Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Prayer Request 5/22 - 5/28

Tuesday
Churches in China have experienced tremendous growth in past decades. This has led to people optimistically predicting that China will one day have more Christians than any other nation on earth.​ We praise the Lord for this miraculous growth. We pray for faith in God alone as churches face the implementation of the new religious policy which has made many believers very concerned and anxious.
Wednesday
There has been a massive migration of rural residents to cities in China. Urban churches have grown in size and new churches planted. This is evident both in the registered and house churches. We pray that churches in the cities will intentionally minister and equip new members from the villages, rather than just providing a place of worship.
Thursday
Many observe ​that ​the growth of urban churches in China is partly due to rural Christians migrating to churches in cities. The decline of rural churches in China is truly heartbreaking. We pray for churches without a shepherd or that are​ merely kept alive by lay people. May the​ Lord sustain them and protect them from ​the ​ attacks and ​ravages of cults.
Friday
Churches in China have experienced two pronounced growth spurts in recent history. The first occurred in the 1970​'​s and 80​'s in the countryside; the second, in the 1990's and early 2000​'​s in the cities. We praise the Lord for the great church growth during the days of persecution. We pray that the love and the zeal for Jesus would not be diminished in the time of great economic prosperity and personal wealth.
Saturday
The revival of rural churches in China was marked by signs and wonders. Rapid evangelism took place largely along kinship lines. Henan and Anhui were the epicenters of this revival. Let us pray for churches in these two provinces because they have suffered many setbacks as young people left villages to work in cities and many churches are without shepherds.
Sunday
After 1989, urban churches in China experienced great growth as many young intellectuals turned​ to Christianity. There was also the proliferation of campus fellowships that would later form standalone unregistered churches. We praise God for the young and educated believers who have made city churches vibrant and full of energy. And, amazingly, some of them have become pastors too. We pray for good strategies and serious discipleship to equip all the young converts to serve.
Monday
factors contributing to the growth. However, it is equally beneficial to note what brought about the declines. As the urban migration continues in China, we pray for the revival of churches and colleges campuses in the second and third-tier cities. We also pray that college student ministries will continue to bear good fruits.


星期二
數十年來中國教會大有增長,有人甚至樂觀地預測中國將會成為世界最多基督徒的國家。我們為神一直在中國的工作感恩!2018 年二月新宗教政法實施,令許多信徒憂心前面的服事,我們求主加添眾人信心,仰望恩主永遠的膀臂,在祂扶持下繼續聖工。
星期三
隨著大批中國農民遷到城市工作,不論是登記教會或家庭教會都經歷增長,且建立了許多新聚會點。我們為中國城市能刻意關懷與裝備來自農村的信徒禱告,不僅提供一個聚集敬拜主的地方,更讓他們能在其中成長和服事。
星期四
近年中國城市教會的增長,部分是來自遷到城市的農村基督徒。因為人口的轉移,農村教會迅速萎縮,造成農村教會人口大量縮減。我們為沒有牧者的教會和只有信徒帶領教導的小教會禱告。求主憐憫保守他們,不受異端邪教的擾動。
星期五
近代中國教會有兩次明顯的增長,第一次是七十年代和八十年代的農村, 第二次於九十年代至二千年年代在各大城市裡發生。 我們為中國教會在逼迫中經歷復興和成長感謝神。我們特別為信徒在經濟繁榮和富裕舒適的日子裡,對主的愛和熱心不會因為外在環境的溫飽而冷淡。
星期六
在上世紀九十年代和二十一世紀初,好些農村教會因許多神積奇事而復興。快速傳福音主要發生在親屬關係上。河南和安徽的教會經歷了大復興。我們特別為這兩省的教會禱告,因為年輕人到大城市打工,許多教會沒有牧者,事工多有挫折又無法推動,求主來眷顧祂自己的教會。
星期日
一九八九年後,許多年輕知識分子信主,中國城市教會迅速發展。大學校園多有團契和查經,後來隨之形成獨立的家庭教會。年輕和受過高等教育的信徒,使中國城市教會大有生氣,不少人也成為傳道人。求主幫助教會有好策略,訓練年輕弟兄姊妹成為主的門徒,樂意參與國度的服事。
星期一
中國教會近代的兩次增長,都有其特殊的社會政治背景。政治因素也同樣會導致教會衰頹。中國農民遷移城市的趨勢隨著社會變化會一直持續,我們要為在二、三線城市的教會禱告,也記念他們的大學生事工繼續有美好收成。

