Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Prayer Request 6/11 - 6/17

Tuesday
The development of rural churches in China is very different. In the North, churches are very prevalent while in the South they are relatively scarce because of the cultural differences. We pray that believers in both regions will have a firm foundation built on God's Word and a deep commitment to Him, that they will grow daily in their faith to be spiritually mature people and be fit for the Master's service, not live as babies in Christ.
Wednesday
Sociologists say, "Chinese peasants choose a religion or belief that meets their daily needs and helps them in what they lack in life and relationship. Christianity meets their needs." We pray specifically for pastors who are serving in the rural churches who are trying their best to care for the emotional and spiritual needs of their flocks, despite the fact that there are not enough of these pastors and the needs are very great.
Thursday
When Christian churches started in villages in China, the early converts were fellow villagers, neighbors, relatives, and friends. What was taught to converts were the basic truths of God Who brings healing and comforts. Only God is eternal and everything else is transient. And, God has predestined all things but prayers bring about salvation. In the past, there were many miraculous signs and wonders among the rural churches in China. We continue to pray for the mighty works of the Holy Spirit and at the same time a real hunger for His Word and growing deeper in the foundation of faith.
Friday
Ancestral worship and the passing on of the family name are the beliefs that matter the most to the peasants in the southern part of China, where ancestral memorial pagodas and elaborate graves dot the landscape. These values and practices are deeply entrenched and are very difficult to change. Most of the churches in southern China are in the cities. We pray that urban churches will redouble their evangelistic efforts to the villages near them, and not simply give up because of resistance and rejections.
Saturday
Farmers in southern China rejected Christianity because it preached against ancestral worship and regarded their ancestors as devils, claiming the power of the Lord Jesus would satisfy all their needs. Believers in the city often overlook and ignore the fact that there are so many villages around them where people have not heard of Jesus Christ. We pray that God will always remind us that we cannot simply ignore our own "Samaria". We also pray that all Chinese believers can give good explanations of why we discourage the practice of ancestral worship.
Sunday
Success theology had a great impact on Chinese churches. It offered a gospel stripped of the Cross and sufferings, substituted it with the false promises of easy lives, healings on demand, a good university, a plum job, and prosperity. Churches in China face the temptations of the prosperity gospel. We pray that our Lord will preserve our pure love for Him, not just for the material riches. And, that we will persist in our love for the Lord in all adversities and testings. We should not ask only for blessings, but love the one whom all blessings flow.
Monday
No matter how many believers there are in China today, less than five percent of the population is Christian. There are 2,300 provincial and municipal cities in China, and only one-third of them have any churches. In the western part of China, there are very few Christians. We pray for churches in China to stand firm in a time of persecution. And, to have an even greater faith in the Lord in the harsher days ahead, knowing His return is coming, just as the night is the darkest before the dawn.

星期二
農村家庭教會在南北兩地的發展並不均衡,北方農村家庭教會盛行,南方卻相對緩濟不前,原因在於文化上的差異。社會學家認為,北方農民選擇基督教,是因為“耶穌厲害”,把耶穌叫做「主」。我們來為兩地信徒禱告,求神幫助大家對神的認識和委身都是有根有基,信心日漸漸成長,不停留作屬靈的嬰孩,能長大成人,成為神能使用的器皿。
星期三
社會學家認為,「農民選擇某種宗教或信仰形式,目的是滿足日常生活所需,彌補他們在生活、人際關係的缺乏,而基督教正好滿足到他們。」我們為牧者能夠盡全力地關心信徒身、心、靈的需要禱告,雖然服事人手有限,資源亦缺乏,但仍按著主交託的,忠心服事,讓眾人得益,叫神得榮。
星期四
當家庭教會在中國農村裡建立起來,傳道者都是本村本族的人,甚至是鄰居和親朋好友。他們大多知道各人狀況,容易解答農民的困惑,撫慰他們受傷的心靈。例如告訴農民:世間一切都是虛幻,只有神是永恆的;或者生活現況是神安排的,只要禱告,神就會拯救。過去農村教會有許多的神跡奇事,求主繼續作工,也願信衆不是衹是追求神蹟奇事,而是在神話語上扎根,讓信仰有根有基。
星期五
祖先崇拜和傳宗接代,是中國南方農民最主要的信仰。這個信仰涉及到農民活著的意義,較為根深蒂固及很難改變。在南方農村,我們依然可以看到高大的宗祠和鱗次櫛比的祖墳山,這些都是農民信仰的載體。南方的教會大多數都在城裡,我們禱告教會不因向農村傳福音所遇的阻攔和抵制而灰心,求神繼續引領衆信徒,打開農村福音大門,搶救靈魂。
星期六
當基督教徒進村傳教,南方的農民多表厭惡,覺得基督教排斥他們的祖先,將祖先視為「魔鬼」。即使傳道人宣稱主耶穌的力量偉大,能滿足農民的需求,農民也不會為了「小利」而放棄祖先信仰。城市的信徒常在傳福音上省略離他們不遠的農村,而到遠處去宣教。求主賜我們智慧,對執著祖先崇拜的人有清楚而合理的解釋,不忽略身邊的「撒瑪利亞」。
星期日
成功神學對中國教會影響很大。它是抽去十字架的福音,宣稱信主後就不會遇到困難和身體疾病,考上好的大學、工作順利和賺大錢。當今教會面臨許多壓力,求主保守我們對祂純全專一的愛,願意明白祂的心意。深信神允許各樣逆境的發生,正是考驗、建造就我們靈命,願我們不是只愛主的祝福,而是更愛賜福的主。
星期一
中國至今仍然少於5個百分點是基督徒。2300個省市級的城市,卻只有三分之一的城市有可看見的聚會點。至於中國的西部地區,基督徒就更少了。我們禱告:為中國教會在日益增強的逼迫中能站立得穩,求主堅固衆信徒在越艱難的日子裡,信心越增強,面對黎明之前的黑暗,知道主回來的日子近了,越充滿堅定的盼望。

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Prayer Request 6/4 - 6/10

Tuesday
China's top long-term problem is a housing bubble--the soaring prices for homes that made landlords rich but shattered the dreams of forming a family for young people. The increase in the price of houses has gone on for forty-four months and is the strongest annual gain since July 2017. Young people in China now expect their parents to buy their first home for them which puts great strain and conflict on the family. We pray for the families that encounter this problem, that the Lord gives them wisdom and discernment and that this will not be a stumbling stone for good family relationships.
Wednesday
Seventy percent of China's "Millennial Generation" (22-37 years old) has a house which is the highest percentage in the world. However, in the first-tier cities of "Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen", many young people actually do not have their own houses. We pray specifically for the young believers in China that the Lord will give them faith and contentment in what they have. We pray, too, that they grow spiritually to maturity, especially in their relationship with their parents.
Thursday
In most cities in China, it is the price of the home that makes homeowners rich, but young people are priced out of ownership. Family spending is constrained by the heavy burden of the home mortgage payment, and the stagnant real estate market dampens the willingness of consumers to spend. Urban believers in China are more prosperous now and many own multiple homes. We pray that they will be faithful stewards of what the Lord has given them and a channel of blessing to their churches. “Charge the rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God,” (1Ti 6:17) 
Friday
Soaring prices put homes beyond the reach of the average citizen in China which hurts long-term growth prospects far more than the Sino-American trade war did. Even worse is the soaring price of homes in major Chinese cities which is due to the land policies of the local government which favors rich landlords. Believers and their pastors in China are inevitably affected by high home prices. We pray that God reminds us to focus on Him rather than things of this world and we pray, too for those pastors, that the Lord would be merciful to them and supply all their needs, especially their housing.
Saturday
Young parents in China plan every stage of education for their children, to get into the best kindergartens, primary schools, and even universities. They also start saving for their college education and career and even the future spouse, saving to buying a home and plan to babysit for the grandchildren. We pray for the believer parents to honor Jesus above their children, knowing it is their duty to raise children to know the Lord from a young age and walk in His path.
Sunday
In the ghost cities in China, there are luxury villas, skyscraper apartments, lakes, parks, and large-scale road networks, but the only thing missing is the residents. Vacant apartments belong to wealthy landlords who plan to sell them at a higher price one day. We pray that God gives each of us contentment, knowing ‘to whom much is given, much will be required’ (Luke 12:48) and that we will be willing to serve and to give joyfully. We also pray for each of us that we will strive to have “godliness with contentment which is great gain.” (1Ti 6:6)
Monday
A survey says that in Beijing forty percent of those younger than thirty purchased their home with money from their parents. About thirty percent of university graduates live in a space smaller than 215 square feet. Many newlyweds or cohabiting couples see living in Beijing as being there to work and do not plan to purchase an apartment. More and more young people have chosen to rent and have no plans to buy a house before marriage because they do not want to burden their parents. We pray that God will help young Christians to honor Him above all and seek His will in their lives, so they can serve the Lord together with their mates.

