Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Prayer Request 4/17 - 4/23

Tuesday
Although rural migrants​ in China earn more in cities than those who stay in the countryside, they are excluded from many of the social welfare benefits and subsidized housing often reserved for registered urban residents. ​It is a fact and a worsening trend that rural churches are losing people who can give financially. We pray for those believers who work in the cities, that they will continue to give financially to their churches back in the villages.
Wednesday
The decline of rural churches in China is real and heartbreaking. Many of those pastors see their churches deserted with only spiritually weak and ill believers left.​ ​We lift up all the pastors in China who feel helpless and even hopeless as they minister for Christ. May the Lord renew their bodies, hearts, and spirits knowing that the Great Shepherd requires only their faithfulness in ministry. Lord will bless their sacrifice and effort.
Thursday
Churches in China can consider sending their missionary candidates to Western sending agencies, so they can live and learn how to be an effective servant of God, humble and with care, from foreign missionaries. In the past, missionaries sent out from China have failed because they did not take the time to learn the language and study the culture. We pray that mission effort is purely motivated by God’s command, not because of nationalistic or ethnic pride and certainly not of slogans.
Friday
Due to political and fundraising limitations, churches in China trying to send out cross-cultural missionaries still heavily depend on funds from outside of China. It will be at least another decade before these churches can send out fully-supported missionaries.​ ​Much of the giving in churches there goes toward building new churches. Little is spent on compensation for the pastors and less on outreach and missions. Let us pray that pastors and believers will give faithfully and generously for Kingdom purposes.
Saturday
Besides those in the Three-Self system, many local seminaries are upgrading from a three-year program to a four-year program college level. Some are even going from college to a master'​s program level. ​May the Lord continue to show great favor to the churches in China so pastors can have good training and the co-workers in the church can also benefit from quality Bible training, both of which are badly needed.​
Sunday
House churches in China have formal Bible schools and seminaries, some are even bold in building libraries and long-term facilities. Theological training of different house church groups is taking on a​ different emphasis and ​includes ​specialized programs. We pray for enough quality teachers for these seminaries and schools set up by house churches, especially teachers with spiritual maturity and experience in pastoring churches.
Monday
There are increasing exchanges between churches in China and abroad in theological education, short or long term. Many younger church leaders seek more training or ordination because the society demands professionalism. We praise God for pastors in China receiving more theological training. We pray that they will be able to engage and minister to the young professionals more effectively.


星期二
儘管農民工在城市裡掙的錢比留在鄉下的人多,但很多社會福利及住房補貼項目卻享受不到,這些福利通常是保留給有城鎮戶口的居民。農村教會缺少年青力壯的信徒,在人和財上皆嚴重短缺是個事實。求主興起愛主的農村信徒,雖然離開老家在外地工作,卻也能不忘家鄉教會的發展和需要,繼續為神的家奉獻。
星期三
農村教會正面臨嚴重荒涼的危機。傳道人看到教會的荒涼,信徒靈性軟弱、乾渴,不少 同工感到灰心沮喪,甚至自責是自己牧養不好。我們為灰心甚至想放棄的傳道人禱告,求主施恩加力,深信大牧者所求的是僕人的忠心,深知他們一切的難處,會記念他們的擺上及奉獻。惟願我們都堅守著自己的崗位,憑信心仰望主來動工。
星期四
過去中國宣教士無法持久服事,往往是因為沒有在語言和文化學習方面下足功夫。教會其實可以考慮將預備到國外的準宣教士差派到樂意接納他們的國際差會中實習、鍛煉。藉此與海外宣教士同吃同住,謙卑學習,了解工場需要,可逐步訓練成更合乎主用的僕人。求主校正我們的眼光,願意虛己來回應主的大使命,而不夾帶民族優越感,或是趨附各樣的口號。
星期五
因著政治和經費籌募的限制,中國教會的跨文化宣教事工仍需海外資源的大力支持。預計十年後,中國教會才能在財務方面自主,完全自立運作。一般中國教會的奉獻主要是用在教會硬體設備上,其次才是給牧者的經濟支持,剩下作為宣教費用已不多了。求主幫助牧者和信徒們,慷慨的投資在神的國度中。
星期六
在三自教會體系裡,不少地區的神學院都在爭取升格,從三年制變成本科的四年制,從四年制延伸到碩士班。 願神繼續恩待中國教會,有更多屬靈深度的牧者,也能有提高同工靈命裝備的培訓。
星期日
家庭教會的聖經學院和神學院也漸漸走向正規化,有些更勇敢地建立較為齊全的圖書館和神學設施。各地的家庭教會神學系統慢慢會走向不同學術程度的分流和分工。我們求神賜給家庭教會的聖經學院和神學院,有足夠質量的教師,有屬靈深度及有牧養經驗的栽培,能紮實建造弟兄姊妹的靈命。
星期一
近年中國教會參與各種神學教育的交流,短期或長期出國的深造機會都不斷增加。再加上教會領袖面對社會不斷知識化的挑戰,中壯年的領袖有一股進修潮和按立潮。我們為中國教會的牧者有更好的神學訓練感恩,願主使用他們能更有效地接觸和餵養年輕知識份子。

