In response to recent disturbing news about the suppression of Christianity in mainland China, the Hong Kong Christian Council held an ecumenical prayer meeting on the evening of October 24. Over 100 persons gathered at the hall of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Yaumatei to sing, reflect and pray together for brothers and sisters in the mainland.
The service was simple by design – no sermon or long liturgy. There were scripture readings and hymns throughout the evening. Participants were invited to share their personal concerns for China churches. Then over one-and-a-half hours, we spent most of the time doing what we came for – praying – publicly, collectively, and later in small groups of three or four persons.
The mood of the whole evening was subdued and reverent. The Council was pleased that so many from different churches turned out on short notice and were united in our common concern.
Although Hong Kong is part of the People’s Republic of China, the city runs under a special arrangement that allows wide freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and movement. Thus, Hong Kong churches are not currently experiencing the crackdown that is taking place in the Christian churches in the mainland and in some other religions as well. Yet, as the Bible says, we must weep with those who weep, knowing we are all members of the same body of Christ. The service closed with reciting a prayer issued by Hong Kong Christian Council. The English version is as follows:
Hong Kong Christian Council
Prayer for Churches in Mainland China
Lord of History, we pray together for the churches of China with one mind and heart.
We are troubled by recent news that in different districts of mainland China, the normal life of Christians has been suppressed: crosses of churches were torn down, churches were closed, youngsters under 18 years old were prohibited to attend church, some believers were forced to sign a denial of their religion.
We are deeply sad, because when one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.
We know that you do hear their mourning and weeping, you do listen to their cries and prayers.
When they anxiously ask each other, “How long will the night be?” we earnestly pray that You would be present with them, because You are the Lord of All.
Lord, please strengthen them, and with the right hand of Your righteousness uphold them.
May consolation and power descend upon them from the Holy Spirit, so that they can stand firm for the name of the Lord, because You love them until the end.
We do believe that, under your grace, all people in China and the whole world can be free from every kind of fear and oppression and may obtain freedom in truth.
May Your kingdom come, so that justice and peace are fulfilled in the world. May Your name be hallowed by all nations, and may glory be unto God for ever and ever.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
You are welcome to use the prayer in your church and personal devotion. In remembering those who suffer because of their unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, how vital for mainland Christians to know they are not forgotten. Please continue to remember them and all who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for truly theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank you for your faithful support in donations and prayers for our ministry and mission at the Hong Kong Christian Council. We are lifelong partners with you in faith, hope and love through the precious body and blood of our Lord and Savior.
Judy Chan serves with the Hong Kong Christian Council (HKCC). Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS and your special gifts.