By now, most if not all of us, would have recognised God’s guidance in one of the biggest – if not the biggest in both magnitude and complexity – decision we have had to make in PSPC in the last few decades. For many this recognition or realisation has truly been God’s gracious provision and promise. This, in turn, has much to do with the increasing and deepening prayer life we have seen in PSPC.
It is not uncommon for some to see this season or process of God’s provision of a Senior Minister as an end in itself or an occasion for both rejoicing and relaxing after such an intensive period of anxiety and searching. It is also salutary and significant that far from taking a safe and comfortable position of consolidation or even playing to the gallery, our new Senior Minister led in a difficult decision to embark upon a perilous path for us to be a Discipleship Church. That this bold vision and strategy resonated with the leadership and met with the resounding response of members serve as added confirmation of his call to the Senior Ministership.
It is thus timely and telling that we take a closer look at our prayer life as individuals and as a church. For a start, thanksgiving and praise should now be more natural if not spontaneous. We can never thank Him enough for what He has done for us. Our aspirations to be a Discipleship Church should be undergirded and thus guaranteed by prayer which should precede and pervade our every plan and programme.
Besides ensuring our deepening prayer life, we must optimise opportunities for corporate prayer life in every possible aspect of our church including our monthly church prayer meetings and our weekly cell groups. Here, members can learn and even lead praying aloud. We can encourage and even exhort one another to engage in specific praise and prayer and expect His answers. We claim His precious promise that where two or three gather in His name, He will not only be present but grant their requests when they AGREE upon the things they ask of Him. These could be positive or a learning experience for patience and acceptance that sometimes our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways. From all these, we can thus be such a power base and springboard for faith exploits for His kingdom.
For our corporate life we have the example of the early church. People took note of these early Christians on “how they love one another”. Praying for one another is surely one way to experience and express our love for one another. In fact prayer is the LEAST and the MOST we can do for anyone. In our human interactions, it’s also so easy for us to be critical and to verbalise these criticisms whether these be towards people or the plans and programmes in our church. Whenever such thoughts come to mind, justified or otherwise, let us develop the discipline or habit of first praying for the person, plan or programme in question and continuing in prayer before we begin to give our feedback and comments. We recognise that positive criticisms have their role and usefulness. Even so, prayer often opens the door to their acceptance. We will rejoice to see answers to such prayers and to see changes in attitudes and actions including our very own.
Our prayer lives so practised in PSPC would also be enriched by entering into the prayer life of the wider Christian community. Simply, this means giving or gaining or more often something of both, as we share with others in the spirit of Christian unity and humility. Some in PSPC have already seen something of our Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) in Singapore. Traditionally held on Pentecost Sunday, we have seen this worldwide prayer movement take root in our island home since its inception in 2006.
For this year however, GDOP will be held on Sunday 1 June due to the camps and trips that many churches are involved in for the June holidays. In preparation for a centralised GDOP in 2015 to mark Singapore’s Jubilee, GDOP 2014 will be spread all over our island to enable the maximum number of Christians and churches to be involved, as in the case of GDOP in the last 2 years. With such convenient and conducive arrangements, we trust that many in PSPC will make the most of this opportunity and arrange to be at one of these centres with family and or friends. Cell members could also go as a group. There are centres which cater for youth and children as well as our foreign friends and employees. Should you wish to ensure that you choose a centre where you will feel at home, please feel to contact Toy Him who also knows many of us in PSPC.
Elder Lawrence Chia