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Although crime rates in China were relatively stable from 2001-2008, in 2009 murders, robberies, and rapes shot up by 10 percent. This was attributed to the economic downturn, increased unemployment, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Chinese believers often lament the fact that China is much more prosperous than in the past but corruption and crimes do abound. We are called to pray for those who govern us, therefore let us pray that churches will have a postive and godly influence on the country and believers will sincerely pray for the officials and policies in their own communities.
Recent surveys show that the rich have gotten richer during the financial crisis in China and that has fueled strong resentment among ordinary Chinese who feel that official nepotism and corruption is making some people people extremely rich. The average person believes the government crackdown on corruption and nepotism has failed. Chinese people resent the rich but want to be rich themselves. People simply accept that gaining favors by any means is the way to do business. Let us pray for all believers as they live out God's standard in their crooked world, knowing that God will not disappoint them because they refuse to compromise.
Although the Communist Party represents less than 6% of China's population, it accounts for 60-70% of the members of the People's Congress and those in various levels of the government. About nine percent of the delegates are from the military. Small groups of people often can have enormous influence over the whole nation. Let us pray for integrity, wisdom, and a sense of justice for all the members of the Communist Party. We remember also all the members of the party who are believers in Jesus but are not able to declare their faith even though they love the Lord wholeheartedly.
In a losing battle to combat corruption, the Communist Party updated a list of "forbidden activities" for its members. The original list made in 1997 included forty-one forbidden actions which has now been expanded to fifty-two. We know that rules and laws cannot stop corruption or greed and although citizens detest corruption by officials, "only a fool will pass up the chance to be rich". Let us pray that we as Christians will guard our own hearts from all these financial temptations. In 1 Timothy 6:6 we find that Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Life in the cities in Eastern China is definitely getting luxurious. People are not only looking for a place to live and to put their nice furniture but they also demand spectacular views and luxurious amenities that include a community pool, a club house, and even a fitness center. Many would say that the churches on the east coast of China are mostly affluent but numbers of the believers are being drawn into the pursuit of worldly possessions and are rather weak spiritually. Let us pray specifically for revival among affluent urban believers. May the Lord rekindle our love and passion for Him.
Being a female secretary in China carries a lot of baggage. She is expected to be a "pretty face", a babysitter for the family as well as going out to entertain clients in addition to her work for her boss. No wonder it is said that no self-respecting Chinese man wants his wife or girlfriend to be a secretary. Sexual harassment in the workplace is very rampant but making a fuss about it is considered suicidal. We take this time to pray for all believers, especially those who must endure critical, unreasonable, and even harassing bosses. We remember those who cannot quit because there are no other jobs available and those who must endure a poor working environment.
Vulgarity has become nearly universal in China. If anything displeases a person, you will hear him curse. Of course, there are common and favorite phrases and they are ubiquitous in movies and novels. Christians know that such found language does not honor God but we live in the midst of people who habitually use foul language. May we use our tongues to praise the Lord, to speak gently, and to give glory to God wherever we are.