In Shanghai, the cost of raising a child to adulthood, including the college tuition, is about 900,000 yuans, the cost of a middle-class apartment. Every parent has great expectations for his/her only child and the cost of raising the only child is equal to a house. Christian parents have the same worries too. They worry about their children drifting away from God. Vast majority of Chinese churches have little to attract or offer the teenagers. Let us pray that Christian parents will have the wisdom and resolve to teach, communicate and remind their children to love the Lord.
Since the great revival in China in the 1970's, although no one knows exactly the number of Chinese Christians, Chinese have composed the largest Christian groups in the world. Officially there are eighteen million believers in the Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement and five million in the Catholic Patriotic churches. We know that God knows everyone who belongs to Him so we want to pray for God's sheep and His faithful workers on the field. Many say, "Prosperity is the greatest enemy of the church" so we pray again for the refining fire and a spirit of revival to come to churches in China.
The housing market is again sizzling in China. On the average, the price of a starter home in an average Chinese city will cost about as much as one wage-earner would get in twenty-two years. It is expected that parents will help their child buy a house and the only way a young married couple can own their own home is with the help of their parents. Helping their child buy a house and saving money for retirement are two things constantly on the mind of parents in China. Let us pray especially for believers who have children of a marriageable age. While it is difficult to be free of worry about money, let us pray for peace and assurance from God that He will take care of us and our children as we trust Him with all of our hearts.
In the cities, many of the new believers are young professionals. Although they have only came to know Jesus less than 5 years but they are very active in evangelism and want to make an impact for Jesus. In contrast to the older believers, they are eager to apply their skills and leverage their influence for Kingdom's sake. We praise the Lord for musicians, artists, managers of companies, teachers and lawyers who profess their Christian faith publicly. We pray that their zeal will be matched by their desire to walk closely with God, as well as humility to work with their church members.
The Communist party is said to have implemented new rules forbidding party officials implicated in scandals or those who have been reprimanded to be eligible for reappointment or promotion.This is meant as a serious warning to put a stop to "bad apples". Last year there were eight thousand party officials reprimanded or indicted. "Bad" church workers often relocate or else start a new church which causes division and weakening of the existing church. We pray for all the congregations now undergoing divisions or suffering splits because of the moral failure of their leaders. May the Lord graciously restore their faith in the church and give them unity in Christ.
Many Chinese have come to hear about Jesus for the first time after they left China to study or work abroad. These new converts have the genuine faith but many have reservation about receiving the baptism as a public profession of their faith. Many feel being a Christian will derail their career advancement, bypassed for promotion and jeopardize their membership standing in the Communist Party which is absolutely essential for public sector works. We uplift these brothers and sisters, in sharing their heavy emotional load with our prayers. May the Lord give us faith in trusting Him to lead us, and courage to profess His Name in our daily walk.
Golf is nicknamed the "green opium" in China and widely considered as a recreation of the capitalists. It is the fastest growing sport, with nearly 300 plus courses mostly in the southern part of China. Back in the 1980's there were only 20 courses. Not long ago, church buildings in China are antiquated and badly in need of replacement. Today, there are many modern, huge and architecturally distinctive church buildings. Let us remember especially these open churches with nice facilities that they will be used for great good and become great blessings to their communities.