星期二
飆升的房價使地產商變得富裕,卻打破了年輕人組建家庭的夢想。2018年12月中國的房地產價格已連續44個月上漲,是自2017年7月以來最強勁的年度漲幅,房地産泡沫可能是當局在不久的將來需要面對的一大挑戰。現今許多年輕一代理所當然地期待父母能幫購第一棟房子,這也無形中造成兩代家庭之間許多張力和衝突。求主恩待有這類壓力的信徒家庭,賜給家長和年輕人滿有智慧處理,不要成為妨礙家人和睦關係的絆腳石。
星期三
有約七成中國「千禧一代」名下有房,比例高居全球首位。可是,在「北上廣深」這些一線城市,很多人其實是沒有自己的房子的。我們特別來為年輕一代信徒禱告,求主加添他們信心,無論在甚麼景況下都可以知足。求主幫助他們在靈命上不斷成長、成熟,尤其是能與父母擁有良好的關係和活出主的見證。
星期四
在中國一些城市,住房擁有者的大部分財富是和房屋密切掛鉤的,高不可攀的房價令年輕人只得望之興嘆。 債務負擔正在約束著衆多家庭的預算,同時房產價值停滯更令許多家庭的消費意願下降。雖然城市信徒遠比二、三十年前富裕得多,有些人甚至擁有多套房子。求主提醒我們不自高,不依靠無定的錢財 (提前六17),而是忠心做神的好管家,讓神赐的恩典成為教會的祝福。
星期五
飆升的房價已超出了一般中國人的能力範圍,這對國家經濟長期增長前景造成的傷害遠遠超過中美貿易戰。更糟糕的是,中國主要城市的房價飆升並非偶然,而是地方政府土地政策的產物,它有利於富裕的地產商卻苦了普羅大眾。信徒難免亦受房地產高企所影響,這也影響某些傳道人的生活。求主提醒我們,能更多定睛在我們的主身上。又為那些全職牧者禱告,求主憐憫並供應他們一切需用。
星期六
年輕父母會為孩子安排各種學前教育,設法上最好的幼兒園、小學,甚至要操心到孩子考大學。大學畢業後,要為孩子找工作。找好工作還要到處張羅找對像,找好對像要為孩子買房。有了第三代,還要替孩子承擔起養育孫子的責任。我們來為信徒家長禱告,叫他們以基督為主,將子女交在神手中,讓神來引領,也教導孩子從小認識主,走在神喜悅的路上。
星期日
豪華別墅、摩天公寓大樓、湖泊、公園和規模龐大的公路網路--這一切在中國的鬼城中可謂司空見慣,但其中唯獨缺少的就是居民。空置公寓多屬於富裕的房東,他們希望有一天能以更高的價格出售。求主賜給我們知足的心,並曉得神多給誰就向誰多取,好叫我們都願意投入事奉,甘心奉獻。我們也為屬神的人禱告,認定「敬虔加上知足便是大利」(提前六6)。
星期一
有調查數據顯示,在北京,40%的90後買房都是依靠父母資助,約三成90後大學畢業生居住面積不足20平方米。無數新婚夫妻或同居情侶都只是把北京作為他們奮鬥的據點,不願承擔房奴的壓力。 越來越多年輕人選擇了租房,並沒有打算買了房子再結婚,也不想給家庭增添負擔。 求主幫助年輕基督徒,知道如何將主放在生命的首位,尋求神在他們人生的計劃與引領,與配偶同心事奉主。

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Prayer Request 5/28 - 6/3

Tuesday
In recent months, Chinese censors have blurred the earlobes of some of China’s young male pop stars on television and the internet, lest their piercings and jewelry set too feminine an example for the country’s boys. The Communist Party is determined to intervene in even the smallest details of Chinese life there. We pray that Christian parents will intentionally set a spiritual example for their children at home and the Lord will give young believers a model of faith and sacrificial service in their churches to inspire them and to imitate.
Wednesday
Men’s earrings aren’t the only objectionable material that China’s censors are blurring. Soccer players wear long sleeves to cover their tattoos. Young women at a racy video game convention have been told to raise their necklines. Rappers can rhyme only about peace and harmony. Churches in China are generally conservative. We pray specifically for young believers so they will know the reasons why we should please the Lord in our appearance, not to imitate the world, but to be transformed from within. (Romans 12:2)
Thursday
The Communist Party is intensifying efforts to instill what it calls "core socialist values"--patriotism, harmony, and civility. Content that celebrates money worship hedonism or individualism is being removed more and more from public view. Material that was acceptable only a few years ago is no longer acceptable. We pray that believers in China will experience many blessings from the Lord, both spiritual and material and above all, give thanks for all that God has done for them.
Friday
China’s censorship is very extreme that it risks infantilizing the country’s culture. Unlike the American movies that have a rating system of PG and R, all contents in China must be suitable for a 12-year-old to see. We pray for wisdom for Chinese believers to know how to control what their children watch and help them to discern what content pleases the Lord and what leads to sin. Above all, we pray that Christian parents will never forget to tell Bible stories and teach God commandments to their children.
Saturday
In the 1980's, the Communist Party in China conducted a campaign against spiritual pollution, banning pop music, flared pants, permed hair, love stories and even kissing. The first movie kiss in modern China didn’t take place until the late 1980's. We pray that pastors in China will teach the Biblical view of culture and entertainment, rather than being legalistic or consider them as totally sinful.
Sunday
Two years ago, broadcasters and streamers began blurring tattoos in China. Male ponytails, blood and dead bodies corps are routinely blurred. There’s so much blurring on the Chinese internet that there’s a term for it: “heavily applied mosaics.” In a highly censored society, we pray for boldness and wisdom for believers and churches as they share the good news of Jesus Christ with their neighbors and friends and bear good fruit.
Monday
In a few years’ time, today’s youths will have seen less unfiltered media content than people even five years older. Without knowing what they don’t know, they’re likely to be more receptive to party doctrine and easier to govern. So many parents in China strive to give their children an advantage by providing early education. We pray that Christian parents will know the importance and the urgency of teaching their children to fear the Lord from a young age, so they will have wisdom and not stray away from the Lord.


星期二
近幾個月,審查機構在電視和互聯網上對一些年輕男明星的耳垂進行了模糊處理,以免他們給男孩樹立過於女性化的形象。在中國即使是生活中最小的細節,共產黨也會干預。求主提醒信徒家長,要為子女的屬靈情況守望,並要樹立屬靈的榜樣;又求主幫助年輕信徒在教會中活出美好的見證,成為有信心及樂意事奉的模範。
星期三
除了男人的耳環,電視審查機構還要求足球運動員要用長袖遮住紋身,而熱鬧電動遊戲活動內穿著遊戲服裝的女性,亦要拉高領口,說唱(饒舌)歌手只能用平和溫柔的節奏演唱。中國的教會相當保守,我們為年輕信徒祈求,知道為何要討主喜悅,不是守律法式的禁慾,而是心意更新而變化 (羅 12:2)。 
星期四
共產黨越來越努力地灌輸愛國主義、和諧與文明等所謂的「社會主義核心價值觀」,宣揚拜金主義、享樂主義或個人主義的內容越來越少。幾年前還可以接受的東西,現在難以過關了。我們為中國的信徒禱告,雖然不明白神所預備的道路,但仍願意全然降服於神的旨意,儘管落在百般試煉中,都能以為大喜樂。
星期五
中國政府的審查制度沒有像美國的行業機構般把電影分為PG(家長指引)或R(限制某年齡以上)類,換言之所有內容都必須適合12歲的兒童,這可能會導致電視或電影的內容深度不足。為中國信徒有智慧管制孩子們所看的內容禱告,求主幫助孩子能決心靠主過討神喜悅的生活,也知道要遠避罪惡,並提醒家長要將聖經真理及神的心意教導孩子。
星期六
上世紀80年代,共產黨的保守派人士曾發起「清除精神污染」的政治運動,主要針對文藝界、思想界,抗拒流行音樂、喇叭褲、燙髮、愛情故事、接吻等等。直到1990年,現代中國電影中才出現接吻的鏡頭。為中國的傳道人能以聖經原則來幫助和教導當今信徒面對的多元文化及娛樂禱告,而不是一味批判,或是以罪惡、教條主義來處理這些重要的議題。
星期日
兩年前,電視台和串流媒體紛紛開始對紋身進行模糊處理,血跡和屍體亦被模糊圖像遮蓋。去年,男性的馬尾辮也被模糊處理。中國網路有個專門的名詞,叫做「重度馬賽克」。世界的價值觀、審美觀、金錢觀等都不斷在變,惟有神永不改變。求主幫助信徒有屬天的價值觀,生活在日光之下,活出日光之上的人生。
星期一
今天的年輕一代少能看到未經審查的內容,比大他們五歲的人涉獵更少,他們在不自知的情況下,可能更容易接受黨的教條,屬於容易管理的一群。中國家長們都知道要提供子女早期的教育,就怕孩子輸在起跑線上。我們求主叫信徒家長知道教導他們的孩子從小敬畏神的重要性和緊迫性,好叫孩子得著真正的智慧,一生不偏離主。

