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。