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Prayer Request 4/10 - 4/16


Tuesday
In China, it is common that some pastors in cities move about and preach at different meeting places. This gives believers fresh speakers and message content. Although Chinese churches speak often of humility and unity, true humility and unity are mostly absent. The lack of submission and division are quite common, especially among the young intellectuals. Let us pray for all believers that we all need to repent, seek His forgiveness and be Christ-like.
Wednesday
Mentioning of sex is taboo in churches in China and most pastors are uncomfortable even talking about it. We pray that churches will boldly and practically teach their young people how to flee from the lusts of youth and not merely forbid premarital sex.
Thursday
Sex education is very lacking in China. Anatomy is commonly taught as a substitute for sex education. Teenagers often speak of how their parents explained that children are born from armpits or even from trash cans. Children are an inheritance from God. (Psa 127:3) We pray that Christian parents will teach their children the knowledge of God and they will have a good parent-child relationship, and remind them often to walk closely with God.
Friday
In the past decades, the government in China has encouraged manufacturing for export by creating many low-wage jobs. However, this policy has led to an oversupply of manufactured goods. As the economy booms and real estate has ​skyrocketed in China, many believers are drawn to the Prosperity Theology. We pray that more believers will focus on knowing and desiring Jesus, the Giver of all blessing, rather than the blessing itself.
Saturday
Beijing and Shanghai are the cultural centers of China, they literally lead the direction of Chinese society. ​We pray for the churches in these two cities that God will use them mightily as the leader and example for evangelism. To reach out to the community and treat their pastors well by honoring and providing for them.
Sunday
Churches in China no longer encounter persecutions in the forms of martyrdom, imprisonment, exile, public denouncement, loss of job, or breaking up families. Churches now face greater threats of temptations of money, fame, power, and sensuality. We pray for the guarding of the hearts of all church leaders. We pray they will resist the trappings of secularism, adhere to the fervent teachings of Christ, be fervent in spreading the gospel, and not engage in turf fighting or merely expanding the sphere of their personal influence.
Monday
Churches in China have never adequately resolved how believers should deal with indigenous religious practices and ancestral worship. The recent resurgence of Chinese religious and cultural values has further increased the tension between Christian beliefs and traditional Chinese practices. ​​We pray that more pastors in China will teach how believers could apply Biblical principles on the occasions of wedding and funeral, to share testimonies more effectively, and give glory to God.

