Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Prayer Request 8/13 - 8/19

Tuesday
China has about three to five million children between one to fourteen years with autism. A shortage of specialists and a lack of a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment facilities are the key problems. We pray for Christian parents of children with developmental or learning disabilities who are often ignored or discriminated. We pray that God will strengthen their faith and spirit, and enable them to experience His mercy and grace every day.
Wednesday
Although China began treatment of people with autism in the mid-1980s, it is only in the last ten years that more attention has been given to this group of people. Parents tend to seek medical help only after the child is one or two years old and that is past the optimal period for treatment. Chinese parents brag about their children and give thanks to God. But, it is much harder when a child is “abnormal”. We pray for His comfort, peace, and the ability to comfort others, especially when they have doubts about God’s love and purpose for giving them a handicapped child.
Thursday
In China, delayed diagnosis due to a lack of understanding of the disorder is a common problem among families with autistic children. As a result, many children have missed out on the critical early intervention period. We pray for the parents of all special-needs children that God removes guilt and the accusations of the evil one. May the Lord give them extra mercy and strength to help their children build social skills, to endure under the pressure and demands of parenting, and to experience growth in their marriage.
Friday
Only a small fraction of autistic children in China undergo rehabilitation in a formal institution since there are very few facilities and a dire shortage of teachers. Children born with disabilities are often discarded and handicapped children suffer discrimination everywhere. We pray that God provides people who are experienced and trustworthy to help these children and their parents and that the Lord comforts them, and that they will trust God that He will help them every day
Saturday
An average Chinese family has only one or two children because of the high cost of education. Families with an “abnormal” child face even greater pressure because there is practically no special-needs education program available. We give thanks to God for families who have and chose to raise up special-needs children themselves. We pray that their time, effort and love will bring great satisfaction and reward from the Lord, giving glory to Jesus Christ.
Sunday
About one-third of Chinese women have experienced lowered wages and another third were demoted after giving birth. Employers are reluctant to hire women to avoid paying the mandatory two paid maternity leaves. Women who are of an age to bear children suffer discrimination at work in China. We pray specifically that God gives young Christian mothers strength and spiritual growth as they shoulder the heavy responsibilities of caring for their families and work, plus taking care of parents on both sides of the family.
Monday
As the government increase its censorship, the entertainment industry in China has no choice but to comply with tightening restrictions. Last year, regulators shut down over 6,000 websites and over two million online accounts and social media groups. Artists are self-censoring to protect themselves. The Bible clearly tells us that we are all sinners and only the salvation of Jesus Christ can bring about a true change in our lives. We pray that God will add to churches in China the numbers of saved daily as they stand firm in their faith.

星期二
當前中國自閉症患者中,0至14歲的兒童患者數量在300-500萬之間。專業人才的匱乏和缺少一套成熟、完整的診療設備和護健體系,是中國在自閉症治療領域面臨的關鍵問題。我們要為有發育或學習障礙的孩子之信徒禱告,這樣的孩子經常被忽視或受歧視,教養上更是艱難。願神加添他們力量,作他們隨時的幫助,也堅定他們信心,天天經歷神的憐憫和恩典。 
星期三
中國在1980年代中後期開始涉足自閉症康復領域,而自閉症患者真正引起重視是在最近十年裡。過去,當孩子在一兩歲後出現一些「不正常」狀況,家人才會考慮求醫,但很可能已錯過最佳治療期。 中國家長喜歡拿孩子的成就出來炫耀,當然基督徒父母也會感謝神。然而,那些有殘障或發育不正常孩子的家長亦會懷疑神沒有祝福他們。求神親自安慰這些家長,平復他們心靈,更能以同理心和經驗去幫助有相同遭遇的家庭。
星期四
" 後知後覺 " 是中國不少自閉症兒童家庭的普遍狀況,很多孩子因為家人對自閉症徵況不清楚而錯過了最佳治療期。我們要為患病兒童的父母禱告,求主幇助他們除去內疚和惡者的控告,在面對沈重的照顧和教育壓力下,仍然滿有從神來的愛和力量去幫助兒女建立社交能力,更是赐下格外多的忍耐、體諒來保守和堅固他們夫妻彼此的關係。
星期五
雖然自閉症兒童數量龐大,然而真正能接受正規機構進行康復治療的自閉症兒童依然是極其少數。除了因為自閉症康復機構有限外,更為嚴峻的是師資缺乏的問題。天生殘疾的孩子在中國往往被棄養,而有殘障的孩子會遭遇歧視。求神預備有經驗的人幫助這些孩子及其父母。求主教導家長有智慧處理來自長輩的責備,並幫助他們堅信主恩足用,祂必看顧屬祂的人。
星期六
當普遍中國家庭都只養育一個或兩個孩子時, 一般家長都不願多生孩子,因教育費用不菲。尤其對有所謂「不正常」孩子的家長而言,確實有極大的壓力,加上中國的特殊教育還在初始階段,甚至算是還未起步。我們要為那些甘心樂意照顧「不正常」孩子的父母感恩,神叫他們經歷主的安慰與獎賞,看見時間、金錢和心力去照顧孩子不是浪費和無義意的投資,而是更深經歷神的恩典,大大彰顯神的榮耀。
星期日
中國女性有1/3 在生產後薪資下降,36%被降職。僱主大多不願承擔給女性員工兩次帶薪產假的經濟負擔。因此,相比於沒有孩子的同儕,育齡婦女更難被僱用或得到晉陞機會。我們要為育有孩子的姊妹禱告,求神加添她們力量,保守她們的靈命成長。 不單能把自己家庭照顧好,還能兼顧工作,也與雙方的長輩們相處融洽。
星期一
中國網路監管機構去年關了六千多家網站,封鎖了二百多萬在線帳號和社群媒體群組。娛樂業別無選擇,只能聽命,藝人們也要為了自保而自我審查。聖經很清楚地教導,我們都是罪人,只有耶穌基督的救恩才能真正改變人性,使人重生。求主將得救的人數繼續加給中國的教會,信徒們也能堅持他們的信仰,成為社會的光和鹽。

