A Hope-Filled Prayer for Early Rain Covenant Church
Editor’s Note: Wang Jianguo is the collective pseudonym for a group of Chinese house church pastors thinking about writing about issues related to the spread of Christianity in their nation. They are committed to preaching a grace-centered gospel, developing resources for the church, and loving China’s urban centers.
This prayer was written by a Chinese pastor’s wife who spent over a week visiting members of Early Rain Covenant Church. She spent time providing care and encouragement to those women whose husbands have been arrested. This prayer shares her heart after her time in Chengdu.
Dear heavenly Father, our hearts are full with thanks and praise for you! Thank you for watching from heaven all that is happening here on earth, and that you yourself, from all eternity, have already known what will happen tomorrow. Not only so, since the beginning you have kept each one of your children by your holy and gracious hands; every step that we take and every thought that we have are all within your will.
Whenever we think about how great is your faithfulness, Lord, whenever we think about how broad is the extent of your sovereign grace, whenever we think about how attentively you have watched over every single event that happens in the flow of human history, O Lord, our hearts are moved to praise and awe! In these moments, our hearts find assurance before you, for we sincerely know that as we see persecution today, and as we see the perseverance, courage, endurance, faltering, compromise, and weakness shown by the brothers and sisters under persecution - all these are within your will.
Lord, we thank you that what you will accomplish through this is surely not what we can imagine. Just as in the times before, when the churches were under persecution and merciless assault, what you accomplished was also not what we had imagined. Lord, with all that is happening, may you truly awaken the Chinese house churches, awaken each sleeping soul, awaken our hearts that have long since been captured by this world, awaken us from our hearts of complacency and indulgence, awaken our hearts that are so madly self-absorbed. O Lord, let us be truly touched once again by your calvary love; to see once again that baby who was born 2000 years ago - who came down from heaven, having left his glory above to come down to earth, even being born in a manger because there was no place for him at the inn. And since you were born, not a single thing you have done on earth was for your own sake. Yet this world has fervently persecuted you. This world was not satisfied until it had nailed you on the cross. Yet the wonder of yourself was that by such a cross, you have accomplished redemption.
O Lord, we thank you! Just as your days were on earth, so are our days also, for the students are not above their teacher.
Lord we know the persecution that you went through. Lord, we have done so little in this world. No matter how much we have done, we are not more than those unworthy servants who have merely done their duty. O Lord, it is no more than that. O Lord we much desire that you may use us, little as we are, to serve every person that you have placed around us - when they are thirsty may we give them a drink, when they are hungry may we give them food; when they are naked may we clothe them; when they are sick may we come to care for them, and when they are in prison may we go visit them. O Lord we know that everything you have told us to do unto the least of the brothers and sisters, we will have done it unto you.
O Lord, we pray that through this, all of your body and all of your church will experience how long and wide and high and deep is your love.
Lord, we thank you! May you yourself truly fulfill all these things, and may your own name be lifted high through all these things! Even if they are sentenced to prison, even if they have no way to be set free, even if their wives and children are left by themselves to be scorned, ridiculed, and profaned, but in the end, Christ’s name will be exalted and your glory will be seen by the whole world!
O Lord, we thank you, we give thanks to you. We wait for you to come again; we wait for that wedding feast of the Lamb; we wait for you to come down from heaven and judge all things; and we wait for the day that will surely come when you, yourself will wipe away our every tear.
O Lord, we thank you. Thank you that we have such a hope to live each day for you. The love that you have shown us from the cross compels us to live every day solely for you. May you hear our prayers. We give all the glory and praise to you. We give thanks and pray all these in one heart, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
English translation provided by Ryan and the China Partnership translation team.