Prayer is an essential key to spiritual growth at City Harvest Church.
Contributed By Melissa Chen
|CN PHOTO: Aaron low|
Prayer is the key to spiritual growth and revival. CHC’s senior pastor Kong Hee stresses, “The church is only as strong as its weakest link.” He believes that every member has to consecrate himself and be strong in prayer in order for the church to be strong. Therefore, since June 2008, the Week of Prayer was introduced in CHC and is conducted once every alternate month.
In order to cater to more members who work or live in different parts of Singapore, the prayer venues are held at three different places, namely at Heart of God Church in the East, The Riverwalk in the central part of Singapore, and the CHC Jurong West church auditorium, in the far West. Morning sessions are held from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at all three venues and evening sessions are held at the central and West locations from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The month of April marked the second, on-going bimonthly morning and evening prayer meetings for 2010. In a typical prayer meeting, the first half is spent on personal prayer time and the remaining time is spent engaging in worship led by the CHC worship team, and praying corporately for the church, led by one of the church pastors. It is a practical session for believers to seek God as well as to strengthen their prayer life.
The fervency of the church members can be witnessed through their relentless efforts in attending the prayer meetings whenever possible. Through the meetings, their spiritual lives have been enriched. Ong Wan Qi Pamela, 23, passionately told City News that each prayer meeting would encourage and rejuvenate her in her communion with God.
Peter Choong, 23, said, “There is such ‘electricity’ in the atmosphere and I want to do my part to intercede for the church as we are in the midst of exciting times. Praying in the morning is certainly a good way to kick start the day. I felt my relationship with God has strengthened.”
Students from the School of Theology are also involved in the week of morning prayer meetings where it is a good opportunity for them to develop spiritual discipline and stamina. Lim Hua Hui, 19, a local SOT student said, “We can’t deny the fact that prayer is an integral part of our Christian walk and I’m glad that our church holds the morning prayer meetings to strengthen the spiritual discipline in my life!”
Lim has experienced tangible benefits from being involved in the prayer meeting. She explained, “I feel refreshed and can have a great head start in the day throughout the whole week of prayer. Out of this sacrifice of sleep, the return was tremendous as I got to hear from Him daily.”
An overseas SOT delegate from China, Zhi Yun, 23 said, “The prayer meeting is not hindered by the barrier of language. Even though there is no Mandarin interpretation, there is a flow in the atmosphere. It is good chance to quieten my heart and seek God’s face.”
CHC also has Prayer 365, which began in July 2009. Every single day for a year, one cell group will commit to pray together in the morning, and another cell group will be praying in the evening. These sessions are held at The Riverwalk. Overnight prayer meetings are also conducted at The Riverwalk nightly throughout the entire year.
Quoting James 1:22, “Let us not just be hearer of the word but also doer of the word”, Kong constantly teaches his members to keep visualizing, believing and confessing until they get a breakthrough. As members begin to mix their faith with prayers, miracles can happen.
Quek Lit Yang, from BBG205, shared her testimony on how she went through a 12-year struggle to conceive. She suffered miscarriages, underwent unsuccessful IVF, and tried adoption. During one of the morning prayer meetings she attended, God spoke to her from 1 Samuel 1:19 and she felt led to cry out to God for her child. She obeyed, and knew that this time; God would come through for her. Today, Quek is six months pregnant and has also successfully adopted a baby girl. “From a woman who had no children, I now am the mother of one and am looking forward to welcome my second child! God is indeed faithful,” she affirmed.
Indeed, James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And CHC has more than 30,000 effectively, fervently, praying members.