父母傳福音等等適切的屬靈裝備。
星期六
中國這一代的年輕人都是獨生子女,在經濟上依賴父母,父母也供應他們一切需要。兒女脫離不了父母,甚至在結婚生孩子之後,還需要老父母來照顧孫輩。求主賜給年輕信徒聰明智慧,知道愛主將神放在首位,也曉得如何盡孝道,更有勇氣向父母分享福音。我們還為年輕信徒繼續有靈性的成長禱告,知道如何照著主的心意建立家庭,如何在職場上榮耀神。
星期日
在中國社會,一般人對基督信仰的態度不是拒絕,而是認識不多。一個初信者可能會配戴十字架裝飾以示其宗教信仰,卻又猶疑要不要在同事面前做謝飯禱告。許多中國信徒,仍然不願意在朋友和家人面前談論其信仰,在工作單位上更是如此。求主給我們勇敢,與人分享自己信耶穌的原由,見證神在我們身上的奇妙恩典和作為。
星期一
許多留學生回國返鄉,舉目相望,曾經熟悉的一切,竟然變得陌生。中國的社會和文化容易令海歸產生被孤立的感覺,而基督信仰在這大環境中更是被人另眼相看。若是信仰紮根不深,一個已經自覺被孤立的人,很難在生活中堅持跟從神。有些中國信徒盡量不在工作單位表白信仰,免得帶來不必要的歧視與問題。求主幫助信徒有美好的工作表現,和諧的人際關係,隨時隨處流露出基督的馨香之氣。