Eileen Toh is not only the pastoral head over Harvest Kidz, JAMs Service and Dialect Service; she is the head of the Intercessory Ministry, a group of 60 that pray continually for the church. She talks about the thing she loves to do the most: pray.
I love to talk to God. All my life, I have believed that prayer brings revival and it draws me closer to God. Prayer is my personal relationship with God.
Growing up, I faced a lot of parental objections to my being a Christian, so I really needed the reality of God in my life. I prayed a lot, crying out to God for an open door to see all my family members come to Christ. Eventually, my prayers for my family’s salvation were answered!
Whenever I attend a prayer meeting, I find myself encountering Him. Be it in a vision, in the Word, or just kneeling before the Lord, I can feel Him touch me in a very deep way—that is how my Christian walk has always been. Because I know God is real, I have no doubt that my prayers are heard by Him.
In the 1980s, I was in a church where they were always crying out for revival. At that time, I didn’t even know what a revival was. I took out the phone directory and started praying for those strangers by name, one by one. I even tried to sense from God if the person was sick, or had any problem—I think my prophetic ministry started there. I was just a teenager, but I learned to sense what God was saying. I believed that as I prayed for all these people, God would eventually awaken their soul and they would come to love God. God moves on our behalf, seen or unseen.
When I came to City Harvest Church, I learned to pray even more. As a member of the full-time staff, I had the opportunity to be discipled personally by both Pastor Kong and Sun. Pastor Kong taught me to pray using the Word of God. He would have prayer sessions with us and challenge all of us to saturate our prayers with Scriptures. He used to have this bell, and if we didn’t pray with Scriptures, the bell would go “ding ding ding” and we’d have to start all over again. It was through all those prayer sessions that I witnessed the promise in James 5:16 (NKJV): “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Sun also taught me to pray in many ways. Once we were praying at her home, I listened to how Sun prayed and I was inspired to pray like her—heartfelt, open, unrestrained prayers to the Lord! Our four-hour prayer session did not feel long at all. Through Sun’s discipleship, I also learned how to flow in the presence of God and the prophetic Word when I prayed, which contributed significantly to the ministry that I am doing today.
God spoke to me in September 2015 saying, “I will give you a theme for each month; whoever needs prayer for that theme will come and you can pray for them.”
Pastor Kong was excited about my idea and that was how the Intercessory Ministry started in 2016. Every year, we pray for almost 400 people. , I started with a group of 20 prayer warriors, that has the burden to cover the needs of our church in prayer. We have since grown to about 60. Prayer ministry is a little different, because it’s a 24/7 ministry. We need to be prayerful throughout the week.
We are a prayerful church because Pastor Kong trained us well. He believes that every member must be an intercessor. From cell groups to pastoral zones, there are always prayer meetings going on: overnight, morning and evening prayer meetings, and most recently, we brought prayer meetings online through the Crowning Sessions. All of us in church know that prayer is one of the first few steps to knowing God. In every crisis we have, we are called to pray together. Over the years, we have seen God come through for us in every difficult situation. What encourages the members is that when we pray, we sense God’s presence. This is the air we breathe—the presence of God.