Saturday, July 7, 2018

Solemn Assemblies (Day 6/40)

Friday. Stepped into church half an hour after the prayer meeting started, and it was FULL. I mouthed the word to the usher who was trying to find me a seat, "Full?" Incredible stuff. When the house of the Lord is packed to the gills not because a well-known speaker is preaching but because a solemn assembly has been called, would God not move?

Yet, tonight, the theme of prayer was a sombre one: abortion. Singapore has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, being just one of seven countries permitting elective abortion after 20 weeks (ours is 24 weeks; the other nations are US, Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Vietnam). The issues are not easy: and our laws permit the abortion of a baby at 6 months to provide options to mothers of babies with deformity or abnormality.  Compassion. Love. Grace. Yet, God is also very clear in His word about the sanctity of all human life.  We prayed for mothers and fathers to have a change in heart, to love their own, to feel they have options. And also, for more to rise up to be willing to be a fosterer, to be willing to take care of children not their own.

In the scene in Lord of the Rings, Gandalf confronts a monstrous being that seeks to cross an old bridge with the words "YOU SHALL NOT PASS."

As watchmen over Singapore, will we likewise say to the spirit of abortion, that in our land, "you shall not pass."

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Solemn Assemblies (Day 5/40)

This evening's meeting was focused on praying for the young people, the next generation. And oh wow, there was such a mighty presence of God in the room, a knocking on heaven's door, a cry to the Father to reprise the Holy Spirit revival that started from ACS in the 1970s. Do it again, Lord!! We prayed for the teachers in our land, who wield such an influence in young lives. The young prayed for the fathers and mothers in the land, who likewise prayed for the young people to surpass our generation. It was just such a wonderful time in the Lord. And the auditorium was full on a Thursday evening (a work day) with cries rising up to heaven, and impassioned pleas to the Lord. I think tonight, I caught a glimpse of what can happen when the saints in the land carry a burden in their hearts as one, and in one accord, knock on the doors of heaven. Send rain, send revival, Lord!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Solemn Assemblies: Day 3/40

Day 3/40: A night of recognising the holiness of God, a night of consecration. Such a strong presence of the Lord in the house... also a reverence before a holy God. Praying O Lord that we will shed every weight and sin that entangles. And that with one heart, we will continue to stand with each other to pray for Singapore to be a dwelling place for the Lord. 37 more days to go of this 40-day solemn assemblies: come!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Solemn Assemblies (Day 2/40) - Prayer of repentance

Day 2/40, Cornerstone: Today we heard the report about FOPx that took place on the grounds of St Andrew's Cathedral yesterday. Despite the rain, some 2,000 young people came to pray and worship the Lord. In 1978, Billy Graham had apparently preached on those grounds too, and many of those who came to faith grew up to become pastors, preachers and missionaries. Awaken this generation again, Lord!

This evening's prayer focus was on repentance -- personal, corporate (church) and national.  We repented for walking away from our first love, and for our pride and unbelief. We prayed "God, change us!" Oh Lord, that after these 40 days, we would be a people that are changed, a people who love! That we would be like the Acts church! 

We prayed, "Don't leave us to ourselves, Lord".  Hem us in (Psalm 139) if necessary. Hem us in for our own sakes, that Singapore will enter into her destiny. 
"Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth. " (John Wesley) 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Solemn Assemblies - 40 days of prayer for Singapore (1 July - 8 August) (Day 1/40)

Day 1/40: Sunday, 1 July 2018, Cornerstone Community Church. Today marks the first day of the 40 days of prayer for Singapore. Every year, this is spearheaded by the Love Singapore movement, and there is a booklet on prayer pointers that is available for believers in the land to pray on their own, ahead of the Day of His Power, which is a gathering of the corporate body together. This year, though, because of a sense of the kairos time for Singapore - the 40th year of the prophetic word upon Singapore as the Antioch of Asia - different churches are helming corporate prayer meetings over the next 40 days.  There are 4 churches helming the prayer meetings this week -- but I am at my home church, Cornerstone.

Wow. I am so glad to have been there. There was such a spirit of prayer in the auditorium!! There was also quite a crowd so that was a wonderful encouragement to me -- that there are so many people who would come together to pray for the land of Singapore!! My heart was so moved. 
The prayers that I found notable this evening:
1. "Send the Spirit now for Jesus' sake".  We prayed the great Welsh prayer of revivalist Evan Roberts over our meeting. 

2. We prayed to secure Singapore's Antioch calling.  That we will be willing to send forth labourers from our midst to the harvest fields, to the ends of the earth. That parents would be willing to release their children to God's calling and destiny for them.  

3. That we would hear from the Holy Spirit as clearly as the church in Antioch did in Acts 13.  "While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart from me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off." We prayed that at the end of the 40 days, or in the midst of the 40 days, that there will be such a clear word from the Holy Spirit of His heart for Singapore. 

4. 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Oh Lord, that we will humble ourselves before you. 

5. Joel. Last night I felt led to revisit and study the book of Joel, and so many prayers from the pulpit today were from the book of Joel. Oh Lord, that we would weep between the porch and the altar (Joel 2:17), that our old men will dream dreams and our young men will see visions (Joel 2:28), and that the Lord would be merciful toward us and relent (Joel 2:14) 

6. We prayed for the young people, who tonight were at the St Andrews Cathedral Open field worshipping and praying to the Lord. May the Lord empower this younger generation to run faster than us, but may the two generations together do more than any one single generation can do alone. Amen. 