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Prayer Request 8/6 - 8/12

Tuesday
Christians have been a visible part of the recent political activities in Hong Kong. They have provided food and shelter at demonstrations and condemning efforts by the police to break them up. Many in the crowds have embraced the teachings and messages of Christianity. In the past, Chinese churches have shied away from politics and even issues of social justice. We pray that God will speak to us all, ”what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Wednesday
Christian protesters have spoken of “loving thy neighbor” and winning a battle of “good versus evil.” Youth groups have held prayer circles to call for peace and redemption for the police. A hymn called “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” has become an unofficial anthem of the demonstrations. We pray for all the Christian youth and students, that they will know the Scriptures and the heart of God, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and above all, have the burden for the lost souls and passion for social justice. 
Thursday
Hong Kong’s Christians have long played an important role in issues like religious freedom, democracy, and human rights. Although Catholics and Protestants make up only about one in nine people in this city of 7.5 million, the influence of Christianity in the protest has been striking, providing a source of inspiration and solace. We praise God for churches in Hong Kong and for raising up more prayer warriors, to “first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Tim 2:1-2)
Friday
“We believe in upholding justice. Our faith gives us our courage, confidence, and hope against this evil government power.” a pastor said. “I am very certain that Jesus would not have stayed home enjoying the air-conditioning. He would have been out here helping people and marching.” a young believer said. The Lord helps to know that we are called to be the light and salt of the world. Knowing clearly that we are God’s people but also adhere to Paul's teachings, obey the rulers God has permitted, respect, obey and intercede on their behalf (Romans 13:1-8).
Saturday
Christians’ influence is all the more noticeable as Chinese officials have tightened controls over religious life in the mainland. Many Christians said they saw the beginning of severe restrictions on religious freedom, especially the freedom of speech. Let us pray specifically for Chinese churches in countries under antagonism, oppression or under restrictions imposed by other religions. May they be courageous like the early Christians who lived under great stress and oppression, but were always able to keep their faith.
Sunday
Hong Kong, which was a hub for Christian missionaries under British rule, is now home to about 850,000 Christians and more than 1,500 churches. Many members of the middle and upper classes are Christians or studied at church-run schools. We praise the Lord that Christians still enjoy a very good reputation in the Hong Kong society. We pray that believers will continue to have a great testimony and be rich in good deeds and give glory to our God.
Monday
The prominence of Christianity in the recent events in Hong Kong has lent legitimacy and protection to the participants, helping them go up against government officials. Some protesters who gathered were advised to sing hymns because religious assemblies are more difficult for the police to break up. The Lord reminds us that we all should love and serve Him, always “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)

星期二
目前香港史上規模最大的政治運動中,基督徒也參與在其中,他們幫助分發食物、提供休息處,並對警方暴力驅散及暴徒隨機攻擊地鐵站旅人的舉動都予以譴責。許多未信的參與者都因此有機會接觸基督的信仰和福音。求主光照我們能更貼近社會動脈,遵行主心意 「世人哪,耶和華已指示你何為善。他向你所要的是什麼呢?只要你行公義,好憐憫,存謙卑的心,與你的神同行。」(彌 6:8)
星期三
香港反送中活動在場的基督徒會說「愛你的鄰舍」,贏下一場「善惡」之戰。青年人圍圈一起祈禱,祈願和平。名為《唱哈利路亞讚美主》(Sing Hallelujah to the Lord)的讚美詩,已成為此次活動的一首非正式頌歌。我們為年輕肢體和學生們禱告,願他們不單有聖經知識,更認識神的心意,活出屬天子民的本質,愛鄰舍,對失喪的靈魂大有負擔,關心社會公義 ,盡上地上公民的責任。
星期四
有些香港基督徒持續在政治上扮演重要角色,包括維護宗教自由、民主制度和人權等議題。儘管在750萬的人口中,天主教徒和基督教徒僅佔九分之一,但在最近的政治活動中,信徒持續感召和安撫眾人,扮演著重要的角色。我們為香港的教會感恩,更是求神在眾教會興起禱告的勇士,「為萬人懇求、禱告、代求、祝謝;為君王和一切在位的,也該如此,使我們可以敬虔、端正、平安無事的度日。」(提前 2:1-2)
星期五
"我們相信秉持正義幫助我們用信心和勇氣抗拒政府的邪惡力量",一位牧師說;"我相信耶稣也不會待在家裡吹冷氣" 一位年輕的信徒如此表達。 求主幫助我們知道,我們是被揀選成為世上的光和鹽。 明白我們是神的子民,也能堅持保羅的教導,服從神托付執政掌權者的權柄,甚至恭敬,懼怕並為他們祈禱(羅馬書13:1-8)。
星期六
在官方對宗教活動收緊控制之後,基督徒的影響更加顯著起來。許多基督徒表示,他們認為這些法律的改變將導致嚴格限制宗教自由,剝奪我們的言論自由。 我們為在各地的教會禱告,尤其是在敵對、壓逼的無神論政府統治下的信徒代求,願神的兒女如同初期的信徒一般,在巨大的權勢和壓力下,仍能以信心活出基督信仰的生命。
星期日
香港在英國統治時期曾是基督教宣教中心,現在有大約85萬基督徒和1500多座教堂。許多中上層階級的人都是基督徒,或者曾在教會學校接受教育。我們感謝神,因為基督徒在香港社會上仍然享有很好的名聲。求主幫助信徒繼續有美好的見證,也在各樣的善事上,成為多人的榜樣,將榮耀歸給神。
星期一
很多基督徒在參加最近香港的政治活動時,看見有極多的同行者,深感震撼,但其後竟發現遊行似乎並不能改變政府的決定,在憤怒與無助的感受下問:「除了祈禱以外,我還可以作甚麼?」求主幫助信徒認定「洪水氾濫的時候; 耶和華坐著為王」,在表達對公義的訴求的同時,內心仍然要警覺自己不是去操控環境,去改變局勢,而是堅信至終的發展仍在掌管歷史的主手中。

