Kong Hee taught the Church that when the situation becomes impossible, one’s prayers must become intense.
King Hezekiah was 39 years old when he fell terminally ill. He had just won in a battle against the Assyrians and suddenly, he found himself near death. To make his situation even more hopeless, Isaiah the prophet said to him in Isaiah 38:1, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”
Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, began his sermon on the weekend of Apr 2-3 with this story from the Bible. He showed the church how the king turned to God and prayed fervently when he faced an impossible situation.
Isaiah 38:2 says, “Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord.” The reason why many people cannot get the results they want is that they often turn to man when they are in trouble, said Kong. They would turn to their bankers, doctors or lawyers, but Hezekiah turned from everything else to focus on God.
The Bible taught Christians in Hebrews 12:2 to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“To fix our eyes, in Greek, literally means to stare at Jesus,” Kong said. “To focus on Jesus and consider His word only.”
Kong went on to share the story of Thomas Lam, a member of CHC. He was diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and the doctors told him he had less than three years to live. He had to take all kinds of medication and was very weak. Six months after he was diagnosed, he suffered a heart failure and was near death. Kong recalled that when he went to visit Lam at the ICCU, the member was in very bad shape. A few days later, Lam messaged Kong to say that he might not make it.
“I immediately texted him back saying that I was praying for the Holy Spirit to hover over him and bring life in the midst of death,” said Kong. “When he read that, he felt the Spirit of God come into the room.”
God sent instant healing to Lam’s body. Within 30 minutes of that text message, the doctors came in and took Lam off the life support system. Within an hour, he was moved to the general ward. Three days later, Lam was discharged.
Kong also told the congregation about baby Aaron Ng who was healed of suspected meningitis because his parents had faith and meditated on the Word of God.
“As educated people, we must strive to be rational and realistic, but as people of faith, we need to believe in the report of the Lord,” Kong said. “And the report of God is you are healed! You are blessed! You have victory!”
King David also met with an impossible situation when he found his home city burned to the ground at Ziklag. He did not even know who had destroyed all their possessions and taken away all their wives and children. Like King Hezekiah, he turned to God. 1 Sam 30:6 says, “…But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
When he did that, God told him what to do and he eventually recovered all his possessions and walked away with much more.
Going back to Isaiah 38:2, Kong preached that King Hezekiah not only turned to God, he was also intense in his prayers. The next verse says, “‘Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”
“Here, Hezekiah was not boasting about his own works and merits, he was quoting David in Psalms,” Kong preached. “God loves it when we remind Him of His promises because it means that we care about what He had said.”
James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Kong explained that the word “fervent” means “white hot until glowing”. Hebrews 5:7 (KJV) says, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;”. The word “strong” here means “force, powerful, mighty, bold, courageous”.
“Jesus says that the Kingdom of God comes in tremendous power. It is packed with healing, deliverance and miracles! But very often, our prayers are not intense enough. We don’t persevere in prayer until there is breakthrough, we give up too easily,” explained Kong.
The senior pastor encouraged the congregation to be intense in going after the covenant promises of God. He gave examples of how to be intense in memorizing and confessing the Scriptures and visualizing the promises of God until they happen. He also noted that being intense is not just getting loud; it is to do something consistently until the result is achieved.
The pastor ended the sermon by saying that King Hezekiah had a loyal heart. He gave his wholehearted devotion and consecration to God and lived for His purpose. In closing, Kong encouraged the congregation to have that fiery determination to pray until they receive their promise from God.