China Central Television's Spring Festival Gala has regularly attracted seven hundred million to a billion viewers since the early 1980's. Anyone who is featured in this event receives instant fame and recognition. Chinese people believe that whoever is famous or appears often on the media must be good. Chinese Christians have the same problem. They believe those pastors who preach well or speak to large audiences are used greatly by God. Let us pray for spiritual discernment, serious learning of the truth, and true spiritual growth for all believers.
There is an estimate of 16 millions Chinese who is legally blind. China is not handicap-friendly as a whole, especially to those who are blind. Blind have literally no employment opportunity except as massuess. There are ministries targeting specifically the blinds, providing Bible study courses and even seminary training in audio format. Let us lift up all the blind believers, both their spiritual and physical need to God. May the Lord bless those serving the blind and those who are physically handicapped.
Many are surprised to know that one pastor can oversee so many congregations in China. Many leaders rely on authoritarian centralized leadership instead of doing it with godliness. Although on the surface the church seems to run smoothly under such "dictatorial rule" it really discourages people working together to see God's leading. Let us pray for those who are helping churches learn to adopt a better way of governing. More importantly, we need the Lord to raise up many, many leaders who are faithful and humble. We lift up all leaders, especially the older generation, that they will be willing to let go and allow younger ones be blessed by learning to lead.
People ask,"Are the churches in China poor?" Absolutely not! The churches there have great potential as far as resources go but they need to be more willing to share among themselves. Whether they are open or house churches, coastal or inland, there are many churches whose annual giving exceeds a million yuan and many other churches easily boast of offerings above half a million yuan.We simply pray that the churches in China will be willing to share their resources with the stronger helping the weaker, the urban churches helping the rural ones and all having a generous heart and being more Kingdom-minded. O Lord, help us put our prayers and desires into action!
Many rural young couples in China face an uphill battle to preserve their marriages due to several reasons. Often the marriages are arranged and lack deep understanding between the couple. Many times the two young people are separated because the men goes to work in the cities and being together for only a few short weeks each year provides little opportunity to build good relationships. Let us pray for all the believing couples who live separately because of work or other reasons. Satan snares them and wants to destroy God's people. We pray for the protection of all Christian families, especially those who are struggling with a history of infidelity, a poor marital relationship, and the inability to forgive.
The term "left-over women" means the same as "3S Women" or women who were born in the 70's and are still single because they can't find appropriate companions. They are often tall, well-educated, and have a high income, all of which make it difficult for them to find a husband. Most Chinese parents want their daughter to attain a high education but they are also fearful that they then will not be able to find mates who are as well educated as they are. Let us pray along with the parents who are worrying about their children' mates. We know we parents must teach our children to wait for the Lord to provide a believer-spouse for them.
Among Chinese in their twenties, it is becoming very common for them to have "Flash wedding" - fall in love, court (by phone or Internet) and marry in even as sort a time as a week. Young Chinese do not shy away from a "trial marriage" before tying the knot. Although it is still taboo according to Confucian culture , sex before marriage is now accepted as the norm. We should pray fervently for the younger generation of Chinese and that the Lord will give the churches wisdom in how to understand and relate to the youth. Churches need to provide a viable and powerful message of God's love and acceptance of sinners and not just simply condemn the lack of sexual morality about the young people.