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Prayer Request 7/30 - 8/5

Tuesday
The richest internet moguls in China think their employees should work more. Collectively they say that those who can work long hours are called "a huge blessing" and those who have frittered away their days "are no brothers of mine"'. Many young Christians in China live among unbelievers who can be hostile to their faith which is shallow in depth, and they have little time or energy in growing in faith. We pray for the spiritual growth of all young working Christians.
Wednesday
Rank-and-file tech workers in China, discouraged by a weakened job market and downbeat about their odds of joining the digital aristocracy to protest online against what in China is called the “996” culture which means working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week. We ask God to give the uncompromising spirit of Daniel to all young believers in China as they face pressures from the society, in school or at work, even as they were forbidden to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and face the ridicule and pressure from their peers and superiors.
Thursday
For years, Chinese tech employees have worked such long hours that they make Silicon Valley’s workaholics seem pampered. Ten years ago, people rarely complained about "996", but now they are resisting the idea of the "996" working schedule. Unfortunately, most young believers still have the same values and life outlook after their conversions. They remain self-centered and deeply influenced by utilitarianism and hedonism. We pray for the transformation of lives and no longer conforming to the world for them.
Friday
Whether a young believer in China is a student or a working professional, his or her life is definitely busy and under stress. The demand to work overtime means weekends are equally busy. Since the demand to work overtime is almost "normal", young people in China practically spend their free time on the Internet or mobile phones. We need to pray for dedication and commitment for them because they have to strive to participate in church regularly and serve as well.
Saturday
Even Chinese state media has called on employers to ease back with demanding employees working overtime. Angst about 72-hour workweeks speaks to a deeper gloom in China’s digital industries. Many young believers in China are immature and have difficulty building a trusting relationship. Young people in the same church often have very different educational and social backgrounds which further impede friendship building. We pray for the relational and spiritual growth of all young believers, that the Lord gives them older and godly friends in their church.
Sunday
In China, many house churches in the cities have fewer than 100 members and do not have full-time pastors. Even the preachers are bi-vocational and unable to cover the needs of members, especially the myriad of problems young believers tend to have. Young believers who come to a city to study or work from another city face great spiritual challenges and temptations. They are most likely lost to follow up because they have no friends in the new city. We pray that more mature believers will see a great need and care for the young believers who are in their church.
Monday
The “996” system symbolized possibility and advantage for Chinese tech entrepreneurs, creating the distinction of hustle that supposedly set China’s companies apart from Silicon Valley’s. While China requires overtime pay, the laws are haphazardly enforced and companies usually insist workers are working voluntarily. Young believers are stumble easily because of the poor conduct or spiritual examples in their church (especially the leaders). The lack of good models confuses them and even makes them feel that church is no different than the world. We pray for God’s mercy and that He will prepare good spiritual role models for them.

星期二
好些中國富有的互聯網大亨認為能做科技業長工時是「一種巨大的福氣」,很多人想做也都沒有機會,也表示:「混日子的人不是我的兄弟!」不少年輕信徒對信仰沒有深入認識,沒時間、精力放在信仰的追求上;他們周圍的不信者對信仰大多表示懷疑或沒有興趣。我們為年輕在職信徒的靈命日益增長禱告,求主幫助他們有正確的工作觀,並在工作中見證神。
星期三
科技業一般員工對不景氣的就業市場灰心喪氣,所以對中國電商老闆所推崇的「無薪加班文化」更「吞不下去」。他們在網路上組織反對「996 」 (早9點到晚9點,每週工作6天) 文化。年輕信徒現今承受多方壓力,不被鼓勵公開傳福音,平時也有可能遭到同學、同事、朋友的冷嘲熱諷,單位裡的升職也會受到壓制。求主賜年輕信徒有像但以理般的堅定心志,能面對社會壓力,無論在學校或是職場都能靠主常存喜樂。
星期四
過去十年科技業的工時也越來越長,理工科人才投入這行業的越來越多。中國996加班原是他們自覺引以為傲的標記。有些年輕人信主後,價值觀與人生觀卻沒有明顯改變,他們還是自我中心,深受世俗主義、享樂主義等影響,即使感受到主的愛,卻少了付代價跟從的決心。求主親自吸引他們,曉得用「金、銀、寶石」來建造靈命的工程,以致將來得著天上永恒的賞賜。
星期五
年輕基督徒無論在學或在職的,往往都處於一個非常忙碌與緊張的狀態之中,加班加點司空見慣,連周末也幾乎沒有休息的時間。他們即使有空餘,也是消耗在網絡與手機上,以此作為放鬆的方式。加班在中國幾乎是「常態」,信徒能穩定出席崇拜已經不易,更談不上參與服事。求主幫助年輕信徒不被「世上的思慮」纏累,並能盡量固定聚會,持續委身於讀經和祈禱的時間,立定心志與耶穌同行以致能從忙碌中抽身。
星期六
面對網路科技業員工批判996的聲浪,官方媒體亦表示:「面對經濟下行壓力,很多企業都面臨生存考驗,企業的焦慮可以理解……但緩解焦慮的方法不是讓員工加班越多越好。」不少年輕信徒在各方面仍然處於成長階段,在缺少伙伴的情況下,往往容易變得非常自我。再加上教會裡的年輕人彼此的學歷、社會地位相差較大,更不易建立屬靈同伴的關係。我們來為年輕人的靈命成長禱告,求神預備合適的屬靈長輩和益友來扶持建造他們。
星期日
不少城市家庭教會的人數在一百人以下,且多是沒有全職牧者帶領。同工基本是帶職事奉,整體服事的力量不夠,對年輕人的牧養也跟不上他們切身的需要。外地來求學或工作的年輕人會面臨更大的挑戰及試探,卻沒有得到及時的關懷與牧養,最容易流失。求主憐憫,也興起教會成熟的肢體來關懷、輔導神家中年輕信徒生活上的挑戰和靈命的成長。
星期一
據說讓中國企業比矽谷企業更加突出的秘訣是「996式」的忙碌。雖然中國的勞動法要求支付員工加班費,但法律只是一種形式,絕大多數勞工都是無償加班,而且科技企業往往堅稱,他們的員工加班是自願的。年輕信徒在信心上容易被絆倒,常因教會裡弟兄姊妹(特別是教會的同工)的屬靈榜樣不夠,讓他們感覺困惑,甚至認為「教會還不如社會」。求主憐憫,讓我們的目光,定晴在主耶穌基督身上,也謹慎我們的言行和心思意念,努力成為別人靈命成長的好伙伴。 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Prayer Request 7/23 - 7/29

