Dear Brethren,

I would like to exhort and encourage every Church member to attend our Church Prayer Meeting every Tuesday 8.15pm. It is my prayer that every member will have a fervent desire to come for the prayer meeting. We must never think the prayer meeting is meant for the leaders or the regulars. God intended the prayer meeting for the whole Church to come together to seek Him for blessings and to follow His leading.

The Bible reminds us in Luke 18:1 that “men ought always to pray, and not faint.” In fact, the lack of prayers is so appalling in us that we need to daily repent and spend more time in communion with God. Don’t come to God only when there is trouble or difficulty that we can’t solve. Build a close relationship with God through prayers so you not only know this verse “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17) in head knowledge but in heart and practice as well.

As a Church, we can move along with our programmes but it will not be spiritually blessed and God-honouring if prayers to God for these programmes are not foremost in our planning and regarded as the most important part of the programme. Our Lord Jesus reminded us in John 15:5 “for without me, ye can do nothing”. Hence coming to Church prayer meeting ought to be our priority in the planning of our schedule for the week. I like to highlight 3 possible reasons typically given for not willing to attend Church prayer meeting. I would like to share that we can deceive ourselves with these ‘excuses’ to the detriment of our spiritual life.

1) Prayer Meeting is meant for those who are spiritual and prayerful

We can excuse ourselves to say that I am not ready to attend prayer meeting since my prayer life is poor and I am spiritually not strong. I don’t want to look hypocritical by being at the prayer meeting. First, let’s be sure that if the prayer meeting is meant only for the spiritual and prayerful, no one will meet this qualification. All who attend are needful of prayers and need to improve their prayer life and have spiritual struggles too.  Secondly, it is a great deception of Satan to tell us we are hypocritical if we go to prayer meeting. Satan uses this method to prevent God’s children from getting the means of grace to strengthen their spiritual life. If we are weak and discouraged and low spiritually, the only way to be strengthened is to come back to God through the means of prayer. Why do we want to neglect this means of grace in prayer meeting that God has graciously provided?

2) I do not have time

All of us struggle with this issue of “No Time”. I have no doubt that we are busy people with many demands requiring our attention and time. Students struggle with schoolwork, exam and CCA. Workers struggle with project deadlines, demanding bosses and overtime duty. Parents have to look after younger children at home. We also want our own time to rest and enjoy our hobby, TV, Internet and exercise. We can easily convince ourselves that we cannot afford to spend a weekday night in prayer meeting.  However, if we are honest and search our hearts before God, we do have the time but we have given the time to something else which we value as more important and more needful. What we need is to ask the Lord for wisdom to manage all the important and needful things in our lives which must include the Church prayer meeting. If we put the Church prayer meeting in this priority list, and commit to the Lord for His help to attend, I believe the Lord’s grace will help us fulfil it. Everyone who attends Church prayer meeting struggles with this same issue of “No Time”, and none is there because they have nothing better to do.

3) I do not have any specific prayer requests or needs

While we encourage members who have thanksgiving items or special needs or requests to personally come to prayer meeting to share their items, there will be a lot of times we are not in such special situation. Hence, sometimes we tell ourselves there is nothing for me to share and there is no necessity to be in prayer meeting. But remember that Church prayer meeting is not just about coming to share my personal needs but a time to commit the Church and her programmes and fellow members’ needs to the Lord in prayers. What better way to ‘rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that weep’ (Rom 12: 15) but to do in prayers with them and for them. You can know how to show care to the person after praying for him or her too.

In conclusion, I know it requires time and discipline to attend Church prayer meeting but the spiritual reward is definitely worth the effort. Can you make the effort to come this Tue Prayer Meeting? By God’s grace, work at it and make step by step spiritual improvement along your life’s pilgrimage journey.

Elder John Leong