A House of Prayer for all People
By Ps Ng Zhiwen
I vividly recall the prayer meetings that I used to attend as a university student, 20 years ago. One Friday a month, we students would gather in our church building at night and read scripture, worship in song, and observe the Lord’s supper. And of course, we prayed.
I often attended those prayer meetings carrying the needs of the cell group that I co-led. It was an international students’ group and we’d meet on Fridays after dinner. Sometimes all the members would show up at our weekly meetings; and sometimes only a handful. On some nights when only a few came, I’d head over to that Friday prayer meeting after cell group, feeling discouraged, and I’d lay all my burdens upon the Lord.
Those prayer meetings were some of the most refreshing, grace-filled times I’ve spent with the Lord. I might have thought that I was going for prayer to ‘minister to the Lord’. More often it was the Lord ministering to me.
Another prayer meeting experience that had a profound effect on me took place on 7 August 2016 in Jakarta. I was attending an international Christian conference there, and there was a “prayer for the nations” meeting that night. We were seated according to our region of the world. I remember that when it came to South-East Asia’s “turn”, those in my sector were called to stand up. We got prayed for by hundreds of others from other parts of the world.
And somehow, in that moment of being prayed for, the Lord opened the eyes of my mind. I “saw” how the significant moments of my life had been leading up to that point in time. And the Lord impressed upon me my vocation: that I was to be a Connector, to help the Church be united for God’s global mission.
Things would not be the same again. Shortly after I returned to Singapore, I indicated my interest to serve in the Singapore Centre for Global Missions (SCGM) and get involved in the GoForth national missions movement. With Zion Bishan’s blessing, I was sent forth to serve at SCGM in 2017.
For this year’s Missions Month, our missions education and mobilization team were convicted to anchor all 4 Friday prayer meetings. Three of them (on 14, 21 and 28 July) will be held in person, as Prayer & Praise sessions. I encourage you to attend at least one.
We can’t tell exactly how and who the Lord will convict concerning His missions call. What we know for certain is that we are to be God’s house of prayer for all peoples (Isaiah 56:6-7). And as we gather in His name for precisely this purpose, be prepared to catch God’s heart for all peoples.
And get ready to be surprised, as you encounter Him one on one in prayer.
At the Conference prayer meeting I attended in 2016, we wrote our burdens onto a stone, placed it on a table, and pick up someone else’s stone as a reminder. These pictures show the front and back of the stone that I picked that night.