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Beijing Ministerial Prayer Fellowship Interceding in Prayer for Beijing Shouwang Church (6)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Translated by China Aid Association
Peace to all the prayer intercessors in the Lord’s Body.
May 8 was the fifth Sunday of Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship. Shouwang Church on May 9 released its “Beijing Shouwang Church Official Announcement on May 8th Outdoor Worship Service,” reporting the events of that day. Because more and more brothers and sisters were restricted to their homes starting from Friday evening and not permitted to go out, only a few dozen people were able to go and congregate at the designated meeting site. Of those, at least 15 brothers and sisters were taken away. They were sent to about a dozen various local police stations which are in charge of the neighborhoods where they live. Of these, at least three were threatened with being sent back to their hometowns.

The Shouwang Church announcement reviewed the unusual events of the past five weeks, on the one hand expressing regret for not being able to meet together for worship and for the inability to provide adequate pastoral care, and on the other hand also enumerating the many items to give thanks for: brothers and sisters disregarding the risks of detention, of losing their jobs, of being forced to move out of their homes and resolutely going forth to the designated worship site, in so doing, becoming special testimonies of the Christian church in this age. When members of the body were locked up in the police stations, many brothers and sisters went to visit them with the love of Christ, bringing them food and drink and warm clothes to get through the night, and also waited for them outside [the police stations]. Some of the lay leaders and members who were not in favor of the outdoor worship exercised utmost patience in Christ toward those brothers and sisters who insisted on going for outdoor worship. Although the main leaders were all restricted to their homes and not able to go and carry out normal pastoral work, but thanks to the service of the many small group leaders and enthusiastic brothers and sisters, the church’s various ministries and ministry small groups were able to carry on with their work in an orderly way.
The Shouwang Church bulletin especially thanked churches in Beijing and other areas for the sustained prayers that have been raised up on their behalf. Some churches have even provided special financial assistance to those [Shouwang] brothers and sisters who had lost their jobs or their homes because of their insistence on outdoor worship. At the same time, Shouwang Church also specially raised a point of regret, which is that in some churches or among some brothers and sisters, the issue of Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship has led to some debates and even caused some tension. With regard to this, Shouwang Church said, “Whether everyone agrees with this decision or not, we hope that everyone can put aside theological arguments during this special period of spiritual warfare and can in Christ express mutual respect and mutual acceptance and bear each other’s burdens with love, rather than judging and condemning each other, for we are members of Christ’s body.”
Indeed, regardless of whether one approves of or opposes Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship, what cannot be denied is that Shouwang Church is a part of the Body of Christ. Just as it says in I Corinthians 12:26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” We need to pray for Shouwang, this suffering member of the body! A few days ago, the Ministerial Prayer Fellowship paid a visit to our generational elder Moses Xie. He is already 93 years old, is bedridden, hardly eats anything and seldom speaks. But when we asked him, “Do you know about the recent events with Shouwang Church?” he vigorously nodded and said, “I know! We must pray for them!” We also shared with him our views with regard to this, and asked him what kind of encouragement he could give to us, who are of the younger generation. In very clear language, he said, “Continue walking forward with faith …. I will go before God the Father in prayer for you.” The members of the Ministerial Prayer Fellowship have also been in touch variously with Shanghai’s Pastor Li Tian’en and Xiamen’s Auntie Yang Xinfei to exchange views on the Shouwang events. They are paying constant attention and were unanimous in expressing the need to for urgent prayers on Shouwang’s behalf.
This afternoon, about a dozen or so pastors from all over the country who are paying close attention to and praying for the Shouwang incident, released a signed petition, “For the Sake of Our Faith: A Petition to the National People’s Congress Regarding Church-State Conflict.” The petition says, “We believe that the Shouwang Church incident is not an individual and isolated incident involving a specific church. Rather, it is a typical case of a clash between the church and the state resulting from the inability of the old structure for religious administration to keep up with church growth in this period of social transition. What has befallen Shouwang Church has deeply affected the tens of millions of Christians in China who feel that they are each other’s hands and feet in the faith. In 2009, cases of churches forced to worship outdoors because of governmental pressure over meeting sites occurred in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Linfen. With the growing numbers of Christians in the urban areas and the continuous growth of the church, this kind of church-state clash is likely to continue to erupt. In consideration of the representative nature of the Shouwang incident and the great impact this incident will have on the future of our government and the church, we release this special petition,” and hope that “with the start of the Special Investigative Committee, the government can rationally and wisely handle the Shouwang Church incident, by holding fast to the principles of putting people first and upholding the rule of law and serving the people with a generous heart. [This will] prevent even larger state-church clashes, transform a crisis into a turning point, thus becoming the start of a new period of benign positive interaction in church-state relations.” This signed pastors’ petition, on the one hand accurately reflects the current status of the church-state clash, while on the other hand expressing their expectation of and belief in “law-based governance.”
