How I Prayed for Suffering

This Christmas, I’ve been messaging with a few friends in China. Things seem to be changing quickly; after years of testing for and trying to avoid Covid, now, suddenly, everyone seems to be getting the disease. When it comes to the larger landscape of the situation in China, I’ve heard a mixture of responses from my Christian friends. Many are truly concerned about the future and what might come; some have considered leaving the country; but others seem philosophical, accepting that the situation is what it is.

This December, we have been praying for suffering in China. There are many types of suffering, from that brought about by disease, to that of persecution, to suffering due to relationship difficulties and distresses. All humans will experience suffering during our time on earth – it’s part of the result of life in a sin-filled world – but I can’t pretend that I understand what it is to be a Chinese Christian in these uncertain times. Still, I love and care deeply about my brothers and sisters in China. As I pray for their suffering, here are a few things I am trying to remember. 

Fellowship with God

Hebrews 4:15 says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus truly understands any suffering that his followers may experience. So, when hard times come, I continually pray that Chinese believers will know they are not alone, and that they will experience the presence of God in the midst of difficulty.

Although suffering is never welcome, it is sometimes true that it can usher us into Christ’s presence in a special and very real way. So I am praying that, in times of pain, Chinese Christians will walk in intimate fellowship with their Savior. As they follow Jesus in the way of the cross, may they know that he is with them and cares for them in every way imaginable.

Fellowship with Other Believers

I am praying that Chinese Christians will not be isolated in times of trial, but will remember that their brothers and sisters in Christ are united with them by the Spirit. When we pray for Chinese Christians, when we reach out to those with whom we may have connections, we can immensely encourage and bless them. We may not have walked the road they trod, but as believers, their joys and their pains belong to us as well.


Would You Pray With Us Today?

Sign up to receive our weekly prayer emails with requests for the house church in China

I am also praying that Chinese Christians will intentionally reach out to and encourage one another in times of suffering. May they be bold to visit and care for the families of those who are persecuted, and may they reach out to and shepherd congregations in need of a leader. May no believer be isolated in their suffering, but may we accompany one another in prayer (and any tangible ways that we can).

For the Joy Set Before Them

Finally, I am praying that Chinese Christians who are currently experiencing suffering will follow Jesus’s example laid out in Hebrews 12:2: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” In this life we will have troubles. But that is not the end of the story. Joy comes in the morning, and Christ has overcome this world of sin and death.

I am praying that this joy will be real, will be visible, and will encourage believers in suffering as they press on to follow Jesus. The stories are true! The suffering that many believers endure in this present age will not last forever. There is something far better just ahead.  


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.  

 

FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

Pray for Chinese Christians experiencing suffering to remember that Jesus is with them, that other believers have not forgotten them, and that joy will come.

Share This Story

Further Reading

hangjia-xu-3ZdSvOSlm4c-unsplash
The External Cross: A Pastoral Letter
Read More
billow926-ND4-6joi3t8-unsplash
Qingdao: How to Pray
Read More
cajeo-zhang--Qkr9oCfcZo-unsplash
Qingdao: Locals and Outsiders
Read More

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

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

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. 

Videos

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.

Videos

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.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.