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Prayer Request 5/15 - 5/21


Tuesday
The Bible is no longer available for purchase online in China. Of the major religions in China (which includes Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, and folk beliefs), Christianity is the only one whose major holy text cannot be sold through normal commercial channels.​ Christians now can easily obtain copies of the Bible or download it online or on their phones. We pray for a true longing for God's word, not merely enjoying watching sermons or reading short devotionals passed around on social media online.
Wednesday
The ​Bible is printed in China but​ is​ legally available only at open-church bookstores. People have taken advantage of selling ​the ​Bible online but the government has closed this loophole recently. This is in alignment with the longstanding effort to limit the influence of Christianity in China.When the Bible was forbidden in China, many people joyfully memorized Scripture.​ We praise God that the Bible is readily available now and pray that believers will be serious in studying God's word and pastors will preach it diligently.
Thursday
The advent of online retailers created a loophole that made the Bible readily available in China. This was especially important given the growing dominance of online shopping. However, the overall restrictions ​on the distribution of Bibles remains and applies to only Christianity. It could be said that churches in China have thrived in these loopholes and gray areas in the enforcement of religious laws there. We pray for continuing growth in the churches and that believers will rely on God's power in this trying time as well as being bold in spreading the gospel.​
Friday
The closing of the loophole allowing online selling of Bibles is part of ongoing effort by the government to effectively tighten rules on Christianity and Islam, while promoting Buddhism, Taoism, and folk religion​s​ as part of President Xi ’s efforts to promote traditional values. Young Christians often use the Bible on their mobile phones rather than the paper version. We pray that more people get the benefits of​ the​ Bible through these new media, and believers will thirst after the Living Word and apply ​it ​to their lives.
Saturday
Bibles are no longer for sale online in China, and that is bad news indeed. However, there have been no new regulations concerning Bible sales. Similarly, there has been increased enforcement of existing religious regulations and laws which means the gray zone has shrunk considerably. Churches in China have mostly operated in the gray zone of religious laws, especially the house churches. We pray for wisdom and ​a ​good relationship with the local authorities for Chinese pastors and leaders as they navigate a new set of religious regulations.
Sunday
It is said that many believers in China had become complacent and even prideful of their church buildings and ​the ​size of their congregation​s​ before the recent religious crackdown and tightening of religious laws. We pray that all of us will again focus on God Himself and know our calling is not to build our churches but to preach the Good News to the lost. May we ​always​ be reminded that His Church is not the buildings but the people.
Monday
China has implemented a new religious law since the beginning of 2018, that imposes stricter controls on all religions. Much tighter control and stricter implementation of laws are causing inconvenience for various church ministries. We continue to pray for church growth under the new religious laws and ​that ​believers will not be discouraged and lose heart. May the Lord give​ us more faith in Him because we truly believe: “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” (Proverbs 21:1)

