Lectionary Text and Prayers for China: Luke 7:1-10
Mighty and Ever Loving God,
We come before your presence in trust that you care for us and listen to our prayers.
As we pray now for China, we cannot help but think of China's Christians. Jesus said of the centurion, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." Help us to remember it is not only those who are "born and bred" into Christianity who demonstrate a deep and sincere faith. Any who spend time in China will proclaim it as well, saying: "I tell you, not even in the western world have we seen such faith!" New Christians teach us much about our faith. Yet, of course, many Chinese still live with no religion at all, nor have they learned about it. We know O God, that you have many ways to touch their hearts. Help them to trust and to hope and to be open to the love that is already theirs.
We live in a world so full of those little surprising moments of joy. Yet that same world is too often also a place of deep suffering. Help us in our moments of ease to remember those who are troubled or hungry or at war or in need of your very personal care for reasons we cannot understand. As we grow in the knowledge and warmth of your unending love, may we reach out to those who need us the most. Guide us to make a difference in this world in whatever small ways we can. We pray especially at this time for China:
· Be with those who were physically hurt and those who lost precious loved ones in the earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China on April 14th. We pray too for the survivors of the Sichuan province earthquake in 2008 in which 69,000 lives were lost. The survivors have been provided with housing and clothing and food, but their emotional wounds will need a lifetime of your love.
· We pray for the suffering family members of the many children who were stabbed in their schools in recent months. Along with this prayer, we ask that you help the Chinese to find ways to greatly increase medical care to the mentally ill in China.
· We pray for the Nanjing Seminary, the other seminaries, universities and institutions of higher learning in China, that they maintain an environment of openness in scholarship.
· We pray for the YMCA/YWCA in China, that its historic contribution continues to be recognized and its goals of teaching love, leadership, and a spirit of volunteerism continue to be uplifted.
Yes God of love, we have many requests. But, China is such a big country with 1.3 billion of your precious people. Bless them as they thrive and grow, and take their place, working together with the rest of the world toward a green and peaceful future.
We ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
(Prayer by Doreen and Michael McFarlane)
Global Ministries International Partners in China:
- Amity Foundation: Read about the work of Amity as it responds to the Sichuan earthquake at: http://www.amityfoundation.org/wordpress/index.php
- China Christian Council: To read about the work of the Protestant Churches in China, click here: http://www.chineseprotestantchurch.org.cn/english/
Global Ministries Personnel in China:
Tom Morse serves with the Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital. He is assisting the Hospital in their English communications.
Doreen and Michael McFarlane served for three years as professors at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, in Nanjing China, where Doreen taught Biblical Hebrew and Greek, and scriptural studies and Michael was choir director and taught sacred music courses. This past year, they have moved to Shanghai where they continue teaching but with very different groups of students. Doreen currently teaches American Christianity at Shanghai University while Michael produces monthly concerts and leads a Seniors Choir at the newest branch of the YMCA. Doreen also teaches American Religion and Culture to a class of seniors at the Y. In addition, they both lead the downtown YMCA branch of the English Club. In this Shanghai work, the McFarlanes have the great opportunity to relate to a wide variety of Chinese people: younger and older, Christians and non Christians.