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Prayer Request 5/14 - 5/20

Tuesday
Revolutionary language is ubiquitous among normal Chinese people. Economic sectors like industry and agriculture are referred to as “battlefronts.” (Most workplaces, in fact, are called “fronts.”) Continuing to work while sick is likened to “the wounded not leaving the front line.” Decades of revolutionary languages and the poison of the Cultural Revolution have left a definite attitude and tendency for believers in China, in being intolerant and readily attacking other believers who hold different views. We pray for humility for every believer and unity in churches, not as a slogan, but in earnest.
Wednesday
The use of military terms is so very common for the normal Chinese people. Many big enterprises talk about their marketing teams as “armies” or “troops,” and their sales territories as “battle zones.” And, at the ends of banquets, even today, mainland Chinese sometimes urge their friends to xiaomie (annihilate) the leftovers. Unfortunately, believers and other church leaders consider other believers who hold different interpretations or theological persuasions as enemies. We pray for true humility for all believers and teachers in China, knowing that all of our understanding of the Bible is imperfect and we can certainly learn from one another.
Thursday
The roots of this New Chinese Language naturally go back to Mao. In his 1942 Yan'an speech exhorting authors and artists to “serve the people,” Mao called for writers to use language people can understand. It is really difficult for believers to love one another because they see plenty of faults in others and there is the tendency to show contempt for others and be self-righteous. We pray that all of us will always heed what Jesus said, “remove the beam in our own eyes.”
Friday
As Mr. Xi called Marx "the greatest thinker in modern times" he was reasserting the dominance of the Communist Party over an increasingly complex society by renewing devotion to the founding tenets of Communism. We pray for churches in China as they face strong political headwinds and even much more restrictions. We too pray that young believers will stand firm in a time of great pressure and even oppositions from their superiors, especially the new converts in colleges throughout the land.
Saturday
China’s Communist Party sees the great importance in indoctrinating the students from a very young age. It has redoubled its effort to convert the young people who grew up absorbed in their smartphones rather than “The Communist Manifesto” or Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book.” We pray that believers who are parents will wake up to God's command to teach their children to know the Lord from the time they are small and that the parents will model the love of Jesus by teaching them to pray and not be ashamed of their faith.
Sunday
Many young people in China see Karl Marx as just an image of someone who always has a big beard, and Marxism is just a bunch of concepts or a few exam questions. They really have no understanding of Marx and Marxism. Unfortunately, the same things are true for children from Christian homes and their understanding of Jesus Christ. We pray that believer parents will see the importance of raising godly children and that it is solely their responsibility to teach and train up their children to fear the Lord and not the job of their churches.
Monday
Every child in China is taught and indoctrinated with Marxist-Leninist lessons, in addition to tons of nationalistic greatness and patriotism. China remains loyal to socialism, despite having as many as 800 or more billionaires, rising high-tech conglomerates and gaping inequalities. It is a daunting task for Christian parents to raise up children who will keep their faith in Jesus, in an educational system that is absolutely anti-God. We know Christian parenting is an act of faith and thus we pray for greater faith for all Christian parents.
星期二
革命性語言在普通中國人的話語中普遍存在,例如把工業、農業在內的一切行業都稱之為「戰線」(幾乎所有工作的場所都可以稱為陣地),帶病堅持工作通常稱為「輕傷不下火線」。革命性語言和文革也影響著中國信徒的觀念,不能容忍並愛攻擊與自己持不同觀點的信徒。求神賜我們眾人有謙卑,不要相咬相吞,竭力保守合一的心,而不僅喊喊口號。
星期三
不少中國人的會話中常使用軍用詞。一些大企業的銷售隊伍稱為「集團軍」、「師」、「團」;銷售區域稱為「戰區」,也常聽見在飯局快結束時讓朋友將剩餘的飯菜「消滅乾淨」的說詞。許多信徒間也常因神學觀點不同或宗派路線有別而彼此猜忌甚至相互攻擊。求神赦免我們分門別類的罪,教導我們要尊重並學習不同人的領受,總意是要尊主為大。
星期四
現今通行的新式中國語言的根源要回溯到毛澤東時代。在1942年延安講話上,毛澤東勸告作家和藝術家要“為人民服務”,要使用人民看得懂的語言。若信徒之間彼此只看到對方的錯誤,並且自以為義,就很難活出彼此相愛的見證。求神光照我們的內心,開我們的眼睛,常自省以看見自己眼中的樑木。
星期五
在現今日益複雜的社會中,國家主席習進平重申共產黨的主導地位,尤其重新致力於共產主義創建時的信條。他稱馬克思「是近代以來最偉大的思想家」。我們要恒切為中國教會禱告,在目前的逆境與限制中能繼續成長;也為年輕信徒,特別是大學生禱告,在層層壓力中仍能為主站立得穩。
星期六
共產黨知道潛移默化的重要性,讓孩子從小就接受共產主義的教導,也致力傳授馬克思主義給年輕一代,即使這代人是捧著手機而不是《共產黨宣言》或毛澤東的「小紅書」長大的。求神提醒父母要成為子女愛主和信心的榜樣,並教導孩子從小認識主,讀經禱告與神建立親密關係,勇敢為主作見證,不以他們的信心為恥。 
星期日
對某些年輕人而言,馬克思只是一個留著大鬍子的歷史人物,而馬克思主義也只是一些概念,或是幾道考題。他們實在不了解馬克思,更不懂馬克思主義。 遺憾的是,有些在基督教家庭成長的孩子對耶穌基督也一知半解。我們為信徒父母應認定教養敬虔後裔的重要禱告,並且曉得自己要教導和培養孩子敬畏神,而不是把這責任推卸給教會。
星期一
每個中國孩子都接受馬克思列寧主義的教導,還加上極多的民族偉大和愛國的灌輸。儘管中國有800多名億萬富翁、高科技企業集團,但在政治上仍然是個社會主義的國家。基督徒父母要想在無神教育體系中養育有基督信仰的孩子是何其艱鉅。他們需要主的恩典與扶持,更是信心的操練,因此我們為信徒家長守望 ,求神的施恩與憐憫與他們同在。 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Prayer Request 4/30 - 5/6

Tuesday
For decades, China harshly restricted the number of babies born. Now it is encouraging women to have more. It is a startling reversal for the Party, which only a short time ago imposed fines on those who had more than one child and compelled hundreds of millions to have abortions or undergo sterilization operations. Churches in China have not seriously focused on how to minister to the second generation, helping parents and the young ones to build faith in God. We pray that pastors will know how to help parents realize and accomplish the responsibility of raising a godly second generation.
Wednesday
Almost four years after easing its “one child” policy and allowing couples to have two children, the government has begun to acknowledge that its efforts to raise the country’s birth rate are faltering because parents are deciding against having more children. The young pastors in China are now mostly the product of the one-child policy. This means that in addition to the church work, they shoulder they have the responsibility to care for their parents. We pray for added strength for them as they take care of their parents and that they will be able to become a role model of honoring parents for their believers.
Thursday
The new campaign has raised the fear that China may go from one invasive extreme to another in getting women to have more children. Some provinces are already tightening access to abortion or making it more difficult to get divorced. Selective abortion is a major social problem in China. There is an overwhelming low view of birth and fetal lives, the same attitude is common among believers. However, pastors tend to ignore this issue. We pray that churches will be bold in teaching the Biblical view and help believers understand the heart of God about life.
Friday
In what appeared to be a trial balloon to test public sentiment, the provincial government in Shaanxi, in central China, called on Beijing to abolish all birth limits and let people have as many children as they want. This is so radical because most young Chinese have no siblings. We pray for the blessing of God for all the women believers in China, and that the Lord gives them good health and strength in their roles in marriage, work, and family. Above all, we pray they will experience His presence and be the source of great blessing to their households.
Saturday
Experts say the government has little choice but to encourage more births. China’s more than 1.4 billion population is aging quickly, with a smaller workforce left to support a growing elderly population that is living longer. Some provinces have already reported difficulties meeting pension payments. There are many old people in churches in China and this phenomenon will be even more pronounced in the future. We pray for vision and strategies to reach the younger generations and older folks in the community, and minister to those in churches.
Sunday
As in many countries, educated women in Chinese cities are postponing childbirth as they pursue careers. Young couples are also struggling with economic pressures, including rising housing and education costs. Young Chinese mothers often continue to work outside of their home after the birth of their children. Grandparents usually assume partially, if not totally the responsibility of caring for the children. We pray that believer parents will know helping their children to know God is the most important thing of raising children.
Monday
The “one child” policy also resulted in more boys than girls being born. Selective abortions, although illegal, were performed, reflecting the traditional preference for male children. Because of that and other factors, there are now simply fewer women to marry and bear children. The traditional preference for boy over girl babies is difficult to change. We pray that believers will have the Biblical view and value, knowing God gives boys and girls, without any preference. And, God desires the parents to manage the most precious gifts and blessing He graciously gives us.


