At Festival of Praise 2016 I cried out to God in tears: “Here I am, send me!”
“What is needed, God? What is needed before we get to see more of your work in the lives of the people around us? What is needed before we see greater breakthroughs? What is needed before a revival happens again in our nation?” I pleaded. I was more than desperate to see God move in my school and in Singapore.
“Prayer is needed. And also people who are willing to take time to commune with Me,” were the words that God dropped in my heart.
That same night, I recorded a list of things I would do for God if I knew I couldn’t fail. One of them was to start a prayer group in school.
It took some time for me to pray, “God if someone is needed to step up and stand in the gap for my school, I’m willing to be that someone.” It wasn’t an easy prayer. In fact, it was the most difficult prayer I’ve ever prayed. Because I knew that if God gave me confirmation, I wouldn’t be able to stay in my comfort zone.
In the following weeks, God showed me sign after sign. Yet I refused to budge. Maybe it’s just my imagination – maybe it’s just a coincidence. Eventually I finally gave in when it became too obvious that I could no longer find any excuse to deny God’s call.
So I started a prayer group in school. It was just my classmate and I at first. And things didn’t go as planned. Fellow Christians in school who I invited to join us in prayer were unresponsive. And for months, membership remained stagnant.
Disappointed, I complained to God: “All this started because You told me You had a plan! I’ve tried everything possible: Approached random Christians in school, prayed hard for like-minded Christians to answer the call to prayer … But why does it seem like everything is falling apart?”
Prayer is needed. And also people who are willing to take time to commune with Me
It was in June 2017 at my Church’s youth retreat where God spoke again. During worship, I was prompted by the Spirit to step out to be prayed for – that there was something God wanted to reveal to me.
The man who prayed for me said: “God sees your heart for your school, and He also sees that progress has been slow and it has been difficult to keep having faith. He is telling you today to press on and don’t lose heart, for He is doing His work in His own special way.”
I never told the man who was praying for me about the problems and challenges I was facing! He was merely a guest preacher at the event but God used Him to reveal His heart to me in my situation. I was moved to tears that night, knowing that God heard my cries and hadn’t let go of His promise. He was still in control.
In the following days, I prayed in faith for divine appointments, that God would let me meet people who would make a big impact in the prayer group. And it wasn’t long before God made another tangible move.
In July 2017, I was on my way to the Festival of Praise worship night. I prayed the same prayer for divine appointments. But throughout that night I didn’t meet anyone special. I was disappointed when the event ended because I thought my prayer was going to go unanswered.
But God does not fail! As I left the venue and looked for the nearest bus-stop, I came across a batch-mate from school who was also on his way home from the event that night. I didn’t know him personally but I somehow knew immediately that he was the answer to my prayers.
He expressed that he was interested in joining the prayer group, and he told me that there was another Christian group in school from Singapore Youth For Christ (SYFC) which was headed by another batch-mate of ours. There was now a possibility that we could combine to form a larger group. The merger eventually happened and I got much more than I prayed for!
All of these were the stepping stones that led to the active prayer ministry we have in school today. We meet twice a week in worship and prayer for Jesus to be revealed in our school. When things did not seem to be working out, where all plans failed, God prevailed because He’s more concerned about the issue than we are!
“There are parts of our calling, works of the Holy Spirit, and defeats of the darkness that will come no other way than through furious, fervent, faith-filled, unceasing prayer.” (Beth Moore)
Good prayer has little to do with complex sentences or big words. It’s about having a humble heart. Like Daniel, who humbled himself in fasting and prayer for his people, I believe that God is calling out a generation of believers willing to humble themselves and selfless prayer their lifestyle.
To see a greater work of God in our nation, we must pray more selflessly. Because when I examine my prayers, they are often about me and my personal life. “God, give me wisdom during my exam!” or “God, give me the strength to last the day!” They are all quite self-centred.
There’s nothing wrong with such prayers. But how about praying to know God? And are we neglecting prayer for the lost, the lonely and those who do not feel loved? What about prayers for their eternal destinies? God cares deeply for each and every one of them. In fact, His heart aches for every lost child that has yet to return home.
Yet we often get caught up with our personal lives, failing to realise that there are people out there who need prayer.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” (1 Timothy 2:1)
It is time to start praying selfless prayers that reflect the selfless God we serve.
This year marks the 40th year of Dr Billy Graham’s Crusade in Singapore which awakened us to the need to evangelise to the nations around us. I believe his death earlier this year is no coincidence. A new wave of evangelism is about to rise. But this cannot happen without prayer. The call to pray for our nation is greater than ever before.
We were born for such a time as this, to come before God not only in expectancy but also fervent prayer for our countrymen. We have no time to lose if Singapore is to fulfill her Antioch calling.
Are we willing to hold onto God? Not to stay silent? To call on him day and night. To take no rest. To give him no rest—until Singapore turns Godward?
United prayers make a big difference. When we come together with one heart and one cry, “God, reveal yourself to Singapore!”, we shake up the heavens and God moves.
|| Come Alive Singapore || A song from this land for this land. This is the deep cry of our hearts, and we sing this interceding for our Lion City. We are believing for an islandwide move of Love and Truth in our city, and we won’t let up till we see Singapore rise to her call. Here's an extract from Isaac, who wrote Come Alive Singapore. "I have been blessed by the gospel being preached to me when I was a youth that is undiluted; that has not rubbed me the right way all the time, but was presented fully and not shy of the truth. We have a responsibility to share the same in lovingness and kindness. For those who have grown indifferent to the truth, for those who have become professional christians, we challenge them to give their lives completely to Jesus. A generation of 100% wholehearted laid-down lovers of Jesus. I pray that as they grow up, the word “Surrender” is not foreign to them but embraced, which may not be the case as we are bombarded only too often with the incomplete idea of “freedom”.While praying, God placed a prophetic song in my heart that I would love to share with you.“Come alive, SingaporeStand up and fightAnswer our callGod we unite,We’ll raise up a roarThere must be moreThere must be more…for Singapore.”"#fopxsg #fopxsurrender #comealivesingapore #singapore
Posted by Festival of Praise Fellowship on Thursday, 30 November 2017
Let this be the cry of our hearts today and in the days ahead. There are many in our nation who desperately need a touch from our Heavenly Father. They are living a life without knowing there is a love so great and powerful that’s calling them.
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37b)
This is an urgent time. We need to pray for our nation and our people.
So pray. Keep praying. Never stop. Pray like never before.