May You Strengthen Them by Your Spirit


Editor’s note: Prayer metabolizes the gospel, enacts the gospel, and transforms and empowers gospel movements. Prayer is and must be the heartbeat of China Partnership’s work to serve, train, and resource Chinese house church leaders. As believers in China face increased pressure from a hostile world and an inhospitable government, we ask you to join with us and kneel before God in praise and petition for our brothers and sisters there. 

Stephen Um is the Senior Minister of Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston, MA. This prayer comes from China Partnership’s prayer event at The Gospel Coalition 2019 in Indianapolis.

As you read, we invite you to pray with us for the Chinese church as she navigates new and uncertain times.

Lord, we are one body. We have one faith. We believe in one Lord, one God, one Spirit. We have been given the right to become the children of God. We come from different places, but we have one Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Lord, you have said through your Word that we ought to pray for believers; we should pray for the fullness of God, for strength, power, and love that is incomprehensible. Lord, my prayer for the Chinese church is that you would hear these requests. We pray they will be a church filled with the love of God, the fullness of God, and the power and the strength of God. We pray they will not waver under troubling circumstances.

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Lord, I pray that the perseverance and endurance of the Chinese church would be a witness to the Western church. I pray it would convict us of our idolatry of comfort. I pray that we would, along with them, believe what the Apostle Paul said: to live is Christ, but to die is gain. Lord, help us to abandon our own desire for gain that is not of the gospel, that we would be willing to forfeit everything, to deny ourselves, pick up the cross, and follow you as your disciples.

Lord, the church here in the West, especially in America, has been immensely blessed with many resources. Lord, I pray we would know what it means to be generous with the resources you’ve given us. I pray we might be able to devote our time, our resources, and our efforts to share with our brothers and sisters. I pray we will be able to come alongside them and share what we have received, that we will be generous people. 

Lord, I also pray for house church leaders, especially for pastors who are going through persecution, pressure, trouble, anxiety, and stress. Lord, I pray that you will help them to have inner fortitude to speak as a great witness to a watching world, that they would not waver in their commitment, that they will not be tempted by materialism and the opportunities for going it the easy way. Lord, would you strengthen them by your Spirit? Help them walk by faith and not by sight. Help them not abandon the truths of Scripture, but to hold firmly to the promises of the gospel. I pray they will continue to preach the gospel and continue to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. 

Lord, we thank you that you are a God who hears our prayers. We thank you that you are a Father of all comfort. So Lord, even though they themselves want their lives and witness to testify to the world that they want the gospel to go forth, we, as their brothers and sisters, ask that you would alleviate the trouble, that you would protect them, that you would release them, and that they might be able to come back and be with their churches. 

Lord, protect them. May your Spirit surround them. Lord, we pray you would hear our prayers. We know that we don’t deserve to receive all these benefits and blessings from you. But we ask, by the grace that is offered in Jesus Christ, that you would hear our prayers. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Um mentioned the “idolatry of comfort” present in Western churches. Have you experienced this idolatry in your own life or that of your church?

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Further Reading

Witness in Persecution: I Am Grateful
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Witness In Persecution: Heart Struggle
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How I Prayed For Instruction
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