Let us continue to intercede in prayer for Shouwang Church: We ask God to have mercy on all the members of the body of Shouwang Church, because the inability to have normal worship and pastoral care likely has resulted in many unmet needs. But in the midst of these trials we ask God to raise up even more mature lay leaders and workers for this age who will serve with even more fervor.
Let us intercede in prayer for the pastors’ petition: We ask God to use this petition to help smooth out church-state relations and to start a new period of positive interactions in church-state relations.
Let us continue to intercede in prayer for the government: We ask God to help and bless them, not only government relations but also in all sorts of complicated matters in carrying out their governmental responsibilities, give them wisdom and grace, to help the nation and the people to continue to make progress toward prosperity and to fulfill the historical mission God has given to China.
Let us continue to intercede in prayer for all churches: We ask God to help to understand even more deeply the importance of prayer, and through paying the price of intercessory prayer experience God’s act of revival!
Churches can continue to take part in intercessory prayer by choosing a day for fasting and prayer:
Choose one day from Monday to Saturday to fast from three meals and pray. Currently, the following 43 churches and a prayer fellowship have selected these days to fast and pray:
Monday:   
Xi’an (Zion) Church, Panshi (The Rock) Church, Aizhizhou (Love Boat) Church, Chengdu Enfu (Grace and Blessing) Church, Chengdu Jianzhong (建中) Church
Tuesday:   
Yage (Song of Solomon) Church, Putaoyuan (Vineyard) Church, Guoshulin (Orchard) Church, Beijing Church, Zhi’ai (Devotion) Church, Daguang (Bright Light) Church, Chengdu Qiuyuzhifu (Autumn Rain) Church
Wednesday:
Chengshi Fuxing (City Revival) Church, Yongfeng (永丰) Church, Sanyi (Trinity) Church, Majiabao Church, Jiecaizhong (Mustard Seed) Church, Wangjing Sheng’ai (Sacred Love) Church, Tianlu (Heavenly Road) Church, Tianchuang Anti’a (Antioch) Church, Chengdu Shengmingzhiquan (Spring of Life) Church, Songjiang Yuena (Jonah) Church
Thursday:   
Anhua (安华) Church, Zaidao (The Way) Church, Huimin (惠民) Church, Qingganlan (Green Olive) Church, Diaoyutai Church, Shanghai Shengmingzhige (Song of Life) Church
Friday:       
Maizi (Kernel of Wheat) Church, Aijiabei (Agape) Church, Xingdao (兴道) Church, Chenxing (Morning Star) Church, Jialili (Galilee) Church, Shanghai Wanbangxuanjiao (Preaching to All Nations) Church, Shanghai Guangxin (光新) Church, Shanghai Jindengtai (Golden Lampstand) Church
Saturday:   
Ganlanshu (Olive Tree) Church, Mingguang (Clear Light) Church, Wotu (Fertile Soil) Church, Ganlanzhi (Olive Branch) Church, Hebron Prayer Fellowship, Luozhuang Church, Shanghai Christian Businessmen’s Fellowship
We continue to invite you to join our intercessory prayer team, to raise up holy hands and intercede in prayer for Beijing Shouwang Church and other churches, and also to intercede in prayer for the various government departments and officials! May God have mercy on and bless Beijing!
(Note: The Beijing Ministerial Prayer Fellowship’s e-mail address is beijing123pray@gmail.com. If your church would like to join our intercessory prayer team, we would like to hear from you. Please remember to tell us which day you choose for your day of prayer and fasting.)


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