Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Prayer Request 8/6 - 8/12

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)
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. 
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)
“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).
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.
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.
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)

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)
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。
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)
"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)。
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。
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。

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