Interceding in Prayer for Beijing's Shouwang Church

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Translated by China Aid Association April 16 2011
Peace to the members of the Lord’s body!
In recent days, we have all been deeply concerned about Shouwang Church, fasting and praying for them in the midst of their sufferings. We are all members of the same body, all God’s people beloved of Christ. What they are going through has touched the heartstrings of so many of us.

April 10 was not an ordinary day for Shouwang Church. In its April 12 “General Announcement of Beijing Shouwang Church’s Outdoor Worship on April 10,” the church’s Governing Committee reported on the events of that day. Pastor (Jin) TianMing and other lay leaders were all restricted to their homes that day by local police and prevented from participating in the outdoor worship, but more than two hundred brothers and sisters showed up at the plaza in Zhongguancun ready to worship outdoors. They were met by a large number of police officers who surrounded the plaza and one by one took away the arriving believers, holding them at the nearby Caihefang Primary School. There, a total number of 169 brothers and sisters were interrogated and had their personal information recorded by police. In the afternoon, these brothers and sisters were taken to local police stations for further interrogation. After 3 p.m., some brothers and sisters were released a few at a time from the police stations allowed to go home. By 3 a.m. the next morning, nearly all the brothers and sisters had been released. But Pastor Li Xiaobai and his wife were not released until the afternoon of April 12th.
Shouwang Church said in the general announcement that it would continue to worship outdoors. It also expressed the hope that some department that could represent the government would really step out and make a responsible decision, and together with Shouwang Church face the new reality of church-state relations today. It further said that allowing Shouwang Church to take possession of the property it had purchased was the best solution to the problem of a church meeting site, and called this a great opportunity to begin benign and interactive church-state relations. They also made this statement in the general announcement: “Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship on April 10 and subsequent occasions of outdoor worship are acts of pure religious worship; they have nothing whatsoever to do with any political activities or anyone’s rights defense activities.” They again asked for prayers from all churches, seeking God’s protection for his church that it might stand firm before him and asking God to open a way for them, so that the church can return to indoor worship at an early date and in the place that God has already prepared.
On the afternoon of April 12th, Pastor (Jin) Mingri and Pastor Shengfeng, as representatives of the Ministerial Prayer Fellowship, paid a special visit to Pastor Tianming. Pastor Tianming has been restricted to his home by many police officers standing guard outside. Ordinarily, all visitors are barred and no one is allowed to go in, but God miraculously opened a way and the two pastors easily walked into Pastor Tianming’s home where they visited with the pastor and his wife. They brought special greetings from the other churches, and they all prayed together, expressing the hope that this crisis could be resolved in a peaceful way. Pastor Tianming on the one hand thanked the churches for their prayers but on the other hand expressed the hope that the churches would continue to stand watch and to pray.
Let us together raise holy hands to continue praying for Shouwang Church: May the Omnipotent God open a way for them so that they can return to indoor worship at an early date and in the place that He has already prepared. May the merciful and loving God watch over and take care of the brothers and sisters of Shouwang Church so that, while going through pressures and challenges, their faith will not be harmed but rather strengthened in the knowledge that God works all things together for good for those who love God (Romans 8) .
Let us pray for the government as well: May the God who gives wisdom select and use the government officials, that they may have a sense of justice and conscience in their hearts, and that they may have a parent’s heart and resolve this Shouwang Church incident with wisdom, so as to avoid any escalation of this church-state conflict, establish a harmonious relationship, and turn this crisis into an opportunity, from which a new benign and interactive church-state relationship can begin.   
Let us pray for the churches: May the God who gives grace raise up many churches to pray fervently. Let the churches shoulder the responsibility of intercessory prayer that God has bestowed on them, to pray for Shouwang Church, for government officials and for the harmony, stability and development of Chinese society. We believe in the effectiveness of prayer, because “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Finally, let us use the prayer that the Lord Jesus taught us to pray to say a special prayer of blessing for Beijing:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name in Beijing. Thy kingdom come to Beijing. Thy will be done in Beijing as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us – especially Shouwang Church – not into temptation, but deliver Shouwang Church from the Evil One. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen (Matthew 6:9-13)
Churches can continue to participate in intercessory prayer in any fasting-and-praying way they choose:
Choose any day from Monday to Saturday to engage in a three-meal fast and to pray. The churches below have already picked the following days for prayer and fasting:
Monday:     Xi’an (Zion) Church
Tuesday:     Yage (Song of Solomon) Church
Putaoyuan (Vineyard) Church
Guoshulin (Orchard) Church

Wednesday: Chengshi Fuxing (City Revival) Church
Yongfeng (永丰) Church
Sanyi (Trinity) Church

Thursday:     Anhua (安华)Church
Zaidao (The Way) Church
Huimin (惠民)Church

Friday:         Maizi (Kernel of Wheat) Church
Aijiabei (Agape) Church

Saturday:     Ganlanshu (Olive Tree) Church,
Mingguang (Clear Light) Church

We continue to invite you to join our team of intercessors. Let us raise holy hands to pray for Beijing Shouwang Church and all churches that are praying for them, and also for the officials in each governmental department. May God have mercy on and bless Beijing! 
Beijing Ministerial Prayer Fellowship

April 13, 2011

China Aid Contacts

Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director

Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985