Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Prayer Request 4/23 - 4/29

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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.


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