星期二
在城市教會的傳道人之間也有一些流動,他們在不同的聚會點講道是相當普遍的。這種交流情況常給會衆帶來新鮮氣息,亦讓弟兄姊妹從不同牧者身上領受神不同的信息。中國教會雖然常說要謙卑合一,但是有些教會卻缺少真正的謙卑,彼此不服,時有紛爭,尤其年輕的知識份子信徒往往會挑戰教會領袖。求主赦免我們的驕傲自恃,光照我們的靈性中的黑暗,彼此認罪悔改,活出更像恩主的聖善生命。
星期三
中國教會一向不提婚前性行為,傳道人覺得在講台上提及「性」是不合宜的。求主幫助教會不要忽略這方面的教導,要明確教導神的旨意是要我們成為聖潔,遠避淫行。又求主賜智慧給牧者和導師,有效幫助年輕人克服少年私慾的誘惑,而不是僅止於一味的禁慾。
星期四
中國缺乏性教育,通常以「人體結構」的解說代替。十來歲的青少年常會談及父母對他們說,他們是從腋窩裡,甚至是垃圾桶裡爬出來的。「兒女是耶和華所賜的產業」(詩 127:3) 求主幫助信徒家長,從小就教導子女在交友、戀愛、婚姻上,知道神的心意;也有美好的親子關係,能把孩子帶到神面前,讓他們有正確的價值觀,選擇以神的原則和標準生活,與主親密同行而蒙福。
星期五
過去數十年,中國經濟依靠政府推動出口製造業,創造了許多工作機會給低技術勞工。然而中國的過度投資已經讓產品供過於求。當經濟蓬勃,房地產價格飆升時,許多信徒被吸引去追隨「成功神學」。求神校正信徒的目光和心思意念,渴慕賜恩的主而不是祂所賜的恩!
星期六
北京和上海向來處於影響全國文化的中心地位。把握中國社會文化的中心地帶,就相當於把握了整個中國社會文化的走向。我們要為在這兩個城巿的教會禱告,求主大大使用她們,在這個價值觀扭曲、靈性黯暗的世代中,成為主所預備的金燈台,在其中為主發光,熱心傳揚福音、關懷社區。也幇助信徒更敬重和供應他們牧者們的需要。
星期日
今日中國教會外在的逼迫減弱了,不再是往昔的殉道、監禁、流放、批鬥、喪失工作、離散家庭等等外在迫害,而是轉為內在的引誘,如金錢、名聲、權力、感官享受等等試探。求主幫助教會領袖們,保守他們的心懷意念,能靠主抵抗世界價值觀的誘惑,堅持基督的生命樣式,更有傳福音的熱忱,而不是爭權或為自己教會擴張「版圖」的私心。
星期一
時至今日,教會如何面對祭祖與地方傳統習俗的問題,仍然沒有根本性的解決辦法。隨著近幾年地方傳統勢力的興起,中國傳統習俗與教會信仰之間的張力有增無減。求主賜傳道人智慧,教導信徒如何按聖經原則來看待婚禮、喪禮及祭祀是否違背神的心意。我們為信徒禱告,能在這些場合中有美好的見證,並將榮耀歸給神。

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Prayer Request 4/3 - 4/9

Tuesday
Three megacities in China, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing have "first-tier cities" status. They are recognized because of their gross domestic product (GDP), population and level of political administration. We praise God for the vibrant churches in these First-tier cities. They are pacesetter for the rest of churches. The Lord continue to empower these churches, adding numbers of saved. We pray that they will assist and bless poorer churches in the smaller cities nearby.
Wednesday
Recently, 13 Chinese cities joined the rank of new first-tier cities. Based on their commercial appeal, they include Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Chongqing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Xi'an, Changsha, Shenyang, Qingdao, Dalian, and Ningbo. Churches in these cities still have room to grow and mature. Their help is vital to smaller churches in their provinces. We pray that they will reach out and minister to the college students in their cities and be blessed by the energy of young people.
Thursday
Two more cities in China, Dongguan, and Zhengzhou also made the list of first-tier city list for the first time. Dongguan is a major hub for electronics manufacturing and a magnet for international brands. All these new First-tier cities have large number of migrant workers. May the Lord bless all church leaders and inspire them to share the gospel with migrant workers in their community and not turn their backs to them.
Friday
China is pushing the wide-reaching "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) initiative. This grand plan will economically connect China all the way to Europe. This could potentially improve Dongguan's fortunes. Located in the south of China, Dongguan could become a logistics hub for the OBOR. We pray churches will see the opportunity of taking the gospel along the OBOR into Pakistan, India and all the Muslim countries in central Asia. Churches must have strategies and good training for the missionaries they send out.
Saturday
A survey shows only 3 percent of people ages of 18 and 29 in Hong Kong, describe themselves broadly as Chinese which is the lowest level since the handover in 1997. Young people there see themselves broadly as Hong Kongers. Churches in Hong Kong are big supporters for churches inside China. Obviously, politics in Hong Kong affect the passion of believers for the mission to China. May the Lord protect and bless all the good works Hong Kong churches are doing to broaden their impact.
Sunday
There is a radical sentiment and idea that many Hong Kong people are considering uniting as an independent nation. They feel as long as Hong Kong is under China’s rule, there will not be a democracy. However, Hong Kong is totally dependent on China economically. Hong Kong churches have generously supported China’s churches for several decades. Many believers from China attend meetings and training in Hong Kong, we pray that these experiences are blessing to their church in China.
Monday
The sentiment in Hong Kong is that they are culturally different from Mainland Chinese. The differences are obvious and easily spotted. Hong Kongers use different language — traditional scripts and Cantonese — and they had the British colonial experience. Chinese from Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and North America, all have a very different cultural background, even though they are Chinese. We pray that Chinese churches from outside of China will be even more fruitful in their support and theological training inside China.


