PRAYING FOR THE CHINESE INDIVIDUALLY, IN GENERAL
(720 words) -Mary A. LaClair
Well, I hope the title gets your attention! “Individually” and “in general” will prove to be not a contradiction.
Here are some more things which seem unrelated, but by the end will tie in with the title. See if you can stick with me.
An antique, to be valuable, should not be refinished. Collectors and antique appreciators like to see the original patina; the wear from hands, the shine left behind from the oils in the skin of people who used the objects long ago. In the eye of the collector this creates interest, it creates a physical ‘tie’ with people ages past.
In this vein, hair jewelry also was made. Hair from the deceased would be woven into a design and encased in a locket or a piece of glass; and often worn as jewelry.This conduct reveals many people believe objects have a direct connection with people long since gone.
Witchcraft also often uses a ‘hank of hair’ or even a voodoo doll as a ‘connection’. I have an aversion to mentioning witchcraft yet it should be mentioned to reveal that spiritual truths work on either side of the fence. We Christians seem to have abdicated our spiritual power just because new age has usurped it, when in fact Spiritual powers still belong to us.
In the New Testament when handkerchiefs from the person of Paul were taken to the sick, the sick often recovered. God’s Word, God’s truths never change. God’s gifts are without repentance; that means He has given the ‘gifts’ and He does not take them back. (Rom. 11:29) Prayer cloths are still in use today. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 RSV)
Now here is the tie-in:
It seems so many objects made in China are for sale in the United States today that it can be difficult to find some that are not. I prefer to buy American made; yet it seems I am coerced into buying things with a made in China label. When we shop for Christmas gifts this may become even more apparent.
I ask the Lord, “How can I make the best of this situation when it seems I can do nothing to correct it?” How can I make lemonade from these lemons? Then it dawned on me while I washed new things before using them: Chinese hands have sewn or painted many of these things. Often these things have been held in hands of Chinese people who work for empty promises and poor wages, who are probably also being ill treated.
Now I see my ‘connection’: here is a point of contact with a living individual who needs prayer. I pray for the individual whose hands have spent time sewing, painting or making this object now resting in my hands. Sometimes I pick up an object in the store, look at it, and before putting it down, am led to pray for the person in China whose life has touched that object in a significant way. In this way, I pray for individuals, in general, in China.
I believe it both a Spiritual and Scriptural way to pray for those we could not otherwise reach. Spiritual power is spiritual power, and we should no longer abandon it only for wizards to expropriate it.
Let us awake from our apathy, from our contentment with status quo. Let us recoup. Let us retrieve. Let us tip the scales. Let us bridge the ocean with individual prayer in general and turn into brothers and sisters those living in an ancient world whom we cannot physically touch.
When saying Grace before meals I’ve heard many pray: ‘… bless the hands that prepared this food’. With proverbial hands-across-the-sea, we can be reminded through the items they send us, to pray for the Chinese, individually, in general. Perhaps we can touch them with a small gift of Christmas love through this type of prayer as we see so many items made in China as we shop. We could ask that the Chinese people whose hands have made the items we hold, and their supervisors, receive a conversion like Saul’s on the Damacus Road, and continue to do so perhaps until we have reached the whole country of China with our multiple little prayers.
For another article on prayer go to “Why Christians Should Pray” at: http://looklistenthink.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/why-christians-should-pray-2/