Tuesday
As the population in China ages, there are more people suffering from cancer and diabetes. Many of them can't find or afford effective medications, so they resort to making their own medicine or buying medications illegally out of desperation. What Chinese rural residents dread the most is a serious illness which means certain financial ruin. This is also one key reason rural believers hesitate to give to a church. We pray for more faith, because our God is gracious and faithful, and He will care for His people.
Wednesday
Although the government in China has invested heavily to provide a medical safety net, official data shows that illness is still the key reason Chinese families fall below the poverty level. Rural residents have received medical subsidies from the government recently, but old people still expect their children to help them financially. We pray especially for believers who have aging and sick parents, that they will fulfill their duty as son and daughter, to care about their parents' spiritual health, and be able to share the gospel with them. 
Thursday
To stay alive, many sick people in China and their families knowingly break the law to buy illegal medicines for treating serious illnesses, these vendors are online dealers who run underground pharmacies. In some cases, cancer patients and their families make the drugs themselves, finding the ingredients and the instructions online. We pray for compassion and healing from God for believers who have relatives stricken with cancer or long-term illnesses. We pray the Lord gives them gentleness and love, and the ability to share the salvation of the Lord Jesus with them.
Friday
China’s rudimentary insurance system doesn’t begin to cover the ever-rising prices of treatments and drugs. Coverage also depends on where a person lives, and some rural residents still lack access to many drugs. Many elderly rural believers in China have experienced miraculous healing. We praise God for His sovereign grace and healing power among the poor and the sick. We pray that those who have received healing will experience the forgiveness of their sins, having peace and joy, and the boldness to proclaim what God has done.
Saturday
Chinese women born during the years following the “one child” policy are now reaching or have already passed their peak fertility age. There are simply not enough of them to sustain the country’s population level, despite new efforts by the government to encourage families to have two children. We pray for all young mothers in churches that God will give them strength, wisdom, joy and help them to continue to grow spiritually. May the Lord also give them sisters in the churches with whom they can share and forge friendships.
Sunday
Many parents do not want their daughters to stay at home and raise more than one child. They want their daughters to have a fulfilling work outside of the home and not “ waste their lives raising children.” Many of the young Christian couples are the "only child" who does not see the need for having more children. We pray that more Christian families will see that children are a gift and a blessing from the Lord, and will seriously teach their children to know the Lord and pay attention to their spiritual growth.
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, wisdom 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
中國老齡化人口中患癌症和糖尿病的人數越來越多,其中許多病患找不到或買不起藥物,只好自己製造或是購買沒有經過檢驗的藥物。 農村居民最怕的就是生病,因為那必定要花掉所有的積蓄,這也是農村教會奉獻少的其一因素。求主加添信徒信心,神既恩慈又可信,必然眷顧屬祂的人。
星期三
儘管政府建立了一個成本很高的新醫療安全網,但官方數據顯示,疾病仍然是中國家庭落入貧困線下的主要原因。近來農村也開始有醫療補貼,但是長輩仍然期望孩子能在經濟上給他們幫助。我們為家中有年長多病父母的信徒禱告,願爲人子女者不僅盡上孝道,也關心他們的靈命,在生活中有美好的見證,能帶領他們認識主、清楚福音的大能。
星期四
中國許多病人為了活命,常幹著冒著很高的危險在網上購買非法藥品。在有些情況下,癌症患者及其家人在網上尋找原料和製作方法,自行照著偏方非法製藥。我們為有患癌或長期病患親戚的信徒禱告,求主賜他們憐憫和恩慈,知道如何表達關心,能分享主耶穌的救恩,用禱告和體恤活出神的愛。
星期五
國家的基本醫療保險制度並沒覆蓋所有的疾病的治療費和藥費,醫保覆蓋的內容也取決於投保者的居住地而有所差別,以致有些農村地區的居民仍缺乏某些醫療跟藥品。在農村教會裡,不少老人因為生病得醫治而相信耶穌。求神施恩憐憫貧窮疾苦的人民,按著祂的心意醫治他們,更求主讓他們經歷罪得釋放,心靈平安帶來的喜樂。求主幫助他們也能主動見證神的奇妙作為。
星期六
「獨生子女」年代裡出生的女性已經達到或過了適合生育的年齡。儘管政府大力鼓勵家庭生育兩個孩子,但數量根本不足以維持中國的人口不平衡的情況。我們為教會裡年輕的媽媽禱告,願神賜給她們力量、智慧、喜樂,繼續在靈命上成長。主也賜給她們在教會中找到愛主又能相互扶持的肢體們,彼此代禱,同走天路。
星期日
許多老一輩的不願女兒做全職主婦或多生孩子,他們寧可女兒趕快結婚,生一個孩子之後就繼續回去工作,不要耽誤太多時間在孩子身上。 許多年輕基督徒夫婦自己就是獨生的一代,也不太願意多生孩子。但願基督徒家庭能看見孩子是神所恩賜的產業,用心教導孩子認識神,關心孩子的靈命成長,是神對父母親鄭重的託負。
星期一
新世紀一代信徒所面對的工作壓力、兒女教育與婆媳張力,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活需要,講道的應用也能本著聖經真理為依歸,適切地融入他們的現實情況,例如關於同居、墮胎、社會價值判斷、同性戀、網路遊戲等等的範疇,在現今的世代為主做鹽發光。

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prayer Request 7/16 - 7/22

Tuesday
The amount of land classified as urban has more than doubled since 2000—40% of new urbanites became so when cities engulfed their villages. Newer communities are springing up daily in China, where housing prices are cheaper than in the cities. These new communities are the new mission field there. We pray that churches will have the vision to establish new points of worship and even purchase a place of worship. 
Wednesday
Preschool education ( for children aged 3-6 years) is the fastest growing and the least regulated part of the education system in China. Recently, it is attracting lots of attention and investment from the policymakers, investors and parents alike. We pray for Christian parents who will not only pray for their children for health and good grades but also ask the Lord to help them teach their children to love God above all things their whole lives. We pray, too for churches in helping the parents know how to raise godly children.
Thursday
In contrast to Buddhism and Taoism that receive public official support, Christianity is oppressed. Part of the reason is the monotheistic nature (believing God is the only truth and way), which threaten the Party’s belief that the Party is the Mother and the only truth. In certain regions, churches are under closer scrutiny than in others. We continue to pray for all churches as they walk the “tightrope” of expanding ministries and attendance, without drawing too much interference.
Friday
It is not uncommon that some pastors of the house churches in southern China have their own business; they are able to support themselves financially without being salaried by their church. This is not the case for the rest of China, especially northern China. Many pastors there are expected to serve with a token salary, insufficient to support their family. We pray that house churches will honor and treat their shepherds well, and not abuse them.
Saturday
In recent years, college ministries have sprung up in mid-size to large cities in China. But, they lack contacts, network, and sharing of resources with each other, and because of theological differences, fellowships are often antagonistic toward one another. We pray for humility and a cooperative spirit for all leaders of student fellowships. Many are prideful of their number of students and are very turf-minded even not allowing their students to go to other fellowships or local churches.
Sunday
Among college students and single working professionals, females outnumber males, Among college students and non-married working professionals, especially those aged 22-45, females outnumber males. Church leaders tend to be older and more dictatorial; they are often intimidated because younger believers want more collective decision-making. We pray for mutual understanding, humility and respect between young people and their church leaders
Monday
In most urban churches, the generation of 45-60 years old is usually missing or not active at all. For those 60 years and older, especially among churches with community outreach, again, women outnumbered men. It is a great blessing when a church has older Christians who can visit and care for other elderly members. We pray these people who are usually retired but still active and healthy will be willing to minister to others. May the Lord use them mightily as they care for, pray with, and teach others.

