Interview with a Foshan Prayer Leader – Impossible with Men, Possible with God
Editor’s note: Over the past year we have been praying for the Chinese church in a new city each month - providing videos, interviews, and prayer requests directly from the churches with whom we work. We hope this helps you better understand the needs of the Chinese church and commit more fervently to stand in prayer with our brothers and sisters.
This month we continue the project with Foshan. We’re excited to bring you this interview with a Chinese pastor in the city! We hope you will check out the Foshan page for additional content and to sign up to partner with us in prayer.
CP: Why do you think prayer is so important for the churches in China?
Prayer Leader: Since what we do cannot be accomplished by human effort, we particularly need to search for God’s will. The development of the church in China has reached deep into the country’s different layers, so many people in this nation are targets of the gospel and that requires special prayer.
There are many fields ripe for harvest, and so at this time we particularly need to search for God’s will in this area. Churches in China have to discern God’s will on how to do this. We have many ministries, but what are we supposed we do? What are our priorities? We have to search for God’s lead before we act.
CP: What is this work to which you are referring?
Prayer Leader: What we are doing is the work of the gospel; that is, how the human soul can be saved. That happens through God’s own choosing, through being born again by God. It cannot be accomplished by human effort.
CP: I saw the number 10:02. What is it about?
Prayer Leader: 10:02 stands for Luke 10:2 in the New Testament, which says the harvest is plentiful, and that we should pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his fields. Harvest refers to the many souls that are seeking the meaning of eternal life. Laborers refer to the church planters, pastors, and co-workers in churches called to serve these people. Prayers are especially needed for the raising up of many more laborers in China.
CP: What is the significance of 10:02 in your life? Why mention it?
Prayer Leader: This number 10:02 came from a Canadian church. They were then praying for church planters. They would set their alarms to 10:02am every morning. Different local churches would then pray for the churches in their country, for the raising up of church planters, and for more involvement in the church-planting ministry.
Therefore, every day when my alarm goes off at 10:02am, I pray for churches in China and around the world and for the raising up of church planters.
CP: What do you think of this gathered prayer at 10:02am every morning for this one, specific thing? What is your personal attitude toward it?
Prayer Leader: I think the unity of everyone in the church, as well as the unity of churches, is crucial. I believe through this God will make known his mighty power and glory. It is easy for God to do anything. But the key is that in this process [of praying together] he trains us to understand the gospel more deeply and teaches us to unite as a church.
CP: When you heard that American churches are praying with you at the same time, at 10:02 am, how did you feel?
Prayer Leader: I was very excited at the thought that we were praying together across time and space because of the same God and the same Holy Spirit. I also thought about hundreds of years ago or even more ancient times. It is like we are all in the river of history doing this together for God’s will, and this is especially meaningful and exciting.
CP: How do we pray for China? What should we pray for?
Prayer Leader: I think it is because of God’s passion, rather than our passion for China, that God is transforming China through his gospel and through the death and resurrection of his son.
This transformation has to start from the church and from the salvation of the soul, and from there flow over the whole city, the whole nation, covering all aspects of life and society, not only our political system but also education, medical care, our community, our culture, literature ministry, and mercy ministry, as God works in all these fields.
Prayer can effect continual change on our spiritual environment, and the gospel can reach any part of this nation.
CP: Can you tell us how you have experienced God answering your prayers?
Prayer Leader: There are too many [experiences] to recount. Every day, beginning when I get up in the morning, prayer is like breathing to me. It is very real.
Every morning, beginning when I get up and start reading God’s word, I start to pray for the ministries at hand, for brothers and sisters, for family, for work. The Spirit shows me a very clear list of what I should do and what I shouldn’t do.
When you come before God with everything, and you think back on your morning prayers after the day is past and on what God has made happen – God has led me to meet so-and-so as I hoped, for example, and he enabled me to share the gospel with that person – you feel that this God is right beside you.
CP: How has God responded to your intercessory prayer for your nation? How has he transformed your country?
Prayer Leader: For two years our church has been praying for the country, for all of the institutions, from top to bottom. We have seen recent checks on corruption and change in the family planning policy. We have also seen reforms in education and medical care. We can sense gradual changes happening in our lives. Even regarding our faith, in our communication and correspondence with the authorities, we can see changes in their attitude. I believe this comes from God hearing our prayers.
CP: Can you recall times when you were deeply impressed by God’s response to your prayer?
Prayer Leader: I remember idol worship was particularly rampant last April. Three of us sisters fasted and prayed along the idol-worship parade route in hopes that there would be no such parade the following day.
However, the parade still took place the next day. We were a little disappointed: how could God let this happen?
That was around April 15th. When May came, we were still seeking God. Then sometime in May there was a big earthquake in Nepal, the place of origin of the idols in our city. The earthquake destroyed many statues and temples. What we had hoped for was the removal of idols from people’s hearts, those physical idols. But God did something far greater by shaking up the place where these idols were made: the pagodas and temples fell. This was a memorable experience.
We also prayed for a [particular] district. Whenever our church moves to a place, we will explore the neighborhood and pray for it.
There was an unclean area opposite our church harboring prostitutes, drug addicts, and migrant workers. When we saw this, we started to pray. Within one month the district government invested in revitalizing these dark corners and started building parks and exercise facilities. This touched us greatly.
There are numerous stories like these.
CP: Do you have any particular prayer requests to share with American brothers and sisters? Is there anything that you would like to say to them?
Prayer Leader: I want to say that I am touched by American brothers and sisters. Their willingness to pray for China, and the time and effort that they have sacrificed for the ministry of the gospel throughout the history of the church particularly touches us.
We hope American brothers and sisters will continue to pray for gospel work in China. Please also pray for the renewal of the Chinese church by the gospel and for the raising up of more church planters.
The fact that American brothers and sisters are willing to pray for us greatly encourages us. We also pray for the US constantly and for different parts of the country: many of our children have gone to study in the US. Wherever they go, we pray for gospel revival there.
English translation provided by Amy and the China Partnership translation team. Please refer to our reposting guidelines for permission to share on your blog or website.