May You Strengthen Them by Your Spirit

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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.

FOR REFLECTION

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

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Qingdao: How to Pray
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Qingdao: Locals and Outsiders
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Qingdao: Good Soil for the Gospel
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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