Editor’s note: China Partnership is not the only organization intentionally focusing on prayer. ChinaSource is a well-known “platform for educating the global church on critical issues facing the church and ministries in China, and for connecting Christians inside and outside China to advance the kingdom of God globally.”
Today, Kerry Schottelkorb, president of ChinaSource, shares with us about why ChinaSource believes prayer is so important. Through prayer, God’s people can come together to worship, wait, and intercede for and with one another. Prayer unites us with one another, with believers in China. It is through prayer that God’s kingdom will come. Please join us and ChinaSource as we pray for Chinese Christians this year!
When God’s Leaders Get Stuck
About twenty years ago, I was thrilled to be invited to a gathering in San Francisco of international China ministry leaders, as well as a network of mainland church shepherds. I was very impressed that the convenor was able to bring together such fruitful, key, Kingdom influencers at one time. I felt privileged to be able to attend and learn what was on everyone’s hearts and to see how God would lead. Sadly, things went sour very quickly. It turned out that some of the attending leaders had real problems with the methods of others who had joined the gathering. For all of the first day and into the second, we heard from keynote speakers, gathered together in small groups and prayed together, seeking to make progress on ministry statements and directions we had been assigned. However, as each group sought to address its task, there was little to no movement; only a growing sense throughout the gathering that we were getting nowhere.
The Holy Spirit brought a good measure of reconciliation, peace, and joy. The barriers of distrust and territorialism began to come down.
Thankfully one very sage leader in Christ discerned what was happening, and moved us all into a period of worshiping, waiting and listening to the Lord. We were all quiet for quite some time. People began to confess, and repent: to say, “I’m sorry.” The ones who were bitterly divided, withdrew to a private room to listen, wait, speak and pray together. The Holy Spirit brought a good measure of reconciliation, peace, and joy. The barriers of distrust and territorialism began to come down. I don’t remember many of the ministry plans that came from the conference, but I will never forget how our Father came to lead and transform us away from our hurtful thinking and bitterness toward one another, and the way he helped us transparently address the strongholds of control, competition and turf wars.
Actually, during the time everything was happening I was an outsider, more like a guest observer. So, I didn’t know the nature of what was happening or why. I only kept wondering “Why is everything taking so long? Why are we so stuck?” However, as people began to soften, confess and walk in the light with each other, the Lord connected something for me that I had never considered before:
Connecting the Great Commission and John 17
As healing was taking place between people who had a mutual passion to reach the lost, but were having a hard time liking each other, the Lord was making it clear that there will be no fulfillment of the Great Commission without the simultaneous fulfillment of his Great Prayer in John 17. Verse 21 came to mind:…”that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” We came away from that event with a much greater regard for the implications of being “all one in Christ Jesus.”
Waiting, worshiping and praying for, and alongside one another, is a primary means of bringing down long entrenched walls of bias and condemnation, while building unity and oneness in Christ between global and Chinese brothers and sisters.
I think often of that wise shepherd who heard the Holy Spirit that day to move the gathering from doing to being, from achieving great things to worshiping, waiting and praying to the Great One. The outcome was completely different, but it was the one he wanted.
Waiting, worshiping and praying for, and alongside one another, is a primary means of bringing down long entrenched walls of bias and condemnation, while building unity and oneness in Christ between global and Chinese brothers and sisters. When we do, the forces seeking to undermine our oneness in Christ are pushed back and dispelled.
As many Chinese believers have entered what for them is a dark winter, and as the foreign ministry community is retooling in preparation for an uncertain future, fresh thinking and a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit are needed now. This must begin with prayer, as much as possible, together.
A Kingdom Movement of Prayer Partnership Communities
This is why ChinaSource is partnering and praying for a Kingdom movement of prayer partnership communities, quickened by global intercessors actively praying with a heart of love and service for the Chinese people. That is why we are pleased to encourage others and to join together with China Partnership in strategically and systematically praying for China’s cities in 2024. Fresh thinking and a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit are needed now. This must begin with prayer, as much as possible, together.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
Theologian Walter Wink writes: “Prayer is the ultimate act of partnership with God.” As we join together to worship our Triune God of grace – waiting, listening, petitioning, and interceding together, Christ’s Great Commission and his Great Prayer are being fulfilled, and our Blessed Hope draws ever closer.
Would You Pray With Us Today?Sign up to receive our weekly prayer emails with requests for the house church in China
 Walter Wink wrote this in his 1992 book, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination.
Rev. Kerry Schottelkorb is the president of ChinaSource.
Pray for believers across the world to unite and come together in prayer for Christ’s name to be known and honored in China.