Culture

On June 12, a call for Singapore’s campuses to combine in prayer

Ivan Tan // June 6, 2017, 11:00 am

Campus Combined

I graduated from SMU in 2007 and entered the workforce the following year as an Auditor at Ernst and Young. Nine years on, my life has come full-circle. On Monday, June 12, I’m stepping back into school.

It has been 5 months since I left my job as a financial controller of an multi-national corporation in the commodity industry. I’ve spent this season serving in my church’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and I’ve felt the Lord challenging me with this thought: Would I be willing to lay down my life for this generation?

Would I be willing to leave comfort for the cause of serving the next generation? Would I be willing to give up all that – yearly family holidays to exotic locations, a nice car, a big house, a comfortable retirement – for all this?

Negotiating this big life change has been challenging, but it has also meant that I’m finally free to pursue an idea that was first deposited in my heart 11 months ago: To start campus prayer groups in each of Singapore’s universities.

By God’s grace, our first weekly campus prayer meetings commenced in January 2017, comprising of five campus prayer groups in SIT, SIM, NTU, NUS and SMU. Each time we met, we were ushering the presence of God into campus, adopting a posture of listening aligning to His heartbeat.

We would huddle in residential halls, empty lecture theatres, tutorial rooms. In these spaces, we encountered the presence of God.

God challenged me with this thought: Would I be willing to lay down my life for this generation?

Sometimes there would be just the three or four of us, but God still deposited visions and impressions on the hearts of these faithful ones, who would give an hour of their time – between lectures or at the end of a long school day – to seek the Lord.

As we prayed through the semester, individuals began to share stories of God-orchestrated appointments where their friends initiated conversations about faith, allowing them to share their testimonies and the gospel.

Many times we’ve earnestly prayed for, desired revival, and I’ve found myself asking: What exactly does revival look like? I wanted to know what it was we were asking for. And the answer came to me in prayer one day.

This is what I saw: An image of a lake of still water, and a hand breaking into the water’s surface. As the hand penetrated the water, it began to send out ripples and waves in every direction. I felt that the hand represented the presence of God breaking into campuses, and the ripples and waves were students, carrying His presence as they stepped back into their school community.

We would huddle in residential halls, empty lecture theatres, tutorial rooms. In these spaces, we encountered the presence of God.

Immediately I saw a parallel in a passage of Scripture that records arguably the greatest revival that ever broke out in the history of Christianity. That passage is the first Day of Pentecost after Jesus had died and rose again, in Acts 2:1-4, when the Holy Spirit broke into the upper room and each of the disciples carried the presence of God like ripples and waves – waves we are still feeling right till this day.

This was the power of the Holy Spirit: The anointing that comes upon us, and which helps us make a difference to the world we live in. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Do you think God can likewise make a difference in your school? If you believe it is possible, then come join like-minded individuals on Monday, June 12, 6.30-9.30pm, at Hinghwa Methodist Church (Level 4 Sanctuary), as we gather and unite in prayer across schools, churches and generations.

It doesn’t matter which school or campus, church or denomination you’re from. What we have in common far outweighs our differences. We want to unite in prayer, believing that schools can be transformed for Jesus one life at a time – beginning with yours!

Register at tinyurl.com/campuscombined2017 if you are a current or prospective student – secondary, junior college, ITE, polytechnic, university – or just someone with a heart for the next generation – parents, teachers, alumni, leaders. Bring your cell group or youth group, and tell as many people as you can.

The author is the Youth and Young Adult Ministry worker at Hinghwa Methodist Church.