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Tuesday
At present there are 70 million children from "only child" families in college or in the work force in China. When they were surveyed nearly half of these college students reported a lack of close friendship in spite of their having a large social circle. Many observe that people from the "only child" generation have great difficulty forming healthy relationships. The young and newly-converted believers in China now are predominately from the "one child" generation. We pray for these new converts, especially those in urban churches, that the Holy Spirit will transform their lives and teach them to be humble, not self-centered in their fellowship with other believers.
Wednesday
The government estimates that there are 5.2 million "official" cars in service throughout China. One can imagine the enormous expense and abuses involved. The Communist Party has stated repeatedly that using official cars for private use is very rampant but their attempts to reform the situation have failed again and again. Chinese people tend to equate the misuse and abuse of public property merely as perks. Having integrity and not giving in to corruption is not easy, especially for believers who are in positions of power and influence. Let us pray for them and for ourselves since we all need to live out our faith and be a testimony in the workplace.
Thursday
Several things contributed to the rise of student fellowships in colleges: involvement of urban churches in student ministry, the return of Christian Chinese from overseas who teach in colleges, reach out to students, and are involved in publishing of many literary classics as well as promoting Christianity in the department of religion in many universities. Student ministry in China has been an unprecedented collaborative effort and we praise the Lord for the miracle He has performed. We lift up all those involved in student ministries and pray especially for those who have come to accept Jesus on the campus but are now not a part of any church or have drifted away from their faith.
Friday
It is estimated that there are 173 million adults with mental illness in China--far more than was previously thought. The vast majority of those so afflicted have never sought help because of the Chinese lack of understanding about mental illness and that they can be treated. Any Chinese who is mentally ill is quickly labeled as "strange" or "weak". Even churches can usually offer nothing better than a gentle, "We will pray for you". Pastors have little knowledge of how to handle those who are depressed or suicidal. They have no time to give individual attention to those so afflicted. Let us pray for those pastors whose sheep are suffering from depression and wondering how the church can help them.
Saturday
Health officials in Beijing estimate that 17.5% of adult Chinese suffer from some kind of mental disorder. Rural residents have a high incidence of depression and alcohol-related problems. Unfortunately, China is also the only country in the world in which the rate of suicide for females is higher than that of males. A majority of Chinese Christian churches are located in rural regions (60% of the people in China live in rural areas). Rural churches witness many cases of depression and suicide but are totally at a loss to know how to help. Let us pray for healing for all the depressed individuals churches know about or the members who suffer from it. May the Lord use the churches to preach the powerful message of healing and comfort found in God in their communities.
Sunday
The Communist Party claims that a third of her members have a college education. Since all positions in the government are given to party members by preference, many Christians choose to keep their faith a secret or decide not to be baptized for fear of being associated with churches. We pray for a close personal relationship with God for every Christian who holds party membership. They need much prayer, a strong faith in God, and the courage to live out their beliefs. They are also the seed for change whether subtle or obvious in the Chinese government. We pray for our brothers and sisters who hold membership in the Communist party.
Monday
Although Beijing has repeatedly raised the salary of teachers nationwide, teachers are not getting raises locally because of a lack of funds. China as a nation is rich but at the county level, the salaries of teachers have not caught up with inflation. Teachers in the countryside are the poorest in terms of pay and other compensations. Similarly, many have talked about helping the pastors especially those in the rural churches but there is a lack of financial resources. Let us lift up in our prayers those who serve the Lord and His people faithfully. May the Lord bless them and help the people in the churches to see that they should treat God's shepherds with respect and support them financially.