星期二
與2000年相比,中國現劃歸為城市的土地量已增長超過兩倍,而新增城市的人口中,四成是因其村莊被城市吞併。幾乎天天都有新開發的社區在郊區成立,房價也相對便宜。這些社區就是中國教會新的禾場,求主賜衆教會有遠見,把握機會成立甚至購買新聚會點,讓福音的廣傳得以持續開展。
星期三
學前教育(3—6歲兒童的教學)是中國教育發展最快,也是最缺乏一個標準的一塊。現在各方面對此高度關注,尤其是年輕的父母親們,這已經成為他們最大的「煩心事」之一。求主幫助信徒家長不單是為孩子的健康和學業祈求,也願意求主幫助他們教導孩子一生愛主。我們同時也為教會有策略幫助父母如何養育敬虔愛主的第二代代禱。
星期四
相比佛教與道教,中國政府明顯打壓基督教,扶植佛道教,部分原因是基督教的一神論(相信上帝是唯一的真理)與中國共產黨視黨為首和唯一真理的觀念有較大的矛盾。近來官方對教會的監視越來越嚴厲。我們要為教會有智慧禱告,好叫他們能謹慎發展事工,卻不樹大招風,遭致不必要的干預。
星期五
有些家庭教會的傳道人因自己家庭或家族經商,即便沒從教會得到金錢記念,經濟也不致緊絀。但其他許多家庭教會的傳道人,根本沒有足夠的經濟能力養家。求主提醒教會要厚待為主勞苦的工人,為他們提供合理的養生所需是我們應盡的本份,而不是認為傳道人過艱苦的生活才屬靈。
星期六
近年中國的大、中城市的大學生事工發展如雨後春筍,但因著相互間缺乏聯繫、溝通,沒有機會資源共享,加上某些神學觀點不同,導致各自為政,甚至彼此攻詰。有些學生團契的帶領人,為自己的事工成就沾沾自喜,甚至禁止他們的學生參加其他團契或當地教會的聚會。我們為帶領人有謙卑合一的靈,能同心為主、彼此配搭來禱告。 
星期日
城市教會中的大學生和在職未婚者有女多男少的現象,尤其青壯年齡層(22 - 45歲)的性別比例更十分懸殊。年長的教會領袖習慣做帶領、做決定,年輕的信徒則希望有份參與教會的決策。我們為領袖和年輕信徒能彼此接納禱告,求神在眾人心裡動工,信徒能存著謙卑的心,彼此了解和尊重,務要討主喜悅。
星期一
在許多城市教會中,都有中老年(45 - 60歲)斷層情況,他們不僅數目較少且不積極 ;至於60歲以上的老年人,主要參與以小區為中心外展的教會,且這樣的教會大部分姊妹多弟兄少。教會中擁有已退休但還有體力的會友是神極大的祝福,他們能照顧和關懷比他們更年長的弟兄姊妹。求主大大使用他們的服事,讓他們的靈命也藉著與神同工而不斷成長。

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Prayer Request 7/9 - 7/15

Tuesday
It is very difficult in China to estimate the size of a church by the size of the congregation on Sunday or the report of the pastor. In urban churches, it is not surprising that the size of the congregation is smaller than the membership of the church because the people lead very busy lives or their children have many activities. We pray that believers will not be merely Sunday Christians but grow in God’s Word and be able to lead their family spiritually. 
Wednesday
For some traditional churches in China, the pastors have observed that church members will attend communion Sunday service as often as possible, even with a busy schedule. It is the tradition of some Chinese churches that one must take communion at the church where one is a member. Church attendance on communion Sunday would likely be the highest and close to the church membership. We pray that all pastors are able to care for their members effectively and meet their spiritual needs.
Thursday
In rural churches in China, attendance on communion Sunday is also higher because believers who have migrated to nearby towns or cities may intentionally go back to their home villages for communion and reunion, regularly or occasionally in particular during festival times. Once again, we pray for a revival of all rural churches in China and especially give thanks for those who have moved away to cities but still care for and support financially their home churches in the villages.
Friday
Universities in China have conducted surveys of households to get information on religious beliefs but under the restrictive environment in China, there is a big concern that people are hesitant to reveal their Christian identity to officials. Being a Christian is certainly not easy in China, especially under the current political climate. We pray for wisdom for all believers and that the Lord will grant them good opportunities and boldness to share their faith with others.
Saturday
Taking surveys of a church congregation has its limitations in China since there is a lack of lists of members of the churches. People who transfer from other churches, older Christians who often attend church only on holidays, making it difficult to count accurately. However, surveys are useful in reveal the fascinating reality and provide valuable insights in understanding the development of churches. We pray for boldness and a good testimony for all believers, and that they will be Light and Salt in their apartment buildings and in their communities. 
Sunday
In recent years, there has been a growing trend for local churches in China to join certain denominations, but this is still a relatively small percentage of the churches. In the future, it may be useful to see how denominations grow as part of church growth study nationwide. Being affiliated with a denomination implies a connection with a foreign entity which can present unwanted official scrutiny, especially in the time of increased restrictions. We pray for vibrant growth and sound teaching in all churches.
Monday
It has been suggested that young people from different churches in the same Chinese 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.