星期二
數十年來,中國嚴格限制女性生育,現今卻鼓勵她們多生,這是一個驚人的轉變!前些年,絕大多數超生的父母還要被處以罰款,數億女性被迫墮胎或進行絕育手術。中國教會因著各種原因,沒有重視幫助信徒的第二代建立信仰。求主光照教會領袖體察主心意,又賜下智慧去協助信徒實踐神的託付,為神養育出敬虔愛主的第二代。
星期三
在放寬獨生子女政策(允許生二胎)近四年後,政府開始承認企圖提高出生率的努力不太成功,因為現今的父母不願意多要孩子。很多新一代傳道人都是獨生子女,除了為教會服事忙碌外,他們也要照顧家庭、關心父母。求主加添他們身心靈力量,也能盡上孝道,成為信徒孝敬父母的好榜樣。
星期四
為了增加人口和鼓勵生育,中國可能會從一個極端走向另一個極端。有一些省份已經收緊了對墮胎的控制,或者加大了離婚的難度。選擇性人工流產是中國社會的一大問題。這樣普遍對生育的輕率態度,甚至連信徒也存著相類的想法,牧者也不願多提這些的問題。我們為教會在這方面能秉持真理教導來禱告,願神幫助信徒認識神的心意,不要隨從世界的風俗,任意而行。
星期五
中國陝西省政府呼籲北京全面放開生育,讓人們想要多少孩子就生多少,這似乎是在試探公眾的態度。中國絕大多數的千禧一代都沒有兄弟姐妹。我們為神家中的眾姊妹禱告,求神賜她們身心靈健康,不論婚姻、工作、家庭和身為母親的角色都有神額外的恩典,天天經歷神的同在,成為身邊人的祝福。
星期六
面對老齡化問題,中國政府除了鼓勵生育外,似乎沒有其他更好的方法。中國是世界上人口最多的國家(超過十四億人口),目前正經歷快速老齡化的嚴峻挑戰,一些省份已難以支付養老金。中國教會的特色本來就是老人多,自然更快反映出社會的老化現象。我們為教會有異象禱告,不單能吸引年輕一代,更有美好策略向社區中年長人士傳福音,並鼓勵年長信徒多參與服事。
星期日
中國城市裡受過教育的女性在追求事業的同時,也推遲了生育孩子。不斷上漲的住房和教育成本等經濟壓力,更令年輕夫婦疲於應付。年輕中國母親們在孩子出生後,一般都會繼續在外工作,孩子的照顧仰賴祖父母,甚至把幼小的孩子完全交給他們照顧。求主幫助信徒家長,明白養育兒女最重要也最有價值的是幫助孩子從小認識神,一生蒙保守祝福。
星期一
獨生子女政策導致出生的男孩多於女孩。由於重男輕女的傳統,儘管選擇性墮胎不合法,一些父母仍會因胎兒的性別而墮胎。因著這重男輕女的態度,以及其他種種因素影響,現在願意結婚和生育的女性數量也減少了。中國傳統重男輕女的價值觀,不是一、兩代就能改變的。我們為信徒有合乎聖經真理的價值觀禱告,知道孩子,不論是男是女,都是神所賜的,是父母要立志為主照顧經營好的神聖產業。

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Prayer Request 4/23 - 4/29

Tuesday
In China, cocaine, ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine are all highly illegal, but despite waves of crackdown, the use of illegal drugs in China, new and older substances continues unabated. There are Christian ministries specifically helping the addicts with the love and power of Jesus Christ through proven programs, even as early as the 19th century. Although most churches do not know of their existence and what they do, we pray for them and their coworkers.
Wednesday
China keeps expanding its anti-drug campaigns which have included the high-profile arrest of celebrities like the son of the movie star Jackie Chan. However, some analysts question whether the police are winning a significant or lasting victory in what the authorities have called a “people’s war.” Churches have few resources to help people with any kind of addiction so they often say that addiction is due to "lack of faith in God to change". We pray for true salvation through Jesus Christ for all who are bound in the bondage of addiction as well as compassion for them by people in the churches.
Thursday
It is estimated that the actual number of addicts in China is roughly thirteen million and that seventy-five percent of them are younger than thirty-five with half of them suspected of using methamphetamine. Drug addicts may not attend churches, but their families do and they are too embarrassed to tell anyone about the people in their families who use drugs. We pray for God’s comfort and ever stronger faith in His healing for all who have a loved one who has a drug addiction. May the Lord hear and answer their prayers.
Friday
China has some of the world’s harshest drug laws: those caught trafficking large amounts of drugs can face the death penalty, the police send casual drug users to compulsory drug rehabilitation centers, which human rights groups say are little more than labor camps. Many who are involved in helping drug addiction are former addicts who were saved by God. We pray that they will continue to stay clean and depend on God as they help other addicts. “When you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
Saturday
Meth is popular because any illegal lab or factory in the mainland can make it. Some of the key ingredients in meth are derived from the herb ephedra, known as ma huang in Mandarin, a staple of traditional Chinese medicine used for treating colds and coughs. Addiction not only destroys a person but also his/her entire family. We pray that churches can be compassionate and come together to provide prayer and substantial support for the family. Often, the church finds it is too overwhelmed or does not even know how to help.
Sunday
Another reason for the low wages for pastors in China is Chinese pastors have always been poor so Christians wrongly assume “all pastors should be poor” and even believe Jesus loves the poor more than the rich or being poor makes one love God more. Churches and believers should do their part in providing for their shepherd. We pray that there will be believers in every church who would directly support their pastor, so their love for God’s servant is not merely in words but in action.
Monday
In China, heresy and cults from Europe and America have expanded a lot in the past decade. The main ones are the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormon that have gained a following among the intellectuals and the middle class. There are many Chinese believers who lack a foundation of faith and cannot discern the truth. They are readily attracted by the "enthusiasm" of heresy followers. We need to pray for the solid teaching of the truth in all churches and for a warning to believers of how to guard against and know the ploys cults use to steal the sheep.


星期二
在毒品問題全球化的大背景下,中國境外毒品滲透和國內製毒蔓延相互的影響,傳統毒品和新型毒品相互疊加,毒品網上傳播和網下蔓延相互交織,雖經政府大力嚴控,仍無法遏止新舊毒瘾患者的增勢。福音戒毒源遠流長,中國早在十九世紀已有福音戒毒;他們以神的愛,主耶穌全人拯救的大能,藉著有效的方式幫助吸毒者。求主繼續使用這些事工,成為許多人的祝福!
星期三
面對嚴峻複雜的毒品擴散形勢,中國政府著力構建全覆蓋毒品預防教育、全環節管控吸毒人員、全鏈條打擊毒品犯罪、全要素監管制毒物品、全方位監測毒情態勢、全球化禁毒國際合作的“六全”中國毒品治理體系。面對毒癮的問題,教會常是不知所措或責怪吸毒者沒有信心和毅力來戒除。我們為主耶穌的救恩速臨到受毒癮綑綁的人禱告,也求主使教會多有憐憫愛心來幫助他們。
星期四
2017年,全中國禁毒部門共破獲毒品刑事案件14萬起,打擊製販毒團集團5534個,抓獲毒品犯罪嫌疑人16.9萬名,繳獲各類毒品89.2噸,目前毒品形勢穩中可控。有些信徒的家人染有毒癮,他們心裡憂愁卻因要保護家人或感羞恥而不敢請弟兄姊妹代禱。求主親自安慰、醫治他們的家庭,願神垂聽、回應他們帶著眼淚的呼求。
星期五
中國的禁毒法律是世界上最嚴厲的:買賣毒品可被被判處死刑,並且警方有權將偶爾吸毒的人員送去強制戒毒中心。據人權組織稱,強制戒毒中心幾乎和勞改營無異。好些福音戒毒同工也曾經有毒癮,蒙神拯救後有負擔向吸毒者傳福音。求主保守加添他們力量,不再跌倒,而是如同《路加福音》22章32節「你回頭以後,要堅固你的弟兄」。
星期六
冰毒很流行,因為中國許多非法實驗室或工廠都能輕易製造出冰毒。冰毒的一些關鍵原料取自麻黃,這是治療感冒和咳嗽的主要中藥。任何的癮癖不單是影響自身,更是禍延全家。教會往往不知如何幫助有這方面難處的家庭,也不好意思主動介入。求主賜下智慧,心存憐憫,讓教會除了為吸毒者的家人齊心禱告外,更能實際施予援手。
星期日
老一代牧者一生愛主,曾面對許多艱苦的日子,往往造成信徒認為傳道人「就是應該如此」,甚至有人認為貧窮才能愛主,主耶穌會更愛窮人。求主興起教會中有奉獻心志的信徒,盡力照顧年長牧者,給予「一對一」的支援幫助,將關愛化為實際的行動,盡教會與信徒當盡的本份。
星期一
目前來自歐美的異端邪教在中國橫行。來自美國的異端邪教主要有「耶和華見證人」和「摩門教」,他們在知識分子和中產階級當中很有市場。有不少基督徒沒有扎實信仰根基,只有一股火熱,不能分辨真理,被異端的「熱心」吸引。求主幫助教會加強真理的教導,也裝備信徒如何防備和識破異端邪教的技倆。