星期二
聖經在中國各網路電商平台疑似遭官方全面下架。中國的主要宗教有佛教、道教、伊斯蘭教和民間信仰 ,而基督教的聖經是唯一未能通過正常商業渠道出售的宗教典籍。我們為基督徒仍能透過手機和網絡下載電子聖經感恩。也求主賜信徒對神的話語真有渴慕,藉著神話語的引導,曉得如何活在神面前,而不是單單喜好講道視頻,閱讀靈修短文。
星期三
在中國印刷的聖經僅在三自教會的書店提供。過去網店利用法律漏洞出售聖經,但現今再不能網銷聖經,此舉正與官方長期以來一直限制基督教在中國的發展的政策一致。在聖經不易得時期,許多中國信徒樂意背誦神的話。我們為手上擁有聖經的中國信徒禱告,求主吸引他們認真研讀神的話語,也幫助傳道人用心傳講整全的聖經真理,不是單單強調信耶穌得福氣。
星期四
中國網絡銷售發達,零售商利用網路銷售的灰色地帶賣聖經。然而在最近的整治下,對聖經整體分發和銷售的制度上有更多的限制,而這些限制只針對基督教,而不是其他宗教。中國家庭教會可以說是在法律執行的漏洞與灰色地帶中成長。我們為中國教會在不斷加增的逼迫中繼續成長禱告,也求主保守信徒在困難的大環境中仍能依靠神,靠主剛強,無論得時不得時都盡力宣揚福音救人靈魂。
星期五
禁止網絡銷售聖經是政府針對基督教所採取的選擇性執行宗教法規的一部分,相對地促進了佛教,道教和民間宗教,達到促進傳統價值觀政策的一部分。年輕一代的基督徒常使用手機版聖經, 我們為更多人能因著這些媒體得到神話語的好處來禱告。同時也為農村教會的聖經供應和發送禱告,有些人想要更多認識基督信仰卻無法找到任何材料,求神施恩憐憫。
星期六
禁止網店出售聖經引來中外極大關注。事實上,並沒有新的條文禁止聖經的銷售,只是增強了現有規定的實施,換句話說,灰色區域大大縮小了。中國家庭教會一向都是在宗教法律的灰色地帶下生存。 我們為牧者和信徒領袖有神的智慧跟地方官員維持良好的關係,能在不斷變更的大環境下繼續忠心服事神而禱告。
星期日
教會宏偉的建築和會眾人數規模之大往往讓信徒引以自豪,甚至傲視他人,然而近來這些建築成為政府拆除的主要目標。求主幫助我們只定睛在全能的神身上,深知我們不是被呼召來建立「地盤」或偉大的建築物,而是要完成神的旨意,向失喪的人傳講主耶穌的救恩。求主再次提醒我們,教會事工的目的不在於硬體建築,而是按著神的心意服事這一世代的人。
星期一
中國新修訂的宗教事務條例於2018年2月1日起實施,對所有宗教實施更嚴謹的管制。這些管制確實給教會的事工帶來很多掣肘。我們為教會在新的宗教法之下繼續成長來不住祈求,尤其為未曾註冊的教會和信徒所受到的壓力禱告。求主加力給信徒,不因此而灰心喪膽,給他們屬天的智慧和能力去面對挑戰,深信 “王的心在耶和華手中好像壟溝的水,隨意流轉。"(箴言21:1)

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Prayer Request 5/8 - 5/14

Tuesday
Young Chinese converts who returned to China find church teaching in China very different than abroad. They are often confused by difference in styles of worship and in theology. Some churches in large cities in China preach prosperity theology and promise followers that God grant material wealth and good health. We pray that believers will know the truth and the cost of following Jesus and carrying the Cross.
Wednesday
The returning Christians from the West have to adjust to church life in China, this include very different style of worship and preaching. Sermons in China tend to be heavy preaching with few illustrations and humor. Baby Christians need spiritual feeding and we pray that there will be deliberate attempt to prepare the young converts before they return to China. The Lord grants all young believers a hunger for His words so they can quickly grow mature and feed themselves.
Thursday
Many returning Chinese converts find churches in China a bit cold. Years of hostility and watchful scrutiny by Communist government have made Chinese Christians intensely cautious and defensive regarding newcomers and people they do not know well. We pray for warm and intimacy of fellowship for young believers. The Lord raise up churches in China who will intentionally reach out to young believers and especially those believers returned from abroad.
Friday
It is a fact that worship style and format in China can be quite different than abroad. These differences make the new converts uncomfortable and feel difficult of being accepted. If they feel unwelcome, they usually stop attend church or fellowship all together. Finding and connecting with other Christians are difficult in China for young converts. We pray that Lord will impress upon return the importance of connecting with fellowship group and believers in China will intentionally welcome these young Christians who were converted abroad.
Saturday
In China, the ratio of pastor to church members is very low. As of 2012, there are fewer than 25 seminaries and Bible schools in China, each of which graduates classes smaller than 200,. Yet the number of Christian converts has grown by millions. Returnees also find pastors are not friendly or give personal attention to them. We pray that there will be mature believers who will take the initiatives of reaching out to these young believers, building friendship and even taking them under their wings.
Sunday
When young Christian converts first return to China after graduation, they often feel confused and frustrated- leading them to feel unfulfilled in their spiritual lives. Many churches abroad give special attention on the students, but very few churches in China have the vision or energy to nurture them. We pray for spiritual home for all young believers, not only to worship but also to be involved, to learn, to be mentored and to serve.
Monday
There are ministries try to offer student converts a sense of community, with small group gatherings every other week and occasional group events. They dodge censorship by avoid avoid using words such as “church” or “prayer” on social media. There are many ways to help believers receive spiritual contents and provide a sense of community. We pray that all these tools can be effectively utilized to keep believers connected and encouraged, whether they are new or mature Christians.


