The longest weekly prayer group in PSPC is that of senior men, meeting on Saturday morning at the unearthly hour of 7.30 am. It was started by Rev Peter Poon when he was the Moderator, way back in 1990. We are 24 years old!
In that year, it was at 9 am and Peter managed to get more than a dozen men to come. The prayer was spontaneous with each person contributing their concerns and needs. Over the course of time the numbers diminished but not the importance and urgency of prayer.
Over the last few years the numbers diminished: there used to be four when Rev Ridge Orr was around. Before him, there was also Eld Yang Soo Suan and in the early years, the late Eld Koh Eng Soo also attended until he became too ill to attend.
There were one or two others too, but they dropped off and the younger men have formed a group which meets later on Saturday but I am not sure that they are still there weekly! Because we meet so early, we adjourn for breakfast at 8.30 am. Sometimes we meet another prayer group from our neighbor, the Tamil Methodist Church in Short Street, the leader being the former Methodist bishop Robert Solomon. It is a much bigger group, between 15-20 persons. They would however be going to breakfast as we are about to finish ours!
The spontaneity of prayer is replaced now by members following the items in the monthly prayer booklet of the church. This prayer booklet is now 15 pages long so there is plenty to pray for, especially when each person named there is prayed. In a way, prayer becomes more effective as there is no need to recall spontaneously what to pray for. It is all written down!
Before we pray, retired minister Rev Chiam Cheng Kiat leads in a reflection on a Bible passage. We then go through the prayer items in the church bulletin for the Sunday following our Saturday meeting. Veronica kindly supplies us with 3 copies of the prayer page of the Sunday bulletin. That way, we are up-to-date with our prayer concerns. After going through the bulletin prayer items, we move on to the items in the monthly prayer booklet. This monthly prayer booklet is compiled in advance so it may not be up-to-date with what is current.
Prayer is not only asking God: it is also listening, so we continue to share with each other what God is doing in our lives over the breakfast that follows. The photo above is taken in the roti prata shop along Bencoolen Street where we have breakfast; the only person not eating being Chiam Cheng Kiat as he gets up very early at home and has something before he comes. He just orders a drink.
By 8.45 am, we are usually finished. Kiat Luan often brings along other dian xin which he gets from the market near his home. Soo Ann brings books and other materials to share.
Talking with God comes before talking with each other, and feeding on God’s word comes before feeding on food. This should be our practice as Christians for we need God more than we need other people and food, important though they are.
If you are named in the monthly prayer booklet, just be strengthened by the fact that someone has mentioned your name in prayer during the past week. The prayer booklet is available at the back of the MPH/ Sanctuary. Pick up a copy - there being a new version at the start of each month. Items for prayer are collated by Ai Ching and Jane Toh. If you have a prayer request, send it to Ai Ching or through the group that you are attached to.
Join us though it is at an unearthly hour! Prayer is out of this earth anyway. We meet in Room 102 (Level 1) on the left of the Fellowship Hall as you enter.
We meet every Saturday morning at 7.30 am except on the week that the church has its monthly prayer meeting: “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their grey hair.” (Proverbs 20:29)
Eld Dr Lee Soo Ann