星期二
估計中國教會會友的數目非常困難。根據牧者一般的經驗,主日的出席人數和會友數目之間通常有20-30%的差距。在城市裡,因生活不規律和超時工作,家庭和子女的活動等因素,教會出席率往往低於教會會友數目。求主幇助信徒將信仰活化出來,不是只做四面牆下的信徒,而是能夠在神的話語上扎下深根,活出光和鹽來。
星期三
在一些傳統的教會裡,信徒縱使因生活繁忙而缺席聚會,也會盡可能參加聖餐主日崇拜。在某些教會裡,聖餐主日時,人數都比其他主日較多,也會接近教會領袖估計的成員數目。不論人數多少,求主幫助傳道人能夠適切並有效的關心和照看羊群的靈命需要。
星期四
在農村教會中,參加聖餐主日的人數也較高,因為遷到附近城鎮或城市的信徒可能會定期或偶爾在節日期間,專誠回到家鄉進行交流和團聚。我們再次為農村教會的復興向神迫切禱告,也為那些離開教會但仍然關心,為母會奉獻,關心教會的發展的信徒感謝神。
星期五
大學當中也會做了些家庭背景調查,當中也會收集有關宗教信仰的信息。但是在政府限制性環境下,一般不願意透露自己的宗教信仰。尤其是在當今中國的大環境下,公開自己的信仰確實是不容易的事。求主賜給神的兒女有靈巧的智慧,並加添勇氣和膽量,把握機會分享神的救恩。
星期六
由於中國教會沒有信徒的名單,要做會眾普查具有局限性。例如從其他教會轉移的,以及只能在假期才能參加聚會的年長信徒等等,使得人數難以準確估計。然而,這類數據的確給教會發展提供寶貴的資訊和見解。求主幫助信徒能在自己的住處和社區中成為光和鹽,成為神施恩的管道。
星期日
近年地方教會加入某些宗派的趨勢越來越明顯,但仍是一個相對較小的比例。以宗派來估計,中國教會的數目在未來也有不斷增長的可能。教會有宗派也意味與國外組織有聯繫,特別是在最近的大環境之下,必定會招來官方更多不必要的關注和干擾。求主幫助祂的身體成長茁壮,在艱難中仍然堅心倚靠神,在黎明之前繼續勇往向前。 
星期一
有些牧者建議:「讓城裡不同教會的青年人都聚在一起,讓他們相互認識,定期舉辦一些社交活動,不僅限於婚配性質,讓他們能擁有自己的圈子,能彼此的相互激勵。」願主預備更多合適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年輕人,願意影響同輩,甚至成為他們當中的小牧人。

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Prayer Request 7/2 - 7/8

Tuesday
Youth activism in Hong Kong has ebbed in recent years and legions of young supporters have been left bitterly disenchanted. Recently, however, the movement has been re-energized. Young people have shown up in masses to rally on the streets. Recently the churches there had to take a stand on social and political issues and stood for Biblical viewpoints. We pray that all believers will "act justly ... love mercy and ... walk humbly with (their) God." Malachi 6:8
Wednesday
Compared with older generations, young people in Hong Kong feel less affinity with mainland China and are more likely to see themselves as having a distinct Hong Kong identity. Young people protested against the imposition of patriotic educational curriculum in schools in 2012. Young Christians in Hong Kong today are much more vocal and involved in social issues than they were formerly. We pray that they are not only full of a sense of justice but also fervent in serving in their church. May the Lord use them mightily.
Thursday
This is the political awakening of this generation’s political awakening, which has accelerated along with the erosion of the freedoms which have long set Hong Kong apart from the mainland, and as they have begun to fray, young people say they feel the threat more sharply. In the past, mainstream Chinese churches have often shunned political issues. Recently, churches in Taiwan and Hong Kong have been more involved in elections and the passage of laws. We pray that believers will be the light and salt of society and to glorify God in their workplace. 
Friday
Parents of young people whose children participated in political activism worry because they fear their children will be arrested and sentenced to jail. However, public anger grew when the chief official compared her harsh response to theirs and said that Christian parents and churches should discuss with their children how to live out their faith and be visible in our society. We pray that our young people will have the heart and mind of Daniel and his three friends. May the Lord remind us that we should always model our faith on theirs. 
Saturday
Although Christians may face fear and ridicule, justice is one of the core teachings of the Bible. People of God must live an ethical life, and God holds us accountable when the needs of the oppressed are neglected, such as orphans, the poor, widows, and strangers. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." (Proverbs 14:34) Social justice is not only important but necessary! Let us continue to pray that Christians will not be marginalized but have influence in their society.
Sunday
A nationwide campaign is underway in China to rename residential communities with foreign-sounding names. Officials in many cities are demanding name changes on the grounds that those names are “admiring foreigners” and lack cultural confidence. Although China claims to have religious liberty, Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam are regarded as foreign religions, with overseas influences and are closely monitored, unlike Taoism and Buddhism. We pray for God's mercy and unwavering faith in God for all believers in China.
Monday
Buildings with foreign names are also targeted in China. “Admiring the foreigners” is the chief reason. An official document claimed that these "grandiose, foreign, strange, weighty names" lack geographical significance, damage the national culture and hinder the people's lives and productivity. Many house churches meet in an office building, but local police have pressured their landlords to cancel their leases and threatened them with heavy fines. We pray for churches that must relocate or meet in smaller groups. May the Lord comfort them and give them the joy and boldness to continue meeting.

星期二
香港自2014「雨傘運動」中知名的領導者被判刑入獄後,公民運動亦有所減弱 。然而,近日港府因修訂逃犯條例,香港人再次走上街頭。求主掌管眾人的心,竭力尋求和睦,並「行公義、好憐憫、存謙卑的心與主同行。」 (彌六8).
星期三
與老一輩相比,香港年輕人與中國大陸的關係不那麼密切,很多人均認為自己擁有獨特的香港人身份,而不是中國人的身份。2012年,年輕人就曾經挺身抗議學校推行愛國主義教育課程。香港教會裡的年輕人也熱衷參與社會維權活動。我們為教會年輕一代禱告,不單單有正義感,更有熱忱在教會中積極參與並服事,願神大大使用他們。
星期四
2012年香港政府試圖在學校推行愛國主義教育課程是這一代年青人政治覺醒的開始。隨著公民自由開始受到限縮,年輕人感到了更大的威脅。過去華人教會往往選擇遠避政治,近年來臺灣及香港教會更多以社會公民的身分參與選舉及法律的修訂和通過,我們求主幫助教會能秉持聖經真理回應政治議題,成為社會的光和鹽,信徒們也能在職場上榮耀主。
星期五
父母必定擔心自己的孩子因參與政治活動而受傷或被捕。當香港特首在對青年人嚴厲行動之後,自比為一個關愛孩子的母親時,反而激怒了香港民眾。教會和信徒家長應該跟子女更多討論如何活出信仰,而不是在社會中成為隱形人。我們為年輕一代都能有但以理和三位朋友愛主的堅定心志,我們也成為他們的美好信仰榜樣來代求。
星期六
儘管基督徒可以為主受苦,面對恐懼和諷刺恒久忍耐,但聖經真理的核心價質--公義,還是要堅持的。神的子民要持守道德的生活,也不應忽視受壓者,如孤兒、窮人、寡婦的需要。「公義使邦國高舉;罪惡是人民的羞辱。」(箴言14:34)社會公義不但是重要,而且必要!願主幫助基督徒在社會上不被邊缘化,能充份發揮基督的愛與和平的影響力。
星期日
政府正展開一場全中國范圍內打擊”洋地名”, 政府要求好些住宅小區修改名稱,理由是那些名字「崇洋媚外」,不夠「文化自信」。比如包括“凱撒豪庭”、“夏威夷海岸”和“維多利亞花園”等。說雖然中國宣稱有宗教自由,但基督教、天主教和伊斯蘭教卻被視為洋教,在其背後有海外勢力嫌疑,因而所受控制與道教和佛教完全不同。求主恩待祂的子民,在越艱難的日子更緊靠主,對神的信心堅定不動搖。
星期一
改名運動除了社區之外,建築物的命名也受到管制,「崇洋媚外」依然是一條主要原因。官方的文件稱,這些「大、洋、怪、重」等不規範地名,割斷了地名文脈,損害了民族文化,妨礙了人民群眾生活、生產活動。許多家庭教會租用辦公大樓聚會,近來宗教緊縮, 當局往往迫使房東取消租約,並以巨額罰款威脅。我們為必須遷移的教會或小組聚會祈求,願主安慰和開路,並賜他們喜樂和勇氣繼續敬拜讚美神。