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Prayer Request 4/2 - 4/8

Tuesday
China’s medical system is in a crisis. Waiting in long lines to see doctors is a requisite and patients must go to bigger cities to see a specialist. We pray for believers who have relatives, especially older parents with chronic illnesses. The Lord gives them physical, emotional and spiritual strength, and enables them to fulfill the responsibility of honoring their parents and enables them to share and witness His love.
Wednesday
The economic boom in the past thirty years has transformed China from a poor farming country into the world’s second-largest economy. It is true that the cradle-to-grave system of socialized medicine has contributed to the improved life expectancy and maternal mortality rates there. We praise God for the prosperity China has enjoyed and we pray for continuing growth of His body there, whether it is in good or bad time, knowing His hands are always with those who love Him.
Thursday
Wealthy Chinese have access to the best care in top hospitals with foreign doctors, but the rest of people are relegated to hospitals that are overcrowded. In the countryside, people must rely on village clinics or travel hundreds of kilometers to find an adequate hospital. Seeing a doctor in China requires money, time and also guanxi (connection). We pray for believers who are ill, that the Lord provides the treatment and care they need, adding faith and bringing about healing to them.
Friday
China does not have a functioning primary care system which is the first line of defense for illness and injury. There is only one general practitioner for every 6,666 Chinese. (The World Health Organization suggests an international standard of one for every 1,500 to 2,000 people) China has a shortage of pastors, especially those who can serve full-time and care effectively for the spiritual health of their believers. We pray that God will raise up more who are retired and spiritually mature, to provide guidance, advice and marital counseling, especially for the younger believers.
Saturday
In China, people will rush to a big hospital and demand to be seen by a specialist, instead of going to a clinic or a doctor, even for a minor illness like a fever or a headache. Last winter, flu-stricken patients packed and camped out overnight in the corridors of several Beijing hospitals. Chinese believers also believe that famous oversea preachers are not only more spiritual but also better speakers than their own. We pray that all believers will stop comparing their shepherds with others, but rather will start to appreciate and honor their own pastors.
Sunday
In China, hospitals are always understaffed and inundated with patients. Medical specialists are overworked and often see two hundred patients daily. Often, frustrated patients resort to violence and assault the medical personnel, which is infamously called: “yi nao,” or “medical disturbance.” Younger Chinese pastors often feel insecure or inferior because they lack the spiritual depth and the sacrifice of their predecessors. They see themselves as less gifted than the famous preachers abroad. May the Lord comfort all who serve Him faithfully, grant them a deep sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge that God is pleased with them.
Monday
The shortage of doctors is an urgent problem for the Chinese government as it grapples with the mounting health problems of its vast population. Heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and chronic lung disease account for eighty percent of deaths in China. We lift up all believers with chronic illnesses, that the Lord gives them faith and joy as they face difficulties daily, grants them the strength and health they need, and even more, that they will become prayer warriors for churches under persecution.


星期二
到醫院診治排大隊是司空見慣之事,且要到大城市才有專科醫生,這是中國醫療制度陷入危機的徵兆。我們要為家中有長病患者的信徒禱告,特別是有年老的父母需要照顧。求主加添他們身、心、靈力量,在忙碌生活中能盡上孝道,更能分享主,見證神的愛。
星期三
過去三十年經濟迅速增長,把一個貧窮的農業國變成世界第二大經濟體。從搖籃到墳墓的社會主義醫療制度提高了預期壽命,降低了孕產婦死亡率。現今許多中國人已不用為基本生活擔憂,求主賜他們願意尋求生命終極意義的心,以致能找到愛他們的主。我們也為主的身體能在新宗教政策下繼續成長禱告,不論是順境與逆境,都知道神與祂所愛的人同在。
星期四
在中國,只有富人才可以到有外國醫生註診的頂級醫院接受最好的醫療服務,大多數人只能去人滿為患的醫院求診。在農村,人們必須依靠鄉村診所,或跋涉數百公里尋到最近的醫療設施診治。中國人看病,不單要花錢、花時間,更要拉關係。我們來為病中的信徒禱告,求主為他們預備及時和適切的治療,尤其要加添他們的信心,深信神的信實無變,無論健康或患病,主自己都有美意。
星期五
中國沒有一個有效的初級保健系統,作為對疾病和受傷的第一道防線。在中國每6666人才有一名全科醫生,而國際標準是每1500至2000人就有一名。中國教會普遍缺少足夠的全職牧者,無法全面關心信徒們的屬靈情況。我們求主興起更多退休或靈命成熟的信徒,能給予年輕信徒生活指導,尤其是關心他們的婚姻,提供指導和分享經驗。
星期六
有些中國人患病時不是先到社區診所看病,而是迫不及待地到大醫院去看專家(即使是發燒頭痛這種小病)。去年冬天,流感患者曾在北京幾家大醫院的走廊裡蓋著毯子過夜。中國信徒也認為外國的牧者更屬靈,講道更有力,總是比自己的牧者好得多。求主幫助信徒,不將自己的牧者與別人來作比較,而是願意更多關心他們,為他們擺上禱告。
星期日
醫院人手不足,病房人滿為患。專科醫生的工作量過大,每天要診治超過二百個病人。病人感到懊惱,甚至訴諸暴力。在中國,攻擊醫生的行為非常普遍,常常出現所謂的「醫鬧」,醫患關係惡劣。有些中國傳道人相當自卑,覺得自己比不上老一輩牧者的犧牲、屬靈,也比不上外國名牧的才華。求主校正祂僕人眼光,只要忠心做討主喜悅的事,神必將事奉祂的能力賜下。我們記念這些牧人,在一切屬靈的智慧悟性上,滿心知道神的旨意。
星期一
中國政府正努力解決龐大人口日益嚴重的健康問題,增聘醫生刻不容緩。心臟病、中風、糖尿病和慢性肺病的死亡佔中國死亡率達80%。我們為長期疾患信徒禱告,求主賜他們喜樂的心,加添所需要的力量,使他們能用神所賜的安慰去安慰那遭同樣患處的人;也能成為禱告的勇士,為在苦難中的眾教會祈求。

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Prayer Request 3/26 - 4/1

Tuesday
A study shows that Chinese migrant workers who moved from villages to cities were rewarded with higher incomes but they actually ended up less happy than the people they left behind. Migrant believers have their own spiritual issues, they are so busy working and earning a living to support their families back in the village. We pray that believers would have faith and trust in God, and honor Him above all things. And they will also be able to overcome the temptation of living alone and away from their families.
Wednesday
Reasons may be complicated as to why migrants are not happy. Some reasons are unrealistic expectations, unfulfilled aspirations, insecure jobs, living in a neighborhood where everyone is wealthier. The true answer may be all of the above. Many migrants who are believers, although they may have the Bible knowledge but lack personal spiritual discipline. We pray that more rural churches will intentionally equip young people to know the lure of temptation by preparing them to live in the city.
Thursday
In China, the average income of rural-urban migrants was nearly 2 1/2 times higher than that of rural residents. Permanent residents of cities, with an urban residence registration or hukuo are wealthier than village people. It is difficult to estimate how many rural believers stopped attending church in cities where they live. We pray that God raises up people who will minister to them and bring them back to fellowship with God.
Friday
According to a study called “Happiness Study”, the happiest group of people is the people who had stayed behind in the villages, followed by Urban-born Chinese. Migrants in the cities are the least happy people in China. Urbanization and the massive migration from villages to cities in China will continue in the near future. We pray that church leaders will have the vision, urgency, and strategies in place to minister accordingly, especially to the massive number of migrants who are lonely and discontent.
Saturday
Migrants are the least happy people in China, partly because of economic and social discrimination. People from rural families have a rural residence registration or hukou, that can’t be altered even if they move to the cities, thus they are unable to enjoy many social benefits available to the city residents. It is very true that believers with the rural background cannot fit into urban churches well, their clothing, accents, and demeanors are drastically different. We pray that all believers will learn to accept and love people who are different and see how we all strive to conform to His likeness.
Sunday
Under the Communist rule in China, the country has been divided by what is sometimes known as an “invisible Great Wall” - the great divide of the urban versus the rural, and the poor versus the wealthy. We pray that church leaders would have vision and strategy to minister to the migrant believers in China's second and third tiered cities where most of the migrants in the near future will be moving to.
Monday
If people in China migrate to the cities, it is often much harder to access jobs, housing, education, and healthcare there for anyone with a rural hukou. Many are forced to leave their children behind in the villages, to be brought up by grandparents. It may be another generation before rural believers can be integrated into urban churches. We pray that city believers will be more accepting, putting aside their prejudices and even disdain toward their fellow believers from the villages.