星期二
廣州、上海和北京均有「一線城市」的稱謂,這並不是官方正式的用詞,而是基於生產總值(GDP)、人口和政治行政水平而得到公認的認可。感謝神,這些一線城市的教會都非常有活力,在神學訓練和關懷事工上都是全國的榜樣。求主感動這些教會,不單在信徒的質和量增多上有果效,也能更關顧及幫助在小縣城的貧弱教會,分享神賜福的各樣恩惠。
星期三
近來,成都、杭州、天津、武漢、重慶、南京、蘇州、西安、長沙、瀋陽、青島、大連及寧波等十三個城市也被列為「新一線城市」。這些新一​​線城市的教會,在事工上仍然有許多成長空間,但是他們能實際幫助附近縣城的弱小教會,我們為此感恩。求主更多使用這些教會,參與大學生的福音事工,也因此促使教會更年輕化,更有充沛的活力。
星期四
今年,東莞和鄭州兩個城市首次登上一線城巿名單。東莞是電子製造業的重要樞紐,近年更吸引很多國際品牌進駐。在新一線城市裡,有龐大來自農村的民工群體,求主興起忠心回應大使命的教會,對他們周遭的民工有傳福音的異象,也有同靈同心接納關懷不同背景肢體的負擔。
星期五
近幾年政府推動所謂「一帶一路」的項目,連接中國的經濟到歐洲,東莞成為構成OBOR的兩條路線的物流中心,使這個城市的前景更理想。我們為中國教會禱告,求主幇助我們能藉著一帶一路的機會將福音傳到印度、巴基斯坦和中亞地區,並在宣教上有前瞻性策略,能切實訓練好的人才而不流于喊喊口號而已。
星期六
最近香港大學一項調查顯示,18至29歲的香港人比1997年以來任何時候都更願意將自己視為香港人。現在只有大約3%的人寬泛地稱自己為中國人,這是自回歸以來的最低水平。香港教會是廣東沿海地區教會的最大同工,求主保守祝福香港教會,不要因中港人民的矛盾而影響對事工的參與。願神繼續使用香港,成為更多中國教會經歷主恩的渠道。
星期日
香港近年因為政治問題鬧得滿城風雨,有些激進派更提倡港獨,要脫離中國,追求民主自治;然而,香港的經濟卻十分依賴中國大陸。香港教會多年以來在人力和金錢上一直是內地教會的重要支援,亦是海外眾教會的榜樣。我們為許多來香港參加會議,培訓的信徒禱告,願他們在屬靈上得著的造就,能成為他們自己教會的祝福和實際改進的契機。
星期一
香港人認為他們與內地人有很大差異,不僅是方言與字體明顯不同,就是價值觀和文化内涵也大相徑庭;還有只有港人才擁有英國殖民統治的集體回憶。雖然同是中國人,但是各地人的生活文化都會有異。我們為海外華人教會禱告,包括新加坡、馬來西亞,北美及台灣教會,求主繼續感動海外教會共同關心中國境內的教會與神學培訓的發展。