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China will soon celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Republic. The year 1949 means much to the Chinese people. For millions, it meant families broken up and separated for decades to come. No one would imagine how far China would come as a nation and how much China churches would grow over the past six decades. We praise God for His miraculous work and pray for even more blessing for Chinese churches everywhere. May the Lord be gracious to His churches, and may His people be even bolder and more willing to serve. May China churches stand up to be counted in His Kingdom.
The majority of China's rural churches have great difficulty attracting younger, professional newcomers because their church facilities are dilapidated and most of the members are old and mostly women. The kind of preaching usually does not appeal to those with higher education and working families. Many churches struggle with how to attract the younger generation and end up with no consensus or viable plans. People often become disheartened and even divided. Let us pray for unity, vision for church growth and moving of the Spirit among the leaders.
In 2008 the number of Chinese able to access the internet reached 200 million and nearly ninety percent of them are under thirty-five years of age with about forty percent in the 18-24 year old bracket. The government has attempted to clean up online pornography but without much success. Parents have a nearly universal problem because most of them complain that their child is spending too much time playing online games. Let us pray for believers who are concerned about the internet and online addiction to pornography of their children.
A survey shows that three-fourths of students have viewed Internet pornography and that nearly all college students have done so. The Chinese government is rather stringent in clamping down on pornography but the effort seems to be futile. The Chinese taboo of discussing sex is one reason young people flock to the net to learn anything about sex. Let us pray for Christian parents to have the wisdom to discuss this subject with their children. We also pray that all Christian teens will have the desire to keep themselves pure and flee from sexual temptations.
The average Chinese loves to curse. There are two things that make this even worse. Chinese often exaggerate by being overly-inclusive as if all Chinese are equally bad. Second, this vulgarity often includes sexual innuendos with endless references to the genitals. Of course believers do not curse like this but it is hard for many new converts to change after their conversion. We pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to transform them and us in mind as well as in words and deeds.
For a long time China has been a poor country. There was even a time not too long ago when China promoted the ideal of "The more impoverished, the more glorious". Another saying was, "The more impoverished, the more revolutionary one is". Times have changed and today it is literally, "Show me the money" or "Money talks". The Bible says that God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom. Let us pray that more Chinese believers will be like the apostle Peter who could proudly stand up and claim, "Silver and gold have I none, but in the name of Jesus..."
In the days of the Cultural Revolution the buzz phrase was, "Be the grass of socialism, never be a seedling of capitalism". The meaning was that one was to embrace socialism blindly no matter the cost with a total disregard for the well-being of the people and forget about capitalism even it was good or useful. Believers can be extreme in upholding their own interpretation of the Bible to the total exclusion of orthodox and historical church traditions. Let us pray for humility of believers and pastors alike, that they will be able to respect each other, be less self-righteous, and show more of the love of Jesus Christ.