Dear brothers and sisters, peace!
On May 22nd, Shouwang had her seventh Sunday outdoor worship service. On May 23rd, Shouwang Church issued Announcement on May 22nd Outdoor Worship Service, and reported on what happened on that day. As it is stated in the Announcement, “most believers, identified as those who would join the outdoor service by local police, were detained at home since Friday, and were not able to go out. Therefore, only a few dozen people arrived at the planned location for outdoor worship on Sunday.” Twenty-five believers were taken away, and were then sent to thirteen different local police stations. Like the last time, believers taken away were treated more gently by the police.
In the Announcement, Shouwang Church was thankful for brothers and sisters who have been great witnesses in the past few weeks. They, week after week, wave after wave, went to the planned location, were taken away, yet continued to worship on the bus or in police stations, and witnessed their faith before policemen and government officials…When people were taken away, there were believers waiting outside the police stations to pick them up. Believers also witnessed the love in Christ through visiting each other, joining small group and fellowship activities, and praying fervently for each other…As more than then ten pastors, co-workers and other believers were detained at home and were watched 24 hour by guards, many believers visited them and expressed their care and love.
It goes on saying: “As we experience the victory in Christ, we also need to be alert; we ought to give all the glory to our God. We need to be aware of our weakness, and not to be slack, since this battle is not over yet…We sincerely believe that, those who look up to him will experience victory, complete victory, with him.”
Indeed, it is a long-lasting battle; it is a “race” which requires wisdom, spirit, energy, and perseverance. Each side needs plenty of time to think, to explore, and even to “communicate” “quietly.” It also requires the involvement of people from different fields to face the crisis of the relationship between Church and State, and to find an appropriate solution. At the same time, for God’s people, it is an opportunity to learn to rely on God alone, it is an opportunity for our faith to be tested through trials, and it is an opportunity to practice waiting for God.
“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (Psalm 5:3)
“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” (Psalm 33:20)
“Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.” (Psalm 37:34)
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
We might get weary, frustrated, and lazy while we are waiting for God, but we can also get purified, practice praying, and watch God’s will be done while we are waiting for God. When God begins to work, things he accomplishes in a moment are far more than what we can do in years. It is worthy to wait for God; his timing and his way is the best. If we try to find a way and a solution by ourselves, but not to wait for God, we will only fail to see his work, and thus fail to know him more. Let us ask God to help us to learn to look up to him alone, to wait for him, and to rely on him, for “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6)
Brothers and sisters who are interceding for Shouwang, we believe that God is calling us to be a people of prayer, and a church of prayer through Shouwang’s incident! We need to continue steadfastly in prayer, to look to God and trust in God in prayer, and to seek God and know his will in prayer! One of the images of the Church in this world should be “a home of prayer”! Is your church a church of prayer? Which of the following statement describes your church?
1. Many say that our church is a church of prayer.
2. Our church is growing to be a church of prayer, but it has a long way to go.
3. We pray, but with little power. We need to become a church of prayer.
4. To be honest, our church does not know how to pray, we need to be built into a church of prayer.
As you choose a statement to describe your church, what kind of evidence supports your conclusion? How God is going to use you to help your church grow in the area of prayer? We believe that every church needs to be a church of prayer!
David Livingstone, a missionary to Africa, once stated: “While many view serving earthly government as an honor, please forbid us of reserving anything while we are serving the King of kings. Now I am a missionary who offer myself as a living sacrifice. God’s only Son was a missionary and a doctor. Now I am imitating him humbly (or I wish I could imitate him); I wish I can live for this mission, and die for this mission. I would rather to live a poor life as a missionary, and put down wealth and comfort. This is my choice.” May God also give us a heart with no reserve, but to live for him alone!
Let us continue to pray for Shouwang Church. May God help them to look to God alone, to rely on God, and to be used by God to fulfill his plan and purpose.
Let us continue to pray for the government. May God help them, as they study the “House Church Congregational Development” “家庭教会堂会化” and the “House Church moving toward Formal Registration Process” “家庭教会备案制” they will learn from Shouwang’s incident, and make appropriate religious polices and rules which meet the need of this age.
Let us continue to pray for churches. May God help us to be churches of prayer, who intercede for Shouwang Church, for our nation, for our government, and for the revival of local churches in prayer!
Churches can continue to take part in praying:
From Monday to Saturday, you can choose one day to fast. Till now, many churches and fellowships throughout the country have committed to fast and pray. We believe that the prayers of churches will be heard by God!
We sincerely invite you to join us, to continue to lift up our hands to pray for Beijing Shouwang Church and all the churches, and for the government officials! May God have mercy on Beijing and bless Beijing!
(Note: If your church is willing to join us to pray, please e-mail us: [email protected])
Beijing Pastors’ Joint Prayer Meeting
Beijing Ministerial Prayer Fellowship Interceding in Prayer for Beijing Shouwang Church (8)
Dear brothers and sisters, peace!