Editor’s note: In recent weeks, our blog has been full of articles about how Chinese Christians practice and think about prayer. We would be remiss if we did not end this focus on prayer by inviting you to prayer. You can serve and bless the church in China, and you can start today: pray for them. Join us as we partner with the church in China in prayer.
At China Partnership, we believe prayer is active, not passive. Prayer is the means by which God’s kingdom is being built in China. Prayer is partnership, and it brings us into fellowship with Chinese believers.
China Partnership’s goals are inherent in our name: we desire to encourage global Christians to partner with Chinese believers through learning about, praying for, giving to, and encouraging the Chinese church. Through learning about China, we are empowered to knowledgeably pray for the needs of the people and society. By praying, we bear their burdens. As we give (of our time to learn and pray, our financial resources, and our emotions), we receive much more than we have poured out. Through prayer, we encourage Chinese believers to remember that they are not alone, but are loved and remembered by their heavenly Father and their earthly church family.
Our goal is not just to get “more” prayer; our desire is a different kind of prayer, prayer that is informed by the challenges and triumphs Chinese Christians actually face.
Prayer is spiritual labor in which every believer—those who are themselves Chinese and those who have never visited China—can be intimately involved. As Christians, we know we ought to be people of prayer: repenting, giving thanks, and bringing our own needs and those of others before the Lord. These are troubled times in the West, and there is much to pray for in our own lives and circles, but God’s world is vaster than any one neighborhood or nation. If we have a holy passion to see God’s name made known among the peoples, we ought to pray, not only for ourselves, but also for our siblings across the world who are the people of God in Christ.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
Prayer helps us love God’s world. As a pastor’s wife in Nanjing said, “Prayer helps us see from the Lord how he loves not only one nation, but he wants us to love the neighbor far away,” And, “There is no way you can, through your own eyes, see another country. You can only see your neighbor, next door. But God also wants you to love the neighbor you can [only] fly to.”
But don’t just add praying for China to your to-do list. I love China and the people of China, and I believe that right now the Holy Spirit is being poured out in China in a special way. I long to be involved in the revival I see happening there. I also know that the hearts of so many Chinese believers are troubled, and I desire to share their burdens. This call to prayer is not a guilt trip and not a new burden for your busy life, but rather an opportunity to joyfully share in the lot and life of other Christians.
A pastor in Chengdu once shared, “Serving the Lord can be hard at times, especially in China. When one faces some difficult, complicated social situations, it is easy to have Elijah’s attitude, feeling very alone, wondering, ‘Am I the only one here who is fighting for the Lord?’ When people gather to pray, God takes away those feeling of loneliness and tragic heroism…this is also the process of our being healed and forgiven.”
We pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters according to the needs they share with us; we pray for them because, as we share in their tribulations, so we also share in their joys. As we pray for the Chinese church, we also pray with them. Because of the world’s digital interconnectedness, we can know many of the actual daily needs of Chinese believers, and we can specifically and intentionally bear those burdens.
As we pray for and with Chinese Christians, those of us who are not part of the Chinese church learn and grow. When we pray with their words, we enter their world. Praying with and for the Chinese church gives us the opportunity to see the world through their eyes. It helps us to learn from them about prayer, and to interact with God in a way that we might not think to do were we led solely by our own concerns or graces.
Carrie (a pseudonym) is a Chinese believer in the States who works to support house churches in Mainland China. Although she is usually aware of various situations that are happening in churches across Chines, she said that, through prayer, she invites the Holy Spirit to do something that she cannot. “Prayer helps my emotions and thoughts be more connected,” she said. “The more I pray for someone, the more I am connected with him or her. The burden is much heavier if you pray for a person, if you pray for a city, if you pray for a church.”
Join us at China Partnership in praying for our Chinese brothers and sisters. There are many ways to do this. Get our weekly prayer emails, or sign up for daily text messages with specific points about how to pray for and with Chinese Christians. Read with intention; people cannot pray for what they do not know. In order to pray well, find out as much as you can about the lives of those for whom you are praying. This blog is a great place to start, and there are other sites with hundreds of articles and resources for learning about China. Read our archives to find out about and pray for specific Chinese cities or particular topics, or join one of our local prayer events to unite with others in prayer for brothers and sisters in China.
I’ll close with Carrie’s words. She said, “Prayer is the only thing I can do for Chinese Christians. I cannot physically be there. Even if I could physically be there, I am not God, I am only a person. I cannot control the situation. But what I can do—the least but actually the most—is pray.”
Please, join with us in prayer to partner with Chinese Christians.
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
-Pray for more global believers to partner with the Chinese church in thoughtful, intentional, specific prayer.
Our blog exists, not just to transmit information, but to resource the global church to share the joys and burdens of the Chinese church. Our hope is that everything you read here will lead you to intentional, knowledgeable prayer for the Chinese church.