星期二
據一項研究顯示,農民工在城市雖然得到更高的收入,但是卻比留在農村的人感覺生活不幸福和不滿意。信主的農民工有很多靈命上的挑戰。在城市裡,他們為口奔馳,還要在經濟上支持留在農村的家人。我們為他們能對神持守信心,學習仰望交託主禱告。求聖靈指教、引導他們,常常連於主,將主放在首位,也保守他們在遠離家人孤單自處的日子裡,不落入各樣的試探中。
星期三
從農村移居到城市的人感到不幸福的原因很複雜,其中可能因為期望落空、抱負實現無望、工作不穩定,自身對比於富裕社區内的高收入隣居等等;真正答案可能是以上因素均有。許多基督徒農民工雖然有些聖經知識,但靈命卻幼嫩。我們禱會農村教會多著重教導年輕信徒如何勝過城市的誘惑,幫助他們到城市打工之前就有心裡和靈命的好準備。
星期四
中國城鄉民工的平均收入高於農村居民接近2.5倍。擁有城市居住登記或戶口的城市永久居民遠比農村居民的生活富裕得多。目前到底多少農民工信徒到了城裡不再參加教會聚會?數目難以估計。我們求主興起關心民工的信徒,願意幫助他們在城市裡繼續持守信仰,結伴同走天路。
星期五
根據一項名為「快樂研究」的資料顯示,農村居民最幸福,其次是城市出生的人,而從農村移居到城市的人是最感受不到幸福的一群。中國的城市化正不斷加速,求主賜教會領袖有異象來牧養這一大批遷徙而至的農民,把握機會給正值感到孤單無援的人群,適時介紹天父上帝的愛、主耶穌無價的救恩。
星期六
離鄉別井到其他省會工作的人最感到不幸福,部分原因可能是面臨生活環境巨大轉變、經濟壓力和社會歧視。具有農村背景的信徒不容易融入城市教會,他們的服裝、口音和氣質都與城巿人截然不同。求神幫助神的兒女能在主的愛裡,學習接納和愛護與自己不同的人,跟隨主的腳蹤行,活出主的樣式。
星期日
共產主義領導的中國,似乎被城與郊、貧與富等等一道道「無形的長城」分裂了。求神賜教會領袖對中國二線和三線農民工的福音需要有負擔、有所因應。因為在不久的將來,這些城市將會迎來大批來自農村的居民進駐,大家應如何裝備好自己為主的國度使命擺上,收穫發白的庄稼,滿足神的期許。
星期一
農民工在城市越來越難就業,因戶口仍在農村,不能享有城巿的住房、教育和醫療保健等福利;許多人都被迫將孩子留在農村,由祖父母撫養,在農民工融入城市教會之前,這些兒童又將成新一世代了。我們為「留守兒童」禱告,求神額外施恩憐憫,在沒父母直接照顧下,仍能身心健康成長;也有機會認識福音,早得神的慈愛和恩典。也求神挪去城市信徒的偏狹和自傲,以恩慈接納從他鄉來的主内肢體。

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Prayer Request 3/19 - 3/25


Tuesday
China is facing its most precipitous decline in population in decades. China’s notorious “one child” policy may have achieved its original aim of slowing population growth, it has also created new challenges for the government. Young Chinese couples who are predominantly one-child themselves are not interested in having more children. We pray that Christian parents will see children are gifts from the Lord and know that it is more than providing education but also teach children to know the Lord from a small age.
Wednesday
China raised the limit to two children for all families in 2016, in hopes of encouraging a baby boom, but it did not work. A decline in the birth rate and an increase in life expectancy means there will soon be too few workers. Aging of pastors and church members, in general, is an obvious trend too. We need to pray for the Lord of the harvest to provide more workers for His field, who effectively minister to the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of seniors in church.
Thursday
The birth rate in China went up slightly after the relaxation of the one-child policy but continued to fall again in 2017, with 17.2 million babies born compared to 17.9 in 2016. Although the number of families having a second child rose, the overall number of births continued to drop. Many young Chinese couples consider having children as expensive and troublesome. We pray for Christian families that they will see raising children to love the Lord is the most blessed and rewarding accomplishment of their lives and enjoy the fruit of their labors.
Friday
In China, the total number of births for 2018 could fall to as low as 15 million. The fertility rate required to maintain population levels is 2.1 children per woman, a figure known as “replacement level fertility.” Let us pray for the children's ministries in China. It is always God’s desire that parents shoulder the responsibility of raising up godly children for Him. We pray for vision and strategies for church leaders as they work out ways to provide worship for the entire family under the given restrictions.
Saturday
China’s fertility rate has officially fallen to 1.6 children per woman, but even that number is disputed. As in other countries, there are myriad reasons for the declining birth rate, including rising prosperity and new opportunities for women to work outside of the home. Couples who are both the only child have a heavier burden in caring the elderly parents of both sides. We pray that all believers will fulfill their responsibility of honoring their parents, supporting them financially and spiritually, so they would also be blessed by the Lord.
Sunday
China’s economic expansion has created a society where many young couples now struggle with economic pressures, including rising education and housing costs, making it difficult to have even one child, let alone two. Let us pray for Christian parents and grandparents who will pledge themselves to be the spiritual pillars in their families, like Joshua who proclaimed, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”.
Monday
The most profound cause of the drop in birth rate in China is the “one child” policy. Fewer children were born, and because of cultural preferences for male offspring, fewer of them were girls. Most churches in China do not have many young believers. Young sisters are often pressured by their parents to marry earlier and often with non-believers. We ask the Lord to give them the very best marriage partners and provide them mature elders in the church who would care and minister to them.
  星期二
中國正面臨數十年來最急劇的人口下降情況。雖然過去的「一胎」政策已經實現了其放緩人口增長的目標,但是也給政府帶來了新的挑戰。一般年輕夫婦自己就是獨生的一代,認為養育孩子的代價太大,沒有興趣多生孩子。但願基督徒夫婦能看見孩子是神賜的產業,也明白教養子女不只是「教育」、「養育」,更是要付代價讓兒女從小認識神,培育出敬虔的後裔。
星期三
政府抱著引發嬰兒潮的希望,在2016年把家庭生育孩子的上限提高到兩個。事隔兩年多,暫未見成效,出生率仍然偏低,再加上預期人口壽命延長,意味著勞動人口將劇減。中國牧者和信徒的老齡化也是一個明顯的趨勢。我們求莊稼的主差派更多工人收割果實,也能供應教會中越來越多的老齡信徒的需要。
星期四
中國自2016年起可生第二胎後,出生率有短暫上升,但到2017年再度下降,從2016年的1790萬下降到2017年的1720萬。儘管生二胎的家庭數量有所上升,但總體出生率繼續下降。許多中國年輕夫婦認為生養孩子既昂貴又麻煩。我們為信徒家庭禱告,求主幫助他們體會養育孩子一生愛主,是他們最蒙福和最有價值的事情,也能享受辛苦的成果。
星期五
中國2018年的出生嬰兒總數可能降至1500萬。若要維持人口水平,每個婦女需生育2.1個子女,這個數字被稱為「更替生育率」。隨著社會的富裕和老齡化,許多發達國家的生育率都下降。神的心意清楚表明父母有為神養育敬虔後裔的責任。我們為中國教會的兒童事工祈求,求神賜教會領袖有異象和策略,在現今種種的限制中,讓孩童能有機會接觸信仰,與全家一同敬拜神。
星期六
官方公佈的生育率已降至每位婦女生育1.6個孩子,有專家們認為這個估計算還是偏高了。與其他國家一樣,生育率下降的原因有很多,包括富裕程度不斷增長,以及女性更多外出工作的新機會。夫妻若同是獨生子女,會有更沉重的負擔,因要贍養雙方的年老父母。我們為信徒在孝敬父母上有美好的見證禱告,不單單是盡力供養,也能關心他們的靈命,與他們分享福音的好處,得着屬天的福氣。
星期日
中國的經濟發展造就了這樣一種社會:許多年輕夫婦現在生活在巨大的經濟壓力之下,教育和住房等生活成本上升,讓他們感到要一個孩子都有困難,更不用說要兩個了。我們為基督徒的父母和祖父母禱告,叫他們願意成為家族中的屬靈樑柱,多代人的祝福,如同約書亞宣稱;「至於我和我的家,我們必事奉耶和華。」
星期一
中國生育率下降的最深層原因是實行三十多年的「一胎」政策。這政策不僅導致少生了孩子,還在傳統偏好生男的情況下,做成男多女少的現象。教會中的年輕人本來就不多,加上父母親的催促與焦慮,姊妹們與未信者交往的可能性很高。我們特別為姊妹們禱告,求主將最好的賜給她們,也興起教會的長輩們來關心她們的身心靈健康。