星期二
回國的年輕信徒往往會覺得國內的教會與國外的大大不同,甚至因不同的敬拜方式和神學觀點而困擾。不少中國城市教會因標榜所謂的成功神學而聞名,強調神的祝福一定是眼目能見的富裕和健康。我們求主幫助新信徒能認識真理,不貪戀世俗的功利,有飢渴慕義的心,願意在神的話上下功夫,也明白背起十字架跟隨主的代價。
星期三
每個教會都有自己的文化,海外教會的牧會形式和本土教會的更是有很多差異,這也是中國教會往往留不住海歸的原因。我們求主感動海外教會預備海歸信徒們,教導他們以廣闊的心懷接納不同文化但信仰純正的教會,又幫助國內教會懂得如何牧養和關心懷這批在國外信主的人,讓他們靈命繼續得到餵養和進深。
星期四
許多在海外信主回國的人,覺得國內教會不及國外教會那樣溫暖。這可能是過去教會在迫害中產生的後遺症,造成對外來人存謹慎和防備的態度。求主幫助新到教會的年輕信徒,都能感受屬靈家庭的溫暖。願主興起各個教會中弟兄姐妹願意熱絡接待新來的年輕人, 幫助他們快快地融入教會,靈命也得到造就。
星期五
國內教會敬拜的風格與國外極大不同,這些差異會使回國年輕信徒覺得格格不入。當他們感覺不能融入,他們就停止聚會或是放棄團契生活。如要國外信主的人回國後能繼續信仰,就必須盡快找到屬靈的家。求主恩待這些剛信主的新肢體,盡快找到合適的教會,免得漸漸地遠離神。也求主感動教會肢體願意接納、關懷新信徒,邀請他們參加團契和各項活動。
星期六
中國教會的牧者和會眾的比例極為懸殊,中國公開的神學院和聖經學校少於二十五家,每間每年的畢業生小於二百人。根據政府的數據,基督教徒的數量近年增長了數百萬,這只是保守的統計。求主興起愛主的弟兄姐妹關心回國的年輕人,主動與他們建立友誼,成為他們代禱守望者。
星期日
當年輕的基督徒畢業回到中國,他們經常感到困惑和沮喪,信仰生活失去喜樂。許多國外教會很著重關注學生的事工,但是在中國卻很少有教會有此遠見或力量來栽培年輕人。求主幫助歸國的年輕信徒明白教會不僅是一個敬拜的地方,亦是一個屬靈的家,個人願意學習因著神的心意而委身服事,使教會能建立起來。
星期一
有些教會嘗試為學生設計不同的聚會,隔週有小組聚會和活動。他們避免在社交媒體上使用「教會」或「禱告」等字眼,以躲避監視。新科技能幫助信徒得著屬靈的餵養,也能給予一些群體歸屬感。求主藉著這些新科技,來幫助主內肢體(不論是初信或是信主已久的)能有更緊密的連繫和相互的支持和鼓勵。

