This week, take a glimpse into the prayers on the hearts of Chinese church leaders. The following comes from a regular prayer newsletter sent out by a church network. It focuses on themes of God’s sovereignty in history and the purpose of persecution. Use it as a guide to pray along with these Chinese Christians – and be encouraged that they are praying for you at the same time.
A Chinese Prayer Guide
God, we are grateful that you are a God in charge of history. You are forever the King. We are grateful that you have given people who are as inadequate as us the opportunity to participate in your work, to observe your work. The world is changing, but God, your will and your grace will never change.
The politics of the world are as unstable as the thunderclouds. Many countries face dilemmas and crises. Many societies not only face internal and external pressure, but have also become partisan and are tearing themselves apart. All of this urges God’s church to look into itself and to search our souls. For churches in China, it is important for us to act in accordance with God’s will.
The church is Christ’s body. It is full of what God has. Wherever the gospel goes, God’s church and God’s kingdom will be established. We have a dire need to come before God and confess our sins.
We repent of our disobedience,
our worldly thoughts,
our lack of time with God,
and our deviations from God’s ways.
God, Christian churches have not followed your words; we have week systems of nurturing our congregations; we have fallen short in praying for others; we lack inclusiveness; we have not reached out to society.
May God forgive us.
God, you love your Son, and you ransomed the church with his life. God, you also love China. You have bestowed grace and healing, but have also brought discipline and trials. You have given us these so that we might be whole and ready to act in your good ways. External persecutions will not destroy the church; on the contrary, they will only make it grow. Persecution glorifies churches by making them part of God’s suffering. Persecution turns churches into war winning weapons. You make churches come together through persecutions. It encourages churches to become one and to love each other, praying for each other. Amazingly, every time we experience persecution, Almighty Father, you bring even greater news afterwards.
God, in the spirit of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, you call us to go back to the Bible, spread the gospel which is capable of giving life to death, establish a healthy ecosystem of churches and the gospel, become our society’s conscience and backbone, and bring hope to people in darkness. We know all too well that we are small and limited and that our churches are flawed. All we can do is come before you and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance according to your will.
We pray that every Christian church is fragrant with Christ’s spirit and his marks of the cross.
We pray that we will love one another, and with the flow of the refreshing stream of the Reformation and by following in the Puritan’s footsteps, we will be able to nourish life. In the long arc of history, churches can only be forces of truth and change if we pursue real faith.
God, we believe that by relying on your complete and perfect will, we can reach our goals through prayer. And through these prayers we will come into profound worship, and you will give us the strength to pray even more deeply and more extensively.