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Prayer Request 3/12 - 3/18


Tuesday
In 1950, the legal age for marriage in China was 20 for men and 18 for women. At present, China has the oldest legal marriage age in the world, 22 years old for men and 20 years old for women. We pray for young believers that they will seek God's will and guidance in selecting a lifelong partner, and that they will commit this biggest decision in life to Him. We also pray for wisdom as they communicate Biblical principles to their unbelieving parents and that they will be able to overcome any opposition.
Wednesday
Marrying at a very young age and having children early is a common phenomenon in rural China and can be attributed to the local tradition, failure of the local officials to enforce the minimum marriage age, and the fact that guardians condone the practice of early marriage. Many challenges exist for the children's ministry in the rural churches, which include the low educational level and lack of parenting skills of the parents. We pray that God will help them to grasp the love of the Heavenly Father, the warmth of the church, and the knowledge of God’s plan for them early in the children’s lives.
Thursday
Beginning in 2016, the Chinese government forbid minors less than 16 years of age to be separated from their legal custodians and living alone. This was meant to curb the common problem of rural parents leaving their children behind to work in the cities, but the effort has not been effective at all. Many rural villagers leave their newborns and entrust them to the grandparents so they can work in the cities. May the Lord have mercy on all Christian parents, so we will not be found wanting in fulfilling our God-given responsibility of raising our children.
Friday
China’s leader, Xi famously said that “houses are built to be inhabited, not for speculation.” However, the feverish housing market continues unabated. Currently, almost twenty-two percent of China’s urban housing stock is unoccupied, leaving nearly fifty million empty homes. In China, it is quite common that urban Christians buy stocks and speculate on real estate. We pray that all believers will be good stewards of the money God gives us. May the Lord give each of us a heart of thanksgiving, always ready to honor Him above all things, and care more about the Kingdom of God and the need of the church.
Saturday
Housing speculation has troubled China’s leaders for years, as some cities and provinces tightened buying restrictions only to see money flooding into other areas. Rampant price gains also mean millions of people are shut out from the market, exacerbating inequality. Many Chinese are tied up in stocks or houses, and Christians are no exception. The Bible reminds us: "Godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Tim. 6:6). We pray that each of us would have the right attitude toward money and know how to be a good and faithful steward.
Sunday
Holiday homes and the empty dwellings of migrants seeking work elsewhere account for some of the unoccupied properties, but purchases for investment are a key factor in keeping the vacancy rate high. That’s despite curbs and official policies discouraging the purchase of multiple dwellings. In the past, house churches have rented their apartments for places of worship. Recently, landlords are canceling their leases due to pressure from the local police. We pray for wisdom as churches scramble to find alternative places for worship. May the Lord grant them much faith, passion, and boldness to share the gospel.
Monday
Experts have said, “There’s no other single country with such a high vacancy rate. If there should be any cracks emerge in the property market, the unoccupied homes would be offloaded and hit China like a flood.” Giving to the church reflects the faith of believers, especially in economic downturns. Often, church ministries are put on hold because the giving decreases. We pray for God's mercy so we all will focus on Him, the One who abundantly provides, rather than the fleeting wealth.

星期二
中國1950婚姻法規定婚齡為男二十歲,女十八歲。1980年修改婚姻法後,男不得早於二十二歲,女二十歲,是目前世界上法定結婚年齡最大的國家。我們為年輕信徒禱告,在選擇一生的伴侶上願意尋求神的旨意和帶領,慎重地交托給神。我們又為他們懂得如何向未信的父母溝通聖經的原則禱告,並能克服一些屬世的價值觀衝突,繼續和家人有和諧的關係。
星期三
在一些農村地區,長期存有早婚早育現象是不爭的事實。除因當地的習俗外,其中有基層治理失序,監護人失責等多層問題。農村教會的兒童事工有很多挑戰,例如家長教育水平偏低,也不懂得管教子女。我們為農村孩子禱告,願主幫助他們能領受天父的愛、教會的溫暖、從小認識主為他們捨命,並在他們身上有美好的計劃與帶領。
星期四
中國政府2016年立例,凡未滿十六歲者不得脫離監護單獨居住生活,目的是要解決農村留守兒童監管不到位問題,但收效甚微。許多農村村民生了孩子後就到城市打工,把子女托給祖父母養育,常年不相見。我們為農村年輕信徒在養育子女的神聖責任上不失職祈求。求主憐憫,也提醒我們盡上主所定規做家長的責任。
星期五
中國國家主席習近平曾公開說過:「房子是用來住的,不是用來炒的。」不過炒房熱潮似乎並沒有因而有任何降温。目前,中國房屋的空置率為22%(超過5分之1),全國空置房屋超過5千萬戶。不少城市信徒除了炒股票外,也炒房地產,這風氣相當普遍。求主幫助信徒做金錢的好管家。願信徒存著感恩的心,將主擺在首位,更多關心神的家和神國度的需要,而不是事奉瑪門。
星期六
多年來,炒房地產的問題一直困擾著中國的領導者。一些城市和省份收緊限購,可是這只是叫資金湧入其他地區。房價瘋狂上漲也意味著數百萬人無法購屋,造成嚴重財富不平現象。許多中國人的錢,都套在股票或房子上,連基督徒也不例外。聖經說:敬虔加上知足的心便是大利了(提前六6)。求主幫助我們在敬虔愛主上也是同樣的富足, 成為祂在地上忠心良善的好管家。
星期日
中國閒置空屋多,部分原因是是民眾購買度假別墅、以及移民工到外地工作造成的空房。但是,空屋子最主要的原因是被用來炒賣,儘管政府的政策是不鼓勵購買多套房子。家庭教會過去都是租房子為聚會,最近卻因著公安的壓力,屋主既不敢也不願意租給教會了。求主賜教會有應變的智慧,在艱難中緊緊依靠神,更火熱愛主,傳揚福音。
星期一
有專家警告,世上沒有一個國家像中國有如此高的空屋率,只要中國的房地產市場出現一點「裂痕」,那麼拋售潮將如洪水般衝擊中國。 在經濟壓力下,信徒若缺乏信心,金錢奉獻上很快就會反映出來。教會在經費不足下某些事工難免要停緩。求主恩待教會,専心注目在那豐盛供應我們的主,而不是不定的錢財。

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Prayer Request 3/5 - 3/11

Tuesday
As China looks for ways to shore up its domestic economy, the government cracks down on “daigou” (intermediate buyer) and the lowering of import duties to encourage consumers to make purchases at home rather than chasing lower prices abroad. We praise God for the highly-educated and higher-salaried young believers in China, especially among the urban churches in the past two decades. They have certainly injected much vibrancy, excitement and higher expectations into their churches. We pray for them to have a deeper sense of belonging and a willingness to serve.
Wednesday
The average age of luxury shoppers in China is 28, a majority of them have college degrees and are far better educated than their parents. More than 50 percent of luxury customers live in second- and third-tier cities like Tianjin and Dalian, where there are few premium malls. Young Chinese believers have the pressure of car and mortgage payment, plus children’s educational expense. We pray that they will be filled with the love of God and faith in Him, and grow spiritually. May the Lord also provide them older believers in their churches to be role models of love and faith for them.
Thursday
Chinese customers now are responsible for 32 percent of luxury goods worldwide, and it is expected to grow to 40 percent by 2024 and power 75 percent of the growth of the global market. Unsurprisingly, millennials, particularly educated women, will be the driving force. Chinese churches value the authority and hierarchy based on age, which frustrates and even disappoints many young believers. We pray for the correction of our attitude, especially for humility and the desire to seek a closer walk with Jesus for all young believers.
Friday
There is a new phenomenon among churches (including those in the rural area) in China, that is some young seminary graduates are unable to find a place to serve effectively. This is totally different than the shortage of the pastors of the past. We pray that churches will see this sad development, and leaders together find a way to rectify this huge waste, perhaps by allowing young pastors to lead a smaller congregation or creating ministry opportunities. We also pray that young preachers do not lose their first love and passion to serve God.
Saturday
In China, young believers are very busy and they need time alone with God, especially in this digital age where so much information bombards us constantly. These so-called Millenial believers need to have a transformed mindset, not just to seek an escape from the hectic schedule, but to prioritize their church commitment. We pray for God’s mercy in helping the young and new believers to grow in the knowledge of His Word and seriousness in obeying His commandments and seeking to please Him in their lives.
Sunday
It has been suggested that young people from different churches in the same city should gather together and hold some activities, not merely for socializing or match-making, but to give them a sense of community. We ask the Lord to prepare young pastors to shepherd young people, and to raise up more young people who have a better understanding of the Bible. We pray they are willing to influence their peers and even become the little shepherds among them, training them to be bold in sharing the gospel with their peers and even to lead others in fellowship.
Monday
The new generation of believers in China face a very different kind of pressure from the previous believers, these sources of stress are mostly from work pressure, children’s education and the tension with mothers-in-law. We pray for wisdom for church leaders, so they will have deep insight into the lives of young believers, and the determination to make Biblical teaching applicable and relevant to them, such as cohabitation, abortion, social values, homosexuality, online games and so on.