For the schedule of prayer and prayer pointers, click here.  Schedule is on the last few pages of the booklet.  

Monday, June 18, 2018

When ACS-RI boys come together to pray

Marking down 18 June 2018 as a night of prayer-worship by the ACS and RI boys.  It was held at Zion-Bishan BP, and wow!  What a privilege it was to witness this.

Throughout the meeting, I felt such a manifest presence of the Lord - the atmosphere was so pregnant - and it seemed as if the slightest flame would spark a fire in the place.  It was almost as if God was just so longing to meet with these young people.

Towards the end of the meeting, one of the praying moms shared that the R.I Times reported that in January 1965, the Raffles Christian Fellowship would meet every Friday at the Bethesda Gospel Hall at Bras Basah Road.  There were two sessions -- one from 1.15 - 2pm for those who attended morning school, and another, from 12.00 - 12.45pm for those in the afternoon session.  RI was only one of five schools involved in this Christian Fellowship, the others included Victoria School, ACS, Gan Eng Seng Secondary and St Andrews Secondary.

The notion was that God desires to see a unity among the schools, to worship and pray together, to support each other.

To see boys from two rival schools come together to pray for each other and for the nation of Singapore was such an incredible blessing!! What was even more wonderful to behold was when the "fathers" came. They prayed for and exhorted the boys to carry the baton forward. One of them was an ex ACS boy who was part of the ACS clocktower revival in 1972!! If there could be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the schools in 1972, why would He not repeat that in 2018?  The rally cry, "Do it again, Lord!"

"Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known, in wrath, remember mercy." (Habbakuk 3:2)

PS. Learnt that on 19 June, the Polys, ITEs and other private institutions are having a worship-prayer night at Kum Yan Methodist. And that there will be a worship night at ACS Barker on 29 June. Wow! If the young people keep contending for their generation, I know God will honour their seeking.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Singapore's Charismatic Renewal of the 1970s and its unlikely beginnings

In 2017, Lou Engle shared at Kingdom Invasion that 2018 would be a significant year for Singapore - the 40th year of Billy Graham's word to our nation, that we would be an Antioch to Asia. But he also shared that God is coming to weigh us on whether we have been true to the assignment He has given us. And Lou challenged us to contend for the calling and destiny of Singapore. The word weighed on my heart. And one of the questions I asked the Lord was, "Lord, what does revival look like?" I had read of the revivals around the world in times past -- the Welsh Revival, Pyongyang Revival, Argentinian Revival, Azuza Street Revival, Hebrides Revival etc. So I suppose my question was about revival in my own nation, Singapore. I wanted to know because I wanted to know what would be the price worth paying for revival.

Then I fell upon the book "Unfolding His story: The Story of the Charismatic Movement in Singapore" by Georgie and Galven Lee, a father and son team. 
The book chronicles how God moved upon the believers in Singapore in the 1970s with a Holy Spirit outpouring. I am so grateful for this book because, to me, it is a story of God's faithfulness through the generations. In this particular case, it filled a missing piece for me on how many in an earlier generation met the Lord.  So there was a great move of God in the 1930s when John Sung preached to the Chinese church here, and another in the 1970s! To me, the authors are faithful to God's exhortation "One generation commends your works to another. They tell of your mighty acts." (Psalm 145:4) 

Here are some of my takeways from their account:

1. The story of Singapore's 1970s charismatic renewal is remarkable because it started in the most unlikely of places -- in the schools. In particular, ACS would be the epicentre of the Holy Spirit's move, and then, the fire of revival would quickly spread to other schools like Dunearn Technical Secondary School, Tanjong Katong Girls' School, Anderson Secondary School, Raffles Girls' School, St Andrews' School etc. 

2. Even before the ACS boys received the gift of tongues, they were fervent in prayer and evangelism.  According to the book, "These schoolboys gathered often in school to pray for 'Revival, holiness and world missions'. They understood the importance of an authentic Christianity, to be lived out in the day to day context of their school campus. Thus, as Malcolm Tan recounts, the schoolboys were particularly ardent in regularly evangelising their ACS schoolmates. 

'After being saved, witnessing became part of our practice. And we also brought friends to the clock tower to share with them salvation. I remember we would sit under the tree, share salvation from our little pocket New Testament. The guy says he wants to accept Christ, okay, we drag him to the clock tower, he prays the Sinners' Prayer there.'

Malcolm Tan was only 14 years old then. In June, during the school holidays, he would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit while at home. Fully convinced this was what his schoolmates needed, he ensured the entire ACS Christian Fellowship, of which he was Follow-up Chairman, heard about the baptism of the Holy Spirit from him when the new school term started'." 

3. At Dunearn Boys, on 15 July, one of the schoolboys Philip Lee, received the gift of the Holy Spirit. He prayed for a friend to receive the gift as well - and this soon spread - with these schoolboys praying behind the school's science laboratory in tongues at all times of the day. 

4. The ACS boys would seek guidance and mentorship from a Reverend David Hugh Baker, an Assembly of God pastor and missionary. I like how he described their enthusiasm.  

"All these young men from ACS were full of questions. I have never been asked so many questions in my life. I had to find the answers that I had never answered before. I was in constant contact with heaven to find out what I should tell these people." 

5. What transpired in the schools was roundly criticised by the media who thought the boys had gone into hysterics.  It also disturbed the mainline church leaders. By the end of 1972, the number of students who embraced the baptism of the Holy Spirit numbered some 200. From this epicentre, however, would come a huge tidal wave that would spread to the mainstream churches in Singapore and make deep, lasting impact. (to be continued).