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Prayer Request 6/25 - 7/1

Tuesday
The topics of "church authority" and "power" are very touchy in churches in China but the new generation of believers are a lot more vocal, demanding the right to know, decide, supervise, and remove leadership. Younger believers want to know who is in charge and openly question the cost of maintaining church unity. Church leaders tend to portray themselves as highly spiritual and sacrificial. We pray that each of us sees our own brokenness and sinfulness, we all need renewal and more faith, as we strive to please our Master.
Wednesday
When believers move from one church to the other, they create division in churches because their theological views are different and likely more radical. Conflicts ensue when their views are not accepted. Christ is the head of the church and the church is the body of Christ. Each of us is a member of the Body. We are called to build up His church, We ask the Lord to forgive our arrogance, strife, division and so often, the splitting of a church.
Thursday
When believers move about from one church to the other, conflicts follow. First, they are likely to be critical and not willing to serve. Second, they band together with like-minded people and split up a church. We pray that God strengthens His people and heals our divisiveness, so we have the heart of Jesus, always seeing others better than ourselves. ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ (Eph. 4:3)
Friday
When a church splits because of conflicts, deep suspicion lingers between the two affected congregations for a long time. If the gap is not bridged, a generation of believers will be deeply wounded. We know our Lord takes no pleasure in the strife and division among His people which cause the ministry to suffer, people to be discouraged and church growth slowed. May the Lord have mercy on us so we can learn true humility and unity in Christ.
Saturday
Newly established churches resulting from a split tend to have some "sheep stealing", although it is inevitable it always leaves a bad feeling for all concerned. Scandal in one church damages the reputation of many churches. Division within a church also confuses outsiders and affect those within. We pray that none of us will ever shame His Name and the Lord protect the weak believers from stumbling and stop attending church.
Sunday
Churches in China, especially the houses churches are known for vigorously insist that their own theology is orthodox and denounce others as apostasy. Such vicious attitude only hurts His body and corrupting of innocent believers. Once again, we pray for His sacrificial love and humility, so we can submit to one another and leave the devil no room for attacks.
Monday
"Once bitten, twice shy", After a church suffered split because of outsiders," a church becomes reluctant to change, especially in training new leaders, and much more conservative in theological thinking and all aspects of ministries. We pray that church leaders will be strategic and patient in nurturing their people. The Lord bless the churches abundantly so the power of the gospel is revealed through His churches in China.

星期二
「權威」和「權柄」在中國教會一直是敏感的議題,新一代信徒要求有知情權、決策權、監督權、彈劾權,教會往往會面臨分化危機。也有的教會在非關乎真理的範疇上非黑即白,仍要求大家保持一致性才算稱為合一。老一輩教會領袖強調標榜屬靈生命,犧牲擺上。求主憐憫我們,看得見自己的軟弱與破碎,更新信徒的靈命,相信我們按著主心意所做的一切,絕不會徒然,最終必得著天上主人的獎賞。
星期三
游離基督徒是指那些游走一個又一個教會卻不願意委身的肢體,意見強的游離基督徒容易帶來教會分裂。當他們所持觀點與新教會不同,又過於激進,未能得到教會的認同,繼而產生衝突。基督是教會的頭,教會是基督的身子,並且我們各自作肢體。肢體雖多,仍是一個身子;更要各盡其職,建立基督的身體。求主赦免並幫助我們改正各持己見,彼此爭鬧,結黨紛爭,分門別類,使基督的身子分裂的錯誤。
星期四
游離基督徒常會引發教會衝突,給教會帶來兩種現象:一、留下卻總是唱反調,不能積極投入教會服事中。二、因衝突而離開,與志同道合者成立新教會。求主加力屬祂的人,靠著主修補教會的分裂;又幫助我們以基督耶穌的心為心,看別人比自己強,凡事謙虛、溫柔、忍耐,用愛心互相寬容,用和平彼此聯絡,竭力保守聖靈所賜合而為一的心。(弗4:3)
星期五
因衝突而離開的現象使新建立的教會與原教會之間產生嫌隙,是短期內無法解決的教會爭端。若破口沒有修補,至少一代人會活在這種陰影裡。這是許多中國家庭教會經歷的。教會無論是紛爭、分黨分派或分裂都會叫主傷心,使信徒灰心,致聖工受攔阻,教會不能增長。求主憐憫我們,真有祂的謙卑,願意竭力追求在主裡的合一。
星期六
因分裂而新成立的教會,總是會有一些「拉羊」的現象,是傳統教會所不齒的,也造成無法彌補的虧損。每個信徒都是基督的肢體,「一榮俱榮、 一損俱損」,教會之間的紛爭不僅讓教外人士困惑,更會絆倒教內會衆。但願神的名不受虧損,脆弱的信徒不因此跌倒而遠離神。我們也禱告新教會能成為福音的新出口,新社區的明亮燈台。
星期日
神學觀點不同也存在於中國教會之間,但弟兄姊妹間彼此攻擊的情況比西方更列,堅持自己的神學觀點是何等的「正統」。無論在教內或是教外,這種「同門之爭」只能敗壞人信心而不能建造信徒的靈命。求神使眾教會都能靠主愛謙卑在主面前,做到捨己,彼此順服,以致魔鬼沒有可以乘機攻擊神家的任何破口。
星期一
游離基督徒現象往往導致某些教會更不願考慮革新。可謂「一朝被蛇咬,十年怕井繩」,受過分裂之苦的教會,不管在人才培養、神學思想、信仰宣告、福音工作等教會事工上,都更趨於保守。求主幫助教會領袖,在信徒造就方面滿有策略與忍耐,叫人靈命得著建造成長。又求主賜福眾教會,能藉着中國眾教會的齊心努力,將福音大能在世界各角落彰顯出來。

