Today is National Day. By the mercy and grace of God, Singapore has experienced 50 years of independence. In the space of one generation, God has seen fit to allow this tiny city state to grow from “the Third World to the First World”. Singapore has experienced peace and prosperity that was perhaps unthinkable when she obtained independence in 1965. As believers, we ought to thank God for this provision and rejoice in His goodness.

Now many Singaporeans have proclaimed their well-wishes for Singapore on pieces of colourful sticky pads pasted on the walls of community centres. Others have posted their well-wishes on social media. What are your wishes for Singapore in the coming years should the Lord Jesus tarry?

My SG50 prayer for Singapore is based on 1 Timothy 2:1-7,

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

The above exhortation was given by Paul to young Timothy. He wanted young Timothy to set an example by leading the people to pray for all men, including those who are in authority and high places. However, these were the times of Nero, where sentiments towards Christians were unfriendly to say the least. The Emperor Nero would later lead a crusade to destroy Christians in the Roman Empire in A.D. 64. Nevertheless, in these turbulent times, Paul urges Timothy to pray for government powers and authorities that they may fulfil their God-given mandate to rule the country well to maintain social justice and order. They are not to hate the government but to pray for the leaders.

Why should we pray for our leaders? The reason given here is that conditions favourable in propagating the gospel may prevail, and that others (including those in authority) may be won over by the chaste conversation and godly witness of Christians. Christ is the only way to heaven. There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved. It is God’s desiderative will that all should come to repentance and find salvation in Christ. Is this not reason for us to pray for all men, including those in authority?

We ought to be thankful to the Lord that we enjoy freedom of worship in this country. We are also free to evangelise and proclaim the truth of God’s Word. Nevertheless, we must NEVER take this freedom for granted. Thus, it is my SG50 prayer that this freedom of worship may continue in Singapore so that more in this island as well as in other nations may know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. O that more souls may be delivered from the bonds of sin! May the good Lord also find it fit to bless us with just and wise leaders that righteousness, justice and peace may continue to prevail in this tiny island of Singapore.

My SG50 prayer is for the gospel light of Christ to shine brightly in this nation. What about yours?

Lovingly in Christ,

Preacher Clement Chew