星期二
政府正設法提振國內經濟,打擊代購,並降低進口關稅以鼓勵消費者在國內完成購買,而不是到國外去尋求更低的價格,這些措施很可能收到成效。 過去十多年,一些中國城市教會開始有更多高知識、高薪水的年輕信徒加入。他們帶給教會活潑的生氣,也對教會有不同的期望。我們為年輕一代的信徒感謝神,也為他們有歸屬感,能更多參與服事來禱告。
星期三
中國奢侈品購買者的平均年齡是28歲,多數上過大學,比他們父母受的教育高得多。超過半數的奢侈品消費者居於天津、大連等二、三線城市,這些地方沒有多少供應高端品牌的商場。在教會裡,年輕一代有購房買車的壓力,他們在奉獻的事上還需要更多操練和學習。求主的愛不斷感動人心,隨著靈命的長進,信心也越增加。更願年長的信徒在愛心和信心上能成為年輕信徒的好榜樣。
星期四
現時中國消費者佔全球奢侈品銷售額約32%,到2024年可望增到40%,並在全球市場增長當中佔75%。千禧一代 (尤其受過良好教育的女性) 將成為這一增長的驅動力。中國教會往往講究長幼有序,許多決策由屬靈長輩做決定。年輕信徒常會有挫折感,甚至對教會的帶領感到失望。求主校正年輕信徒的心態,有謙卑受教的心,繼續在靈命上更有追求。
星期五
中國教會現在有個新現象,就是中國城市(包括農村)早已不是羊多牧人少的狀況,而是有大量投閒置散的年輕神學生没有位置開始他們有效的服侍。求主幫助教會看見這個可悲的破口,一同擺上禱告求神開出路,或許讓他們帶領一個小組等,對於教會是一件合適的事。求神讓教會著意幫助年輕傳道人,不失去回應主呼召的火熱。
星期六
在中國,年輕信徒在繁忙的生活裡,非常需要來到上帝面前安靜心靈。在資訊泛濫的數碼媒體世界裡,新世代信徒需以另一種心態來應對生活,不是為了逃避現實而是要反思人生,騰出空間來事奉上帝。求神施恩,幫助教會中年輕的信徒們,在神的話語中多有長進,也真實願意遵守神的誡命,過一種討主喜悅的生活。
星期日
有人建議,教會牧養年青人時應該建立一個系統,「聯同鎮上所有教會的青年人都聚在一起,讓他們相互認識,定期為他們舉行一些社交活動,讓他們組成自己的小圈子。我們將這樣的活動成為牽線。」求主預備年輕的傳道人來牧養青年人,又興起那些對聖經比較有系統認識的青年,願意被主使用,影響同輩甚至成為他們當中的小牧人。
星期一
新世紀一代信徒在生活中面對的工作壓力、兒女教育與婆媳張力等等挑戰,都與上一輩信徒大相徑庭。求主賜教會領袖有智慧切入年輕信徒的實際生層面,講壇的應用也能針對他們的情況給予合乎真理原則的適切指引。例如在關於同居、墮胎、同性戀、網路遊戲等等社會價值判斷的範疇,都能裝備信徒在世俗潮流中立稳腳步,堅守真道。

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Prayer Request 2/26 - 3/4

Tuesday
A new era has arrived for the church in China. What are Chinese churches doing to prepare for and respond to this changing environment? In the past year, many churches have reported a dramatic rise in restrictions. We praise God because He is always with the Chinese believers and is close to them in times of trouble. We know that God uses trials and persecutions to bless and refine his Church, pruning and making them ready so they will bear more fruit.
Wednesday
The great majority of churches in China can be described as “traditional” in their style of worship. However, the newer churches in the cities offer contemporary worship and preaching that are popular and appealing to young Christians. The leaders of traditional churches are generally older and will need to plan for their eventual successor. We pray that God raises up new leaders, like Moses and Joshua to lead a new generation in their footsteps.
Thursday
Traditional churches in China are mostly patriarchal and the leaders are the sole decision makers. We are thankful for the faithful service of the older pastors whose labor will be rewarded by the Master. We pray for His blessing for them to continue to be effective even in their advanced age, and that the churches will appreciate their contribution. At the same time, we pray that the Lord will raise up younger leaders to serve.
Friday
The Chinese government regulates many aspects of private family life, including religion and pregnancy. Marriage and family are seen as a stabilizing force and the government wants to keep men and women in marriages. We pray for the spiritual well being of believers and their families who are going through a divorce, so they will rely on His grace to face many hurdles during this traumatic time. We pray for God’s comfort, lessening of their guilt and regret, and that He will enable them to continue to glorify God.
Saturday
In all the divorces in China, husbands and wives share a similar level of education. Divorce rates are higher among those who have a junior high education or lower. Nearly all cases involve child custody issues. Many Christian women in China have husbands who are unbelievers or not-so-strong Christians. They are indeed the so-called “spiritual single parents”. We pray that God will give them a powerful testimony at home, and answer their prayers for the salvation of their husbands and children.
Sunday
It will be helpful for churches in China to form smaller groups or fellowships, led by a trained coworker, for those who are divorced or going through a marital breakup.Each Christian couple has its own set of unique problems and different abilities in coping with stress and pain. We do pray specifically for their children, asking God for special mercy so they will not hate God but be able to hang onto their faith.
Monday
It is difficult to know how much of the current growth of urban churches is due to new conversions or ​ the ​influx of rural believers. Rural migrants are beginning to move and settle in the second- and third-tier cities​ in China​. City residents often look down​ on​ people from the countryside. We pray that churches will be ready to adjust and accommodate the rural believers, ministering to them without pride and prejudice.


星期二
在過去一年,中國教會進入了一個新時期,我們看見從當局來的限制和逼迫大幅度增加。中國教會如何預備及回應正在改變中的環境? 感謝神,「主曾說:我總不撇下你,也不丟棄你。」(來13:5) 神必與信徒同行(尤其在艱難的時刻)。求主在逼迫患難中祝福並煉淨祂的教會,使他們生命更豐富,更加有能力彰顯基督,結出更多豐碩果子。
星期三
中國教會的聚會多是傳統模式,近年一些新興的教會吸引了許多年輕信徒參加,因為有契合他們喜好的風格的敬拜讚美,而講台證道也較傳統教會生動、實用。傳統教會的領袖一般比較年長。求主賜教會忠心的接班人,如同摩西和約書亞一般,以前人為榜樣,注重承傳與開創性,帶領教會迎向新世代。
星期四
中國許多教會往往用「家長式」帶領教會,屬靈領袖有極大權柄。這樣的領袖在艱困時期特別能犧牲自己,照顧群羊。我們為老一輩傳道人的忠心擺上感恩,深知主必賞賜。求主賜他們身心靈健壯,教會亦不忘記他們的擺上。我們也為教會的傳承禱告,求神賜下合祂心意的工人,帶領會眾承接新世代的挑戰。
星期五
中國政府對個人家庭生活常施加管制,包括宗教信仰和生育計劃。婚姻和家庭被視為一種社會的穩定力量,政府希望男女保持婚姻關係。我們來為離婚信徒的靈命和家庭祈求,願他們能依靠神的恩典來面對失婚後的種種難題。又求神親自安慰這類信徒,無論在甚麼景況裡,都滿有屬天的喜樂與平安,並能繼續榮耀神。
星期六
在所有中國的離婚案件中,夫妻同為高學歷的離婚率要高於那些高、初中學歷的夫婦,而幾乎所有案例都牽涉到爭奪子女的撫養權歸屬。教會中有許多姐妹的丈夫在屬靈追求上與她們步伐不一致,甚至還有不少是未信的。她們真是所謂的 「屬靈的單親」。求主幫助她們在家中有美好的見證,以主的愛來愛丈夫和家人;又記念她們的丈夫、子女能早日得著救恩。
星期日
教會若能為離婚或正遇婚姻難題的肢體成立適合的小組或團契,並由受過訓練的同工在其中負責帶領,應該會對他們有很大的幫助。每一對基督徒夫妻的婚姻狀況不同,而每個基督徒身心靈能承受的壓力和痛苦的程度也都不一樣。我們特別為身經離異家庭的孩子禱告,求主賜下格外的憐憫和恩典,撫慰他們的傷痛,保守他們的信心,對神不產生怨恨而放棄信仰 。
星期一
當今中國城市教會的增長,很難知道多少是由於新人信主或農村信徒的湧入。近年農民工開始搬遷並在中國的二三線城市定居。城市原有居民經常看不起新遷入的農村人。我們祈禱教會能調整心態,為主準備好容納農村的信徒,按著神心意牧養他們,沒有不討神喜悦的自以為是的驕傲和偏見。