PRAYERSHIFT – Saturday 10 April
As we gathered online for April’ s Prayershift, the anticipation of which nation or region of the world we would be focussing on in prayer was tangible: As we were lead into God’ s presence through sung worship, singing ‘Jesus We Enthrone You,’ we had a very clear sense of declaring the Lordship of Christ over the Far East – specifically the nations of China, Hong Kong and North & South Korea.
With the news of the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, the day before, we spent some moments praying blessing on the Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth and the other members of The Royal Family – specifically praying that this would be a time of healing for The Royal Family and that Her Majesty, The Queen would have a very real sense of knowing the presence of God each day.
As is a regular feature and calling of WPC, we seek to weave worship and prayer together, and it was a delight to be joined by Sam Miller from Open Doors, who shared much information and lead us by outlining different prayer points for our featured nations – recognising that what we were doing was declaring the Sovereignty of God and lifting up the Name of Jesus over each of those nations – our worship was prayer and our prayer was worship.
As we prayed for China – Sam shared how many thousands were coming to faith, but that the persecution of Christians had brought China into the top 20 at Number 17 on The World Watch List for Persecuted Christians for the first time. Moving into smaller (breakout groups) we poured out our hearts before God on behalf of our brothers and sisters in China, who face suffering and hardships as a result of their Christian faith. We prayed for wisdom, courage and faith in the midst of these trials and also for the younger generation in China to have a greater revelation of Jesus.
The song ‘Faithful One’ was sung over China as a prayer on behalf of persecuted Christians.
Focussing our praying on Hong Kong, we were reminded that there is a great opportunity for the Church in the UK to be a ‘Hong Kong Ready Church’ as potentially up to 130,000 Hong Kong Chinese have the chance to move to The UK in 2021. Focussing on this being a time of preparation for The Church, for understanding more about the Biblical principle of ‘entertaining angels unaware,’ and praying about the race-based hate crime that is on the increase.
Declaring ‘How Great is Our God’ over Hong Kong as we prayed and worshipped.
This was not simply a time to pray for these nations, it was a time to learn more about them and enable us to pray intelligently and pass information on to others to pray. North & South Korea was our final destination in prayer. North Korea is the darkest place on earth to be a Christian, where it is illegal to own a Bible – the consequences of such being imprisonment – and the Church in South Korea is suffering from a huge element of disunity. We were very aware during this Prayer gathering that there is so much to pray for and not sufficient time. So as we united in prayer for The Church in North & South Korea, recognising the very different levels of life that the two nations have, we were very mindful of our brothers and sisters living in indescribable conditions and environments and as we finished by praying for humility for the leaders of The North and The South we acknowledged that reunification would not happen without both nations humbling themselves before God. One day will there be a unified One Korea.
Laurence Sharman is the Executive Director of World Prayer Centre. To find out more about the persecuted church, visit www.opendoorsuk.org