Conversations, debates, and prayers have surrounded the American church in recent years concerning the LGBT community; yet, the American church is not the only part of Christ’s body that faces the challenging and sensitive issues of homosexuality and gender identity. Though facing different situations and social contexts, this issue is on a similarly meteoric rise in China and as it grows in visibility, the Chinese church will need to develop rich theologies and pastoral practices in order to lovingly care for its congregations, particularly among the urban young. As we pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the American church concerning LGBT issues, let us also remember to pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters.
How to pray:
- Pray for great and immense wisdom for Chinese pastors. Pray particularly for soft hearts and listening ears to match firm commitment to God’s commands.
- Pray for churches to know how to engage the issue compassionately and with extensive grace. Pray for the church to be marked by its love. Pray also for the church to openly talk about issues of sexuality and gender without fear, and to take these issues seriously. These issues are socially taboo in China, meaning that many people do not openly discuss their sexuality and struggles often remain hidden. Christians in China can sometimes be easily dismissive of same-sex-attraction, holding a “just get over it” mentality. Pray for deeper understanding of the issues by the church and for the church to become a place where all people can be open concerning their brokenness, whatever it is.
- Pray for increased counseling resources in China. Pray for more Chinese Christians to be trained as counselors. Pray for the Chinese church to lead the way in contextualizing Western counseling practices, as it often looks different for societies more communally centered in honor and shame.
- Pray for the LGBT community in China. Pray for healing and repentance, softness of heart, and ultimately, for the Lord of Creation to be made known. Pray that it will find in Christians compassionate and loving friendship, rather than ostracism.
- Pray for America’s global impact on this issue. China’s LGBT community pays particularly close attention to America and has been much invigorated by America’s recent political developments.