What happens if you pray and pray without seeing results? Over two weeks of Early Morning Prayer Meetings earlier this month, Pastor Kong Hee, together with pastors of CHC, taught the church how faith, trust and rest form the basis of miracle-working prayers.
Held on the weekdays between February 28 to March 11, City Harvest Church’s recent Early Morning Prayer Meeting proved to be a refreshing time of learning to trust God. Cumulatively, over 25,000 people attended the prayer meetings.
Each morning at 6am, the prayer meeting began with a time of worship followed by a short devotion by senior pastor Kong Hee. On most days, he was joined by his wife Sun; on other days, pastoral workers joined him to share their testimonies.
“Early this morning, as you pray, God will hear you. We pray by faith, the best that we can, and we trust Him and the outcome He’s going to give to us,” Pastor Kong said.
“One of the purposes of coming together to pray is to believe God to intervene for our circumstance; one of the purposes of praying is also to come before God and surrender, so that our heart, our lives can be more obedient to the Lord,” added Sun.
The Early Morning Prayer Meeting (EMPM) is a regular feature on CHC’s calendar that happens twice yearly. This time, to cater to the different schedules of the members, Pastor Kong and Sun also led a Late Night Prayer Meeting, beginning at 10pm, on the first week. During the first late night meeting of the week, Pastor Kong greeted the members and told them that Sun is a night owl while he wakes early in the morning. Therefore, between them, they pray throughout the day.
Throughout the week, the late night meetings were filled with a strong presence of God as members set aside their burdens of the day to seek God in prayer and worship. There were many teary moments as Pastor Kong, Sun and different pastors gave words of encouragement about surrender and obedience.
CHC member Toh Jia Min, 29, who joined in the LNPM said, “When work gets busy, it’s very easy to go on autopilot and I get very drained at the end. The night prayer meeting reminded me that my prayer can be as simple as ‘God help me’ and I am reminded His grace is truly sufficient.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE FAITH?
Pastor Kong’s sharing in the prayer meetings focused on the topic of faith. Hebrews 6:11 reads, “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Anchoring on this verse, the pastor taught that Christians must not let disappointments make them sluggish or tired. King David encouraged himself in the Lord; Pastor Kong urged the attendees to do the same.
Faith is patient—consistent and unchanging no matter the circumstances. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever,” the pastor taught. “You must have the same patience of Christ until you see the manifestation of your prayer.”
The enemy of faith is doubt. While doubt is not a sin, it has the potential to grow into unbelief. Pastor Kong likened faith to walking across a tightrope with full confidence, while doubt is having a lack of confidence but walking the tightrope, nonetheless. Unbelief is to refuse to cross at all. This unbelief builds a wall between man and God and miracles cannot happen.
“For faith to work, you must focus on believing,” the pastor asserted, reading Mark 5:36. “This means that you don’t slip into doubt and unbelief.”
Pastor Tan Kim Hock, the academic dean of CHC’s School Of Theology shared his journey of battling stage four cancer. He reflected that through the challenging five and a half years of treatment, he and his family “kept ourselves in faith.” This meant that even when it was painful, he kept his eyes on the Word of God, believing and confessing that healing would come to pass. It came to a point where he totally surrendered to God, being fully convinced that He is real, and His healing is real.
LEARN TO TRUST IN GOD
Faith is also about trust. Proverbs 3:5 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”. “Trust makes us immovable,” the pastor taught as he read Psalm 125:1. “Trust keeps your faith intact. Trust gives you the perseverance, the patience and the insurance for your faith to operate and keep on operating, and for you to receive the promise.”
A Christian’s faith must grow and mature into trust. “While faith can fail, trust is eternal,” explained Pastor Kong. “Faith believes that God can do anything, but trust says, ‘Even if He doesn’t, my love for him remains the same.'””
Bobby Chaw, principal of the School of Theology shared how God brought His family through a season of bankruptcy. There was no instant miracle, yet the pastor, then a young man, led his family to trust God, day by day—even though they were not believers back then—as they struggled to make ends meet. The seventh year after bankruptcy, God did a miracle and Pastor Bobby’s family managed to repay all their debts. Through that crisis, his family learned to trust in the Lord, and they eventually gave their hearts to Jesus.
Reading 2 Chronicles 16:9, Pastor Kong taught, “Our loyalty to God is demonstrated by our trust in Him. So, trust releases a blessing from God (Ps 34:8).”
There is a clear distinction between faith and trust. “Trust is a higher virtue,” Pastor Kong elaborated. “Faith is confidence; trust is commitment.” Yet one can lose his confidence in God. “When you don’t get what you’re expecting and believing for, it’s very easy to become confused and discouraged. Some Christians become bitter and angry with God—they simply give up.”
But Hebrew 10:35 urges Christians to not “cast away your confidence.” This means to not give up speaking out the rhema word that God has given to them.
Choong Tsih-Ming, a pastor in CHC has been suffering from gout and kidney problems since 2020. He shared that when he was first diagnosed, his kidney was only functioning at 30 percent. The treatments and medication caused him a lot of pain and he could not sleep at night. Pastor Ming soon fell into depression and found himself hallucinating, unclear if he was still alive or had already gone to heaven.
