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Tuesday
The movie 2010 was the top one in the box office in China. They liked the movie because in it Hollywood portrayed Chinese people positively. All the arks used to save humanity in this film were "Made in China". Each year only twenty foreign films are allowed to be shown in China and this movie was shown without any editing. We thank the Lord for the increase in national pride and the popular sentiment of "Chinese can save the world" that we see right now in China. We pray Chinese believers will be more confident in their role of sharing Jesus with their neighbors rather than just the idealistic vision of "we have a mission to the world". We pray, too, that believers will humbly accept one another rather than attacking each other due to petty differences.
Wednesday
Garlic from Shangdong province has become a hot item on the market and the price has shot up nearly ten-fold because of the rumored benefit it gives of preventing the common flu in the winter. Even young ladies are joining the ranks of those chewing raw garlic. In the past Chinese believers were ridiculed and badly victimized when they fell prey to cults that promised instant financial and health benefits. Let us pray that growth in all churches is built on God's Word instead of just false promises and that they will grow through the moving of the Spirit rather than through the charisma of some person.
Thursday
These are some of the top cliches in China now: "I can deal with hoodlums, it is the civilized hoodlums that I can't stand." "Don't bother me when things are fine, don't ask for my help when things go wrong." "Don't try to decide who is lazier. I am too lazy too be compared with you." Many people feel that young people today have a bad attitude, are irresponsible and not willing to help. In churches, this is a common complaint of older believers as well. Let us pray for the more mature believers to be willing to model sacrificial serving and may the Holy Spirit work mightily among new believers to want to serve and give of themselves.
Friday
Traditionally Chinese morality considers that revenge is a virtue. A very common cliche goes like this: "It is un-gentlemanly not to seek revenge." A debt must be reciprocated or returned whether it is through kindness or meanness. One who does not take revenge on another is considered a fool, unethical, and not fit to be called a man. Thus, we can see why Chinese believers struggle a great deal with forgiveness and letting go. May the Lord help us to see and understand the grace and mercy He has for all of us. Unresolved hatred is a big reason many believers cannot fully appreciate God's love and kindness to us and why they are so legalistic.
Saturday
China is trying hard to reverse her brain drain by luring accomplished professors to return home.They are offering a salary of one million yuan hoping to recruit one thousand professors. But there is a catch--these people must give up their foreign citizenship to let China have full credit for their research. Salary is always a factor in retaining pastors in rural churches. Those who have children want to live in cities where the schools are better. Let us pray especially for those churches that are without shepherds and are not likely to attract one because of small financial remuneration. We also remember to pray for strength and God's provision for pastors who have stayed on to serve in rural churches.
Sunday
Despite the global economic downturn, the personal wealth of the rich in China has continued to expand . By the end of 2009 China will have 450,000 millionaires (in USD, excluding their homes) and that number will double in four years.Millionaires represent only 0.1 percent of all Chinese households but they hold nearly half of the total wealth in China. Most Christians expect those who are rich to give offerings and use that as an excuse not to be a faithful steward themselves. People simply expect others to give but they themselves will not give. Thus, the offerings in churches are generally low and given by only a few. Let us pray that God will change this mentality for believers and open their eyes to see that God is waiting to pour His abundant riches on those who are willing to trust Him.
Monday
Half of the students in China feel their parents care only about their school grades and nearly ninety percent of the parents admit that the academic performance of their children is their top concern. Students say that their number one worry is that they will disappoint their parents. Even Christian parents often feel that their children' good grades are more important than a close relationship with God. We pray along with all the Christians parents who are worried that their children will drift away from the faith but also naturally are concerned about the future of their only child.