Christians and Prayer
The RADICAL CHINESE HOUSE CHURCHES
by Denny Kenaston
There is a powerful anointed church in China. She is a beautiful bride
prepared and waiting for her Bridegroom. I have read short accounts of
God's testimony on the other side of the globe and been deeply
challenged by their lives. Recently, at our Youth Bible School, we had
the privilege of hearing a detailed account of many of their lives. Two
men closely connected with the persecuted church in China shared their
story. When the meeting was over, I sat and interviewed these two men,
asking them specific questions which I felt would help us American
Christians get a vision. This article is an account of that interview:
: When I was
listening to you, I wrote a few questions that I had wanted to ask you.
One is about fasting and prayer. How much do the people fast and pray
in the house churches of China?
: Let us take prayer
first. The leaders of the church in China try to pray three to four
hours a day. That is normal. But then there are some brethren who are
totally committed to pray. Almost every minute they are awake, they are
praying. They cannot even be elders in the church because of the amount
of time they spend in prayer. They have two kinds of leaders in the
church. They have spiritual leaders, who fast and pray; then they have
practical operational leaders, who are active in everyday affairs of
the church. The praying leaders are praying for the whole church, and
especially for the practical leaders. They are not in a preaching
ministry. The operational leaders go to them for direction and wisdom.
Very few Westerners have ever met these elders. These men are older men
who cannot travel anymore, so they are mainly in that ministry. It
literally keeps the church on track. They hear from the Lord and give
answers to the practical leaders.
: I know a brother who
never sleeps more than two hours a night. He prays for 22 hours a day.
The brothers and sisters pray always, and there are many all-night
prayer vigils. I have been to some of these prayer meetings. By
morning, the floor is slippery because of all the tears that flow
: What about fasting?
What part does fasting play in all these testimonies we have heard?
: There are two kinds
of fasting in China. Most of the pastors have to fast because they
don't have money to buy food. It is a natural part of their lives. The
other kind of fasting is out of a burden for someone or some spiritual
issue. When you read from Brother Yun's book, you will read how he
fasted one hundred days to get one Bible during the Cold War
revolution. He was eating a small bowl of rice each day; that is all.
That means there was no time that he wasn't fasting. After one hundred
days of prayer and fasting, he received a Bible in a supernatural way.
That story is there. It is not in anyway special. The people fast like
The first time we sent about twenty people out to preach, nineteen of
them were arrested; one came back to report. Everyone else was detained
for six months. We sent another group. The same thing happened. One
lady came home on a stretcher. They smashed her skull. She was
paralyzed, but later God restored her. When there is such resistance
like this in one specific location, then the whole team goes to fasting
and praying. Usually this kind of fasting will break the yoke within
thirty days, and then the gospel has free course. When there is a real
resistance, the teams do not try to push the gospel. They just go on
their knees and wait on the Lord to hear His voice for direction on
what to do. They just keep silent and continue to fast and pray. This
is a very practical part of their lives.
: Do they have
corporate fasting where the whole church joins in when a need comes up?
: Yes, they do. Let me
just give you an example about when the group Eastern Lightning
kidnapped all of their leaders. I met with the leaders from maybe ten
different house church networks. They would all say, "We have started
once a week for fasting and prayer for the release of these leaders."
That was something pronounced all around the body of Christ in China.
When Brother Yun was arrested the whole church in China was fasting and
: How do the Acts of
the Apostles compare to the Chinese church? What does the Chinese
church believe about the Book of Acts?
: They would say, "We
are there. It is our normal Christian life." They believe that Acts is
a demonstration of the normal Christian life. It is a testimony of the
resurrected Christ, and He is still the same today. They do not believe
that miracles have passed away.
: We have to understand
that the Gospel that is preached in China, is a little bit different.
The emphasis is not only intellectual and mental messages. It is fifty
percent preaching, fifty percent showing the power of the Gospel. There
is always an expectation and readiness for miracles. It is normal that
anytime when the message of the Gospel is pronounced, there is going to
be a demonstration of the power of God in that situation. People can
see clearly that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He is the Savior of
the world. The church of China is not praying for miracles, but they
are living in miracles. It is like Paul said: it is the normal
Think about the challenge of the countries west of China, like the many
Muslim countries. The only thing that can really bring an opening to
these people is a demonstration of God's compassion. You have to show
them that you have something more than all these gods they are bowing
to. You have to prove your case, instantly and on the spot, that this
is true - that Jesus is alive, and that He is the Savior of the world,
and that He has all authority.
The Chinese house churches are living in the time of the book of Acts.
