How I’m Praying

Editor’s note: Not only do we seek to share the stories and experiences of Chinese Christians, we also strive to pray for them. In this new series, our blog editor shares how she is praying for China this month.


Grim is perhaps too mild a word: “wars and rumors of war” dominate the headlines, a global pandemic has raged for two years, and in the West, it seems there is no end to obstinate intramural fights over the shape of society. In some ways, it’s even worse for Chinese Christians: there, the last years have been increasingly difficult as the public space within which house church Christians are allowed to practice their faith has increasingly constricted around them. Apprehension about an uncertain future seems warranted.

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“Grim is perhaps too mild a word: “wars and rumors of war” dominate the headlines, a global pandemic has raged for two years, and in the West, it seems there is no end to obstinate intramural fights over the shape of society… Apprehension about an uncertain future seems warranted.

Prayers of Lament

In these times, it is fitting that our year of prayer for China began with a focus on the Psalms of lament. Sorrow is deeply uncomfortable, but praying through grief and anger is the response modeled throughout Scripture. In the past year, we’ve shared on the blog many examples of how interacting with the Chinese house church helps global believers process their own challenges. Today, I want to share how I am praying for China this month, guided by the prayers of Chinese believers and their own struggles with the psalms of sorrow. 

Prayer is not passive, but active. As we pray, we ascend to the throne room of heaven, and join other believers across the world and through the ages in worship. When we pray for our brothers and sisters in China, we share their burdens and are united with these believers, from whom we are temporarily severed by distance, language, and culture. Through prayer, we participate in their trials, stand in God’s presence on their behalf, and surrender to his wisdom even while petitioning him for the things we long for.

Peace, Pandemic, and Politics

In this month of lament, I am praying that God will “grant us the surprising peace of Christ.” As Psalm 88 shows, we can come to God in our despair and with troubled souls. As one person, I can do nothing to solve the problems of persecuted Chinese Christians. But I can share their sorrow, and I can bring that anguish to the Lord. So I am praying that, in the midst of troubled times, Chinese Christians will know God’s peace, which passes understanding.


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“In this month of lament, I am praying that God will ‘grant us the surprising peace of Christ.’


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I am praying that this peace will not only be one of the spirit, but that peace descends on earth as well. I am praying for war to be averted, and that the faithful witness of the Chinese church will influence Chinese leaders and allow China to become a conduit for peace. 

I am praying that Chinese believers will turn their sorrow into prayer as they “take hold of and turn back to the Lord.” I am praying, in the words of Psalm 6, that God will hear and accept our prayers, and that he will show mercy to his church in China so that they may glorify him through their deliverance. 

I am praying for the COVID crisis in China. Even as the rest of the world is opening up, China is struggling to maintain its “Zero COVID” policy. Rolling lockdowns and an uncertain endpoint make this a particularly touchy time within China, as it is unclear what the exit strategy will be. I am praying that God will have mercy on this pandemic. I am praying for those who are impacted by current lockdowns, and—as I have heard Chinese Christians pray—that they will not “waste this pandemic.” May God use even this season to bring himself glory and honor.

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“May Chinese Christians remember, each and every day, that the story of all history finds its climax and its end in resurrection—not in death.

Political regulations continue to tighten in China; new Internet rules are set to take effect in March which threaten to choke out even online worship and gathering among Chinese believers. When it is difficult to meet in person, and even online gathering is blocked, it is tempting to believe (as the psalmist laments in Psalm 42) God has forgotten his people. I am praying that enforcement of these regulations will be lax, and many opportunities for online sharing and gathering will remain. I am also praying for hope that looks beyond current circumstances. May Chinese Christians remember, each and every day, that the story of all history finds its climax and its end in resurrection—not in death.

Most of all, I am praying that they will continue to hope in God’s goodness, even when grief is the tune of their song.


E.F. Gregory is a mom of three young children. She lives in the San Gabriel Valley on the border of East Los Angeles, where her husband is a P.C.A. church planter. 

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Further Reading

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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Stories from Shanghai

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