“One day, I had a revelation from Nehemiah, where it says, ‘Do not be sorrowful, the joy of the Lord is your strength’,” Pastor Ming shared. “At 3am, I was suddenly awakened and went into holy laughter for over two hours. I laughed and laughed. I had never laughed so long and hard. By the end of the laughter, the depression was totally gone. God turned my mourning into dancing. The pain level, which was at 12 had gone down to about 1. I was very shocked.”
Pastor Ming had been praying for over a year and a half when he finally received that breakthrough. “Sometimes I didn’t even know if my prayers were heard, but I trusted the Lord and I kept praying,” he added.
Abraham was one of the greatest heroes of faith. Pastor Kong noted that he learned to have faith in God Himself. Romans 4:17 reads, “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”
Abraham trusted in God’s rhema word (V18) and “he did not consider his own body, already dead” (V19). The word “consider” means to give attention to, to think, to ponder, to focus, to direct your mind. He chose not to focus on the impossibility of his age but directed his mind entirely to the promises of God.
However, Pastor Kong noted that not all of God’s promises to Abraham came to pass. “I want you to know that it doesn’t mean that just because you pray for a miracle, it will happen,” he said, adding, “But most of the time, miracles will happen.” He reminded the people that God is sovereign and sometimes, things are just not meant to be. Nonetheless, Abraham chose to trust God and walked by faith.
Jesus’ disciples, on the other hand, did not have faith even after Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fishes for 5,000 people. They were “greatly amazed” when they saw Jesus walking on water (Mk 6:51). The Bible explained that it was because their hearts were hardened (V52). Their attention was fixed on the storm and not on Jesus. Pastor Kong urged the attendees to open up their hearts when God speaks and the Holy Spirit moves.
Jeremy Choy, an associate pastor in CHC, shared the testimony of his father-in-law’s salvation—a testimony he had shared in service previously. His father-in-law had been estranged from his family for 26 years. Two years ago, Pastor Jeremy and his wife received news that her father was open to receiving Christ. While it was hard for them to believe, Pastor Jeremy’s wife was reminded of God telling her when she first received Christ that when one is saved, the whole household would be saved.
“This is what God can do for you when you focus all your attention and your mind on His Word,” Pastor Kong said.
REST IS THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF FAITH
Reading Matthew 11:28, Pastor Kong spoke on the rest of God. “In the Bible, rest is the ultimate expression of faith (Eph 6:13),” he said. “Having engaged in spiritual warfare with all that praying, you just rest in God.”
This means that believers must learn to trust God enough to lean on the Spirit of God, and not rely on their own ability or strength (Zech 4:6). “The moment you can’t trust God, He is no longer your Source. To God, this is evil because you don’t trust His Word.”
“God created Adam at the end of the sixth day when everything was already prepared,” Pastor Kong noted. That way, Adam’s first full day was the day of God’s rest—God wanted him to enjoy fellowship and communion with Him.
Similarly, when Christ said “It is finished” at the end of the sixth hour on the cross, He was also saying to His believers who were heavy-laden that He would give them rest.
“We are supposed to work with God,” the pastor taught. “When we work with God, we have no stress, no anxiety and no frustration.” Work is meant to be a joy, something that fulfils a person. To work with God is to worship and glorify Him. It is a calling from God that gives meaning to a person’s life.
Pastor Kong urged the attendees to learn to slow down their pace and enjoy God instead of rushing from one place to another, not enjoying the prayers, not reading the Bible or even attending worship services.
“To enter God’s rest requires two simple things: faith and trust,” the pastor said. “Don’t over-control the situation, give space for God to work with you and He will fight for you.”
PRAYERS THAT WORK MIRACLES
After each morning’s devotion, Pastor Kong would pray for the needs of the attendees. Pastors and intercessors prayed over a list of prayer requests sent through the chat, name by name.
CHC asked its followers on Instagram their thoughts about the prayer meeting and received many encouraging responses. @emelau shared, “It trains my spiritual discipline and make me more intentional in waking up early to pray.” @glenda_csy wrote, “Pastor (Kong) personally reading out the names and praying through every prayer request. So precious!” @shirleyxuenee “was reminded to rely on Him, not worry about my future and have faith!” @serenetanpk is “getting into the routine to talk to God when I wake and before I sleep”.
This season of EMPM saw its fair share of miracles. Aries Zulkarnain, CHC’s executive pastor shared during the weekend service following the EMPM about a friend of his cell group member who submitted a prayer request for her friend who was critically ill. This member’s friend was not a Christian, but upon hearing about the prayer meeting, decided to give it a try. She gave the member the wrong name, but instead of using the name given, Pastor Kong prayed for a “Madam Wong”, which was the name of the critically-ill woman. The next day, Madam Wong recovered and was allowed to be discharged from the hospital.
The next season of EMPM and LNPM will be held in August. Join CHC in a time of prayer!