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Prayer Request 5/1 - 5/7

Tuesday
The Communist Youth League served as the cradle for generations of Chinese leaders, who rose through it into the high ranks of the party. In China the youth are often the weakest link, if not the missing piece in church ministry. We ​pray that the leaders in the church will redouble their efforts to prepare their young people spiritually and to know the Lord deeply as they invariably are bogged down with school work and the pressure of examinations.
Wednesday
The Communist Youth League in China has been stained by corruption and the criticism​ that it has fallen out of touch with the youthful idealism it was supposed to inspire. Historically, many pastors in China feel distant or intimidated by young and highly educated members in their churches. We pray for more pastors who can teach Biblical truth in a more modern and fresh fashion, making God's Word relevant for young people rather than using only the old-fashioned preaching method. ​
Thursday
The Communist Youth League traces its inception to the formation of the Chinese Communist Party in the early 1920s, to serve as a bridge to students, young workers, and other potential inductees into the Communist revolution. Churches in China cannot continue to grow youth and young adult ministries as in the past. We pray more pastors and churches will not simply complain about the young people and their culture but will minister to and bless the younger believers as Jesus did.​
Friday
The Youth League of China has about 87.5 million members, many of them ​are ​university students who hope to eventually join the party. The maximum age is about 28 for The Youth League. We praise God for the addition of many college students to churches in the cities and we pray that​ churches will intentionally reach out to more students, especially those churches that are situated near campuses or where young people congregate.
Saturday
In the late 1970's after the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party leaders in China knew that age would soon catch up with them and made plans to fill the talent gap.​ ​Hence, the Youth League became an important training ground for nurturing potential successors. Churches need to intentionally raise up​ younger leaders, too . We pray for more pastors who will not merely exercise their authority and exclude the younger leaders, but will mentor such pastors and share the recognition with them.
Sunday
One of the criticisms of The Youth League has been that they are​ “spending too much time sitting in an office trying to get promoted without any practical experience.” We pray for ​ the ​youth ministry of churches in China, many of them ​have ​never heard ​about ​the availability of training, much less the idea and concept of youth ministry. We pray for those who provide and receive the training, we too pray ​that their churches will soon see the benefit and blessing of such ministry.
Monday
In Southwest China, Bible training classes are the only way to provide the badly needed pastors for the ethnic minorities there even though these churches are usually poor, culturally and traditionally distinct from Han Chinese churches, and unable to support their shepherds. We pray for the need for church workers for ethnic minorities in China, specifically for the need of teachers to train pastors and financial support for their pastors.


星期二
共青團曾是好幾代中國領導人的搖籃,這些年輕黨員通過在共青團內擔任職位晉陞到黨的高層。在中國教會事工中,青年事工往往是最薄弱的一環,甚至在一些教會裡根本不存在。我們求主幫助教會領袖們加倍努力牧養年輕人,好叫年輕信徒更深認識神,免得他們受課業學習和升學壓力而離開教會。
星期三
近些年來,共青團受到腐敗風氣的牽連,還有人批評共青團脫離群眾,未起到其本該在年輕人中啟發理想主義的作用。老一代的中國傳道人和年輕高知識的信徒間的確也有很大的挑戰。我們求主預備更多牧者,能用現代的表達方式靈巧地傳遞聖經真理,也能將神的話語生活化,幫助年輕一代信徒將神的道應用在生活當中。
星期四
共青團的開端可追溯至1920年代中國共產黨的成立之初,它為學生、青年工人,以及其他可能參加共產主義革命的人起了橋樑作用。 中國的教會不能像過去,繼續忽視青少年和青年事工。求主興起更多的牧者和教會,不是單單抱怨年輕人和他們的文化,而是要如同主耶穌,走入幼小和年輕人群中服事他們。
星期五
中國共青團擁有8750萬團員,其中許多是希望最終加入共產黨的大學生,一般團員的最高年齡大約是28歲。我們為近年教會當中(尤其是城市教會中)添加了不少大學生感恩。求主興起更多教會積極又有策略地關懷大學生的靈命需要,特別是那些在大學附近或是年輕人衆多的社區裡。
星期六
1970年代後期,文化大革命結束了,共產黨面臨人才缺口。當時的元老知道,年齡不饒人,所以制定了培育潛在接班人的計劃,共青團就成了一個重要的培訓基地。中國教會實在需要刻意栽培年輕一代的領袖。我們為教會牧者和領袖們禱告,輔導建造年輕領袖,不緊緊抓住權力,願意他們分享事奉的經歷,以生命影響生命。
星期日
共青團被人批評之一是,團領導們花很多時間坐辦公室,為了讓自己得到晉陞,而不是去獲得任何實地的實踐經驗。我們為中國教會的青年事工的重要和急迫性祈禱,至今仍有很多教會還沒這樣的理念和培訓。我們為那些提供和接受培訓的人禱告,願神大大使用他們,也幫助他們的教會能看到年輕一代得蒙神的祝福,將神的道薪火相傳。
星期一
在中國西南地區,少數民族的神學班是培訓附近教會的傳道人。少數族群教會的奉獻通常都不足,弟兄姊妹較沒有供應傳道人的能力,傳道人須自給自足;而信仰上,少數族群仍須突破文化與傳統的限制。我們在禱告中記念少數民族教會工人的嚴重短缺,求主為他們預備合適的培訓老師和供應牧者的經濟需要。