The latest central prayer location at The Riverwalk, just opposite Clarke Quay had an overwhelming crowd on Monday, 9 February 2009 with more than 600 people attending the very first evening prayer meeting, held from 6 to 7pm. The bi-monthly early morning prayer meeting extended to the evenings to accommodate a huge number of CHC members, who for various reasons, could not be there to pray in the mornings.
|PHOTOS: Alvin Loh|
Joseph Ang, one of the pastors at CHC, commented that the organizers originally planned for 200 members to pray at The Riverwalk and opened up the 200 seating-capacity auditorium. However, the easily accessible venue was so popular that by 6.05pm, the hall was packed to the max, and latecomers were ushered into smaller rooms to pray. A total of 5 rooms were opened up with an estimated attendance of 610 people that showed up, tripling the original forecast.
NSF Joseph Chin, 20, said that it was the first time he was able to take part in this bi-monthly affair as he usually reports to camp early in the morning at 7am and was unable to make it for the morning prayer meetings previously.
“I feel very refreshed,” exclaimed Yoseph Setiawan, 27, a graphic designer who went straight back to work after the evening prayer meeting. He explained that it was extremely convenient for him to rush from work to pray, and he would not have to skip work or miss the prayer meeting.
The “2009 Prayer Booklet” given out to City Harvest Church members proved to be a very useful tool. “It teaches us how to be more specific in our prayers and creates a discipline to pray. I’ve already filled in most of the pages,” said Angeline Aw, 19, a student. The Prayer Booklet is a handy booklet for members to write down their individual prayers needs, right next to a check box. They would indicate with a tick when the prayer request has been fulfilled.
A quick poll of 15 students and working adults indicated that all of them loved the newest venue addition, The Riverwalk, because of its accessibility.
This reporter headed early the next morning to Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre, home to the Church of Singapore (Harvest), one of the three venues for the morning prayer meetings, to find out if many were drawn to the relatively central venue, just off Chinatown.
There was a steady stream of people alighting from public buses just outside Pearl’s Centre and trotting off as they headed to Kreta Ayer Road. Underneath the bright full moon, it was a peaceful 5 minute walk to the theatre and two volunteers were already present at 6.30 am, ushering the people into the cavernous hall.
More than 400 people turned up and a steady rumble of prayer continued for an hour and ended as Aries Zulkarnain, the pastor leading the prayer, closed by praying for a central piece of land to build the new church building.
The overwhelming attendance at the central locations of The Riverwalk and Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre is clear sign that a building in the central is much needed.
This week-long series of early morning and evening prayer meetings is the first of six that City Harvest Church is holding.