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 opens with scripture and closes with the needs of those in the network. 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
You are my King, O God;
ordain salvation for Jacob!
Through you we push down our foes;
through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever.
- Psalms 44:4-8
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
- Psalms 143:1
Dear Heavenly Father, gracious Lord, we praise you and thank you. We are so disobedient and do not deserve to come near you, our holy and just Lord, because of our sin. Thank you for your mercy and grace; through the price Jesus Christ has paid for us, we can bow to you with breath, offering our deep worship in prayer.
In this disorderly and perverse generation, filled with the noisy sounds of postmodernism, at the crossroads of human exploration, and in a fierce transitional period for house churches, our Lord is still sovereign. In the [church] movements, which have been used by the Lord in the recent years, we trace the gospel truth rediscovered, live out resurrection lives, and are living sacrifices of worship to God and [thankfulness for] his blessings to China.
Even in face of rough persecution, we still hold in faith that our Lord leads his church, and sanctifies his church. We know in depth that the beautiful and perfect will of our God, will be fulfilled in us through prayer. Our prayers bring us into deep worship. And worship and prayer grant us new power for deeper and wider prayers.
The church is built on its knees. Spiritual works are not done by human efforts, but by God. Only when a crowd of weak and humble people kneel down, after hearing the gospel, can they worship God, honor God, seek God, obey God, and experience God as one man. The church serves in prayer and prays in service. The Holy Spirit leads us to walk in accordance with the will of God, and leads us to return to the gospel call, broadening God’s kingdom. The war is not possible to be fought relying on the fleshly weapons, but through prayer, community with God, and seeking God’s power. Let us fight together for the kingdom of God.
Pray with gratitude:
· Give thanks for the recent trainings on Christ-centered worship. Ask God to use this training, helping us to be worshipping people, worshipping churches, so that Christ may be seen in worship.
· Give thanks for theological training. Ask God to help theological trainings around the country.
· Give thanks for the healing of [a pastor’s young son].
Pray for the kingdom:
Kingdom of the gospel and cities of grace!
Let us carry on to renew God’s church through prayer, preaching, baptism and holy communion – the gracious paths God set [for us] himself. We are willing to let Christ be the Lord of our lives, experiencing the renewal of our churches and of our own lives through the power of Holy Spirit.
We strive for the work of church planting in our cities, for the building gospel-centered churches, for sharing the love of Christ – to renew the city, to bless China, so that the glorious grace of God would be praised.
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
- Luke 10:2
· Pray for God’s spirit to wakes us up! Ask that weak and tired Christians and churches will be revived. Pray that faithless humans hear the gospel of Christ’s love and sacrifice.
· Pray that the gospel being preached in churches is the right one; pray for more and more churches to share the vision of church planting; pray for more and more couples to be called, assured, and trained.
· Pray for church trainings; [ask God to] guard the teachers and [remember before him] the huge work of translators. Open trainees’ hearts so that they can finish their two years of learning and be a blessing to local churches.
· Ask God to train us to grow in prayer, and may God’s will be done.
· Pray for the recovery of normal order from the typhoon in Xiamen. Let the gospel be the hope of people in difficulties.
· Pray for the laws regulating religion in our country. Ask God to have mercy on this country; pray for leading churches to focus on God’s kingdom, be strong in their faith, and stand firm in truth.
· Pray for [a pastor and his wife who recently had his property seized]. Ask God to help them and to continue using them to save people out of darkness.
· Pray for [the network’s efforts to participate in celebrating the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation]. Pray for God’s will to be done, and for more and more churches to return to the heritage of the Reformation, returning to the gospel.
· Pray for the training of ministers and elders.
· Pray for the revival of prayer services around the country. Let humans be praying humans, and churches be praying churches.
· Pray for Christian education around the country. Ask God to help the [Christian] schools in difficulties.
· Pray for families of the pastors and [church leaders], who have not believed in Jesus Christ yet.
· Pray for the recovery of many [in our midst] suffering from illnesses.
· Pray for churches that are facing difficulties and need fulltime workers to be called. Pray for God’s assistance for them.
· Pray for the arrested lawyers and their families.
· Pray for the justice of God to rule the country, and to block the erosion [caused by] corruption and bribery.
· Pray for the presidential election of the USA.
· Pray for the safety of the USA, and for the people and the churches in that country be more in God.