On June 7-8, high school students across China participated in a two-day national examination called the 高考 (gāo kǎo, or “high test”). This brutal test serves as the national college entrance exam for China’s universities, and all college applications are judged by it alone. This year, over nine million students sat for the exam, and as always, the pressure was high. As economic disparity grows in China, the 高考 is not only a matter of honor and academic success, but it is seen as the sole chance for poor families to improve their situations. Due to the intense pressure placed on students taking the exam, the 高考 has been linked in the past with rashes of both suicide and cheating. Test results will be announced June 23-26, so take time this week to pray over this national phenomenon. Below you can find prayer points and links to helpful articles.
How to pray:
- Pray for the students who have recently finished their examinations. Pray that they will finally be able to physically and mentally rest after a year of extreme preparation. Pray for students who need counseling and/or psychological assistance to find resources and safe places to seek help. Pray for this time of waiting for test results to produce spiritual fruit – pray that students would seek something beyond themselves and beyond test results to find their purpose and meaning in life. Pray for them to be curious and seek truth, especially while they have more free time this summer than they have had since the beginning of their grade school years. Pray for them to have fun.
- Pray for the parents of students. Pray that they will love their children no matter what test results come back. Pray for parents to encourage and support their children, helping them to grow into mature and wise adults who know how to live life well beyond the life of the classroom. Pray for humility for parents whose students did well, and for tenderness and encouragement for parents whose students did not do well. Pray for parents whose children will not be able to go to college as a result of the 高考 since their economic dreams and stability may be disappointed. Pray that this time will produce spiritual fruit in many parents’ lives as they too struggle to find peace.
- Pray for the teachers who have given their time and effort to prepare students. Pray for China’s education system as it struggles to grow and adapt with the country’s changing realities. Pray for justice and equity for the poor in a system that is difficult to navigate and overcome.
- Pray for the students a year below who will now starting the most intense academic year of a Chinese person’s life. Pray that as they prepare for the 高考 next year, they will endure in body and spirit, and that the Lord will work through this experience to call them to himself.
- Pray for the church in China to think creatively concerning how to minister to their congregations and neighbors during the 高考. Pray that the church will know how to care for its people in amazing practical ways during this time, both parents and students. Pray for the church to contextualize the gospel well concerning the 高考, and to bring glory and honor to Christ by sharing the gospel during such a difficult time in so many people’s lives. Pray for the church to disciple families well, helping them see that their identity is in Christ whatever happens as a result of the gāo kǎo.