Monday, April 23, 2012

Prayers for China, Taiwan: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey, April 23 (Day 114)

Please review pages 258-262 as we wrap up our time in Taiwan today. Taiwan considers itself an independent state and functions accordingly. It began with the 1949 Communist overthrow when China's leaders were sent to Taiwan and have ruled from there ever since. Taiwan has repeatedly attempted to be recognized by the United Nations to no avail.

Taiwan represents a problem missionaries often face when serving in a country - disputed territory, political conflicts, and the place of law in recognizing a society or a people, or addressing a problem. Missionaries (both foreign and national) walk a fine line when it comes to "issues" - it's crucial to identify with the people and understand their problems and enter into seeing God's kingdom revealed through justice and righteousness. It's also even more crucial to remember that the only true solutions must be Gospel-centered and that often it's the "issues" that drive people to seek truth they might have been willing to keep on the back burner otherwise. As one author wrote, the evangelical and social missions of the church are both Biblical, but evangelism must always be the leading partner. We have to stay focused on eternity and point people to Jesus.

As we pray for Taiwan, let's be sure to pray for the missionaries, pastors, and others who are navigating the stormy political waters of this country.

My prayer for today: Lord, we thank You for being at work in Taiwan and moving among the people, especially the migrant workers. Thank You for collaboration between Taiwanese and foreign ministries and missionaries, and for the emphasis on prayer, evangelism, and outreach that the churches have exemplified. We ask for You to guide the missionaries and pastors to know how to best help the people, identifying with their political struggle yet constantly pointing them to the cross. We pray for You to break the stronghold of Buddhism and folk religion, and break the bondage of opposition to the Gospel. Raise up pastors and full time workers, and guide the church in reaching the unreached groups. We thank You, Lord, for Your work in Taiwan. In Jesus' name, amen.

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