Speaking of answered prayer...
Speaking of answered prayer, we should all pause in awe of our most wise and holy God for the great works He has done in China. Cumulative prayers of millions of intercessors in the last 150 years has broken through the rock hard wall of a country which, just 60 years ago, was almost totally closed to the gospel. It gives us great hope about what God is about to do with those in Muslim countries as well. In fact it is clear that God's sovereign work of grace in the hearts of millions of Chinese was one the most decisive spiritual events of the 20th century. Since the Chinese Communist Party has taken over, there are no known revival events in church history to be larger in scale. About 1 million Christians in China in 1949 has now blossomed to at least 50 million, with some estimates up to 90 million. Although Mao basically suppressed Christianity wherever it reared its head, He became the unwitting instrument in the hands of our sovereign God and somehow, in spite of kicking against the goads, "oversaw" the greatest religious revival known to man. So we could even say, what Mao meant for evil, God meant for good.
The purpose of writing this piece here is simply to remind us all to continue praying for this great nation of China. God has just begun there and I expect we will be seeing a lot more action from the Chinese church. Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission planted the seeds of new churches there. Prayers followed. The church mushroomed and now do not be surprised if God raises up Chinese believers who will finish the task of the great commission by sending them out to proclaim the Gospel to set free those still caught in the bondage of Islam. I rejoiced when I heard that many among the new generation of Chinese Christians are now seriously considering this. Let us pray for them that the Lord would use them as a mighty instrument for missions as the church in the west wanes. But also pray that believers will not be led astray by the temptations of materialism. Let us pray God also raise up leaders in the church there, for there are way too few, and heresies are common. Also I would encourage you to pray specifically for the Chinese Communist Party and its leadership:
Pray for the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China that whatever plans they make, whether to crack down on the church or to open up, that God would guide the outcome of their steps to further the reign of God in the hearts of the Chinese. Here are some helpful facts worthy of copying and praying through.
The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (Chinese: ZhÅngguÃ³ GÃ²ngchÇŽndÇŽng ZhÅngyÄng ZhÃ¨ngzhÃ¬jÃº ChÃ¡ngwÃ¹ WÄ›iyuÃ¡nhuÃ¬) is a committee whose membership varies between 5 and 9 and includes the top leadership of the Communist Party of China. The mysterious inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are made by consensus. Formally the membership of the Committee is approved by the Central Committee. In practice, the membership of the PSC appears to be the result of negotiations among the top leadership of the Communist Party. Although Jiang Zemin stepped down from this powerful committee to make way for a younger fourth generation of leadership led by Hu Jintao, Jiang may continue to wield significant influence. Five or six out of the nine new members of the Standing Committee, Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Li Changchun and sometimes Wu Guanzheng are Jiang protÃ©gÃ©s. The 22-member Politburo is elected by the Party's central committee. At the 2002 16th Party Congress, the Standing Committee was expanded to include nine members.
Pray for Current Leadership
The current members of the 16th PSC are:
Hu Jintao - President of the People's Republic of China, General Secretary of the CPC, Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Wu Bangguo - Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Wen Jiabao - Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Jia Qinglin - Chairman of the People's Political Consultative Conference
Zeng Qinghong - Vice-President of the People's Republic of China
Huang Ju - Vice Premier, State Council of China
Wu Guanzheng - Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
Li Changchun - no other positions held, known to many as the propaganda chief
Luo Gan - State Councilor, Political and Legislative Affairs Committee secretary