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。