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Prayer Request 6/18 - 6/24

Tuesday
There are some closures of churches in China as a result of mergers and pastors being laid off or resigned. These led to the discussion of how churches should plan and care for unemployed pastors and the financial impacts on their families. We pray for faith in God and new directions for pastors who have been in ministry a long time and now are without work, especially those who are in their middle age. May the Lord raise up believers to care for God’ servants. 
Wednesday
It can be said that churches in China no longer have a shortage of pastors. The reality is that there are many pastors who are not serving and are unfortunately disrespected by believers because they have not fulfilled the Lord’s calling to ministry. We pray that none of us will be quick to judge or harden our hearts saying: "Go in peace, be warm and be filled"(James 2:16); ignoring or refusing to help others in need. 
Thursday
To provide financial security for their pastors, churches in China should at least contribute to the government-sponsored retirement plan for those who serve full-time. Churches should offer the basic benefits available to employees in other professions. The Bible teaches us to love one another, and we ask God to remind us that we cannot claim to love God, but refuse to love and care for those who serve Him. Let us honor God by first honoring His workers.
Friday
Churches should not overlook the welfare of their shepherds or consider it as unimportant. No churches should ever shrink away from this financial responsibility, by telling them to "Have faith, just trust God for your living expenses.” We pray that no believer or church leader would ever say, "God will take care of you." and then refuse to care for the needs of those who are or have been shepherding them.
Saturday
The challenge of shepherding a church in China is a daunting task because believers are often very critical whether of each other or even their pastors.often very critical, prone to verbally attack each other's and their pastors included. Many believers have deep emotional wounds or a hurtful upbringing. We pray for healing and the transformation by the Holy Spirit for these believers in every facet of their lives. May His Name be praised and our lives renewed daily by His love.
Sunday
Although China no longer has a shortage of pastors, there is still a lack of those who are well-equipped and adequately trained. Too many believers are merely church attendees and badly need spiritual and physical caring. Pastors who try to meet the spiritual needs in their churches are overwhelmed by the enormous emotional, relational and family problems many believers suffer. We pray that each church will do its best to help with healing and build healthy families.
Monday
The poison of the Cultural Revolution still has deep roots among the churches in China. Church leaders are spiritually lonely, but will not share their inadequacy or feeling with their co-workers in fear of being savagely judged. It is said that many lack management ethics, and care only about their respectability and the appearance of holiness. We pray for God’s mercy for His churches and HIs servants in China because we are all sinners saved by grace. May the Lord revive His churches, not merely in numbers of members but with a deep love for Him and spiritual leaders becoming transparent and with a servant's heart.

星期二
在中國有地區教會遭當局關閉後,牧者的家庭生活和經濟都受到影響。引發了信徒探討教會應更多關顧失業的牧者,以及如何為該等情況未雨綢繆。求主施恩給在教會事奉、獻上青春的傳道人,加添他們信心和引領他們有新的服事方向。同時也感動弟兄姊妹關心神的僕人經濟所需,尤其是中年牧者不易找到另一個服事工場。
星期三
現今教會「牧者荒」的情況已沒有過去嚴重,甚至出現許多牧者沒有全職服事的工場。求主提醒信徒不可冷淡對待目前沒服事工場的牧者,或將他們推到社會上去,再重新選擇謀生的差事。求神打破我們的冷漠,不是只說: 「平平安安的去吧!願你們穿得暖,吃得飽」;卻狠着心不供給他們身體所需用的。(雅 2:16)
星期四
對於牧者的經濟需要,有些信徒認為:「神掌管一切,神家的事情,自然有神來管」或是「神是他們的保證」。求神校正信徒的觀念,要重視全職牧者的生活保障和退休福利問題,起碼比照一般專業人士的規格,以解決牧者的後顧之憂。神吩咐屬信徒要彼此相愛,求主光照我們,若連看見的弟兄也不愛,如何愛看不見的神?願我們藉著關懷牧者來彰顯基督的愛。
星期五
「遠看像乞丐,近看像農民,走到跟前一看,才發現是教會的傳道人」這是不少教會牧者的光景!牧者的生活保障問題不是小事情,也關係到教會的發展,影響長遠的事工策略。求主施恩憐憫,讓信徒屬靈看見:供應牧者養生所需是會衆的權利和義務,更積極幫助教會傳道人真正改善生活現況,並協助失業牧者度過難關。
星期六
在中國牧會的挑戰是艱鉅的。信徒因為背景的關係較易攻擊並尖銳地指責別人,甚至直指傳道人的不是。有些信徒及牧者曾在教會裡受到攻擊,心靈受傷,求主親自醫治他們,以信心重新站立起來。又求主的靈來改變那些屬肉體信徒的言行,治死他們的老我,活出成熟的屬靈生命。願主的名隨事被高舉,信徒天天被神的愛更新。
星期日
雖然中國「牧者荒」已經緩解,可是仍然缺乏具有良好裝備和優質培訓的牧者。加上太多信徒只是參加聚會而已,少有人關心牧者身心靈的需要,這些都是教會長遠發展的隱憂。個人的感情和人際問題,加上種種家庭情況,使得牧者想幫助信徒靈命,也覺得疲憊無力。我們為教會的成長禱告:求神在這些年間,復興祢的作為,加力給衆教會面對挑戰。
星期一
過去的傷害深植在人心深處,教會領袖掌大權的個人形象,很難與同工分享自己的軟弱,他們沒有屬靈的同伴,孤軍奮戰。求主憐憫教會及祂的僕人都是蒙恩的罪人,許多的軟弱有待增強。但願教會的復興不在數字上,而在信徒的屬靈品質提昇;幇助我們真有愛主的火熱,教會領袖們也能坦誠分享以僕人的心態來服侍。

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。