The Holy Spirit is working in their lives. They are just trying to
follow the wind of the Holy Spirit. It is something we miss. We always
want to settle, and we hope that the Holy Spirit will settle with us
and just be with us as we create these centers and places where we hope
the Spirit will be moving in a mighty way. We have to understand that
God's Holy Spirit is moving all the time. We have to be very flexible.
We should with the maximum effort join the Holy Spirit where He is
working, not trying to work ourselves. It is always better to partner
with Him, to find out where He is active today, where the battle is
going on, and join Him there. Then we will be blessed with souls, and
also the blessing will be reversed upon us.
: That leads me to my
next question. What about missions and methods of evangelism? How do
our Chinese brothers live out the Great Commission?
: Their theology and
methods are really quite simple. They believe there is only one reason
why God has left them here on earth: that is to evangelize the lost.
Anyone who is not actively pursuing this holy purpose is missing the
mark. The Great Commission cannot be compromised. Their methods are
anointed preaching with signs following. The leaders instruct the
evangelism teams to go to a new village and inquire about the worst
problem in the village. Then they are to go and minister to that
problem and show that Jesus is the all-powerful Savior. With this
success, they turn to the people and preach Jesus to them.
: I will give you a
beautiful example of how this worked for two young ladies who were sent
to a village to share the gospel:
These two sisters, eighteen years old and very tiny, came to a village
of about three hundred people. There was one big problem. There was a
man who was possessed by demons. Somehow, the Communists were able to
count that this man had twelve demons in him. He was learned in five
different languages. He was so powerful that twelve heavy farmers could
not hold him back. They tried with chains and wires, but he had the
power to break free. This man happened to live at the entrance of that
village. The whole village of three hundred people could not walk on
the road, but had to walk in the forest, because the man decided that
nobody was going to pass through his property. Whenever anyone stepped
through the property line, which was invisible, the man would come out
with a jungle knife in his hand, shouting, "I'm going to kill you!"
Everybody was afraid. It was like this for many, many years.
Now, these two young ladies came asking, "What is the biggest problem
in this village?" Everybody pointed to the crazy, demon- possessed
man's house. The sisters turned around and started to move towards that
house. They were walking and praying. The whole village came out from
their houses. Everybody wanted to see what would happen. They knew
where the invisible line was, and if they step over that line and enter
into his property, they knew what would happen. He would fly out with a
jungle knife, half-naked, with a crazy look in his eye, and all the
demons would drive him forward to them.
Sister Lee, one of the young girls, was leading. The two of them
entered onto his property. The man ran out through the door with a
knife in his hand. This sister lifted up her hand and said, "In the
name of Jesus, stop." This man became frozen. He stopped in mid-air,
like a statue. He couldn't move back, and he couldn't move forward.
This man was as a stone. He couldn't do anything. He could not stand.
His eyes were totally frozen.
This happens quite often in China. We know by experience that the body
is frozen by the Holy Ghost, but the person can hear with his ears. You
can share any message you want to with this kind of person. He can
understand every word that you speak. Sister Lee went next to this
"statue" and started to proclaim the Gospel. She then, through the name
of Jesus, cast all twelve demons out of this man. He was instantly
delivered. He melted in that spot, like butter in sunshine. He fell
down onto the ground and was completely restored. The first words he
said were "This Jesus is Lord." He was wonderfully saved and restored.
There was a very special group of people who stood together in the
village that day. There they stood, the two girls on each side, and the
man who used to be possessed in the middle of them. He was talking to
these sisters, and together they entered into the village. As they
passed the doors of the first house, the families one by one confessed
that Jesus was the Son of God. The whole village with three hundred
people surrendered to the Lord that evening. These are very simple
Gospel methods: problem - solution - salvation.
: With results like
these, they hardly need us Americans to help them. We should be
learning from them.
: Actually, that is
not the case. They very much need missionaries who can come help them
and work together-but as equal brothers, not as Western leaders leading
the show. That day is well and truly finished, and it is easy to see,
they do not need our leadership. This is causing a great burden on the
Chinese church. I sat in a meeting when one of the house church leaders
stood up and said, "We just don't understand why people are racing into
China from the West with their own vision and ideas, doing their own
thing." He continued, "Why don't these people come and ask us what God
has given to the church?" They are all bringing their new visions, and
it is actually damaging the advance of the Gospel in China. The proud
westerners do not even think to ask the Chinese church. The key is that
first you must find out what vision God has given His body in China,
then how you can be part of that vision. Do not bring a new vision.
The Remnant Magazine