Welcome to the Apr 2021 Prayer Vigil!
This prayer vigil time coincides with this year’s Easter weekend. This should be a most important time of celebration for the followers of Jesus Christ because it represents the climax and completion of Jesus’ ministry on this earth – to die on a cross as the flawless and acceptable sacrifice to God to redeem us from our sins, and be raised from the dead so as to transform our relationship with God and this world. It is good to spend this quiet time with the Lord to recount some of the Scripture verses that relate to the remarkable events of Easter that have changed our lives for eternity.
The Father’s Plan Prophesied in Scripture
Is. 53: 5 – 12 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all…. and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth…. For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken….though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer….After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities….he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Matt. 20: 17 – 19 “Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man (Jesus) will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"”
Obedience to the Father, Desertion, Gruesome Suffering, Shame and Death
Luke 22: 41 – 44 “He (Jesus) withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Matt. 26: 56 “…..Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”
Matt. 27: 26 – 31 “Then he (Pilot) released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged….and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.”
John 19: 30 – 33 “….Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit….one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”
The Resurrection - Grief, Fear, Disbelieve, Reality and Joy
Luke 24: 9 – 11 “When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others….But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”
John 20 “….but Mary stood outside the tomb crying….On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”
Opening Eyes and Minds to the Fulfilment of the Scriptures
John 2: 22 “After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”
Luke 24: 13 - 35 “….He (Jesus) said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself….”
Just as Jesus prayed for his followers in John 17 let us pray in a similar fashion for IBC –
Holy Father, may we glorify you just as Jesus glorified you and we pray that this is true for all that we do at IBC (v.1). Thank you that Jesus has authority over all people and is the one who gives eternal life and I pray that we truly and intimately know you, as the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent, and may the people that we reach out to also come to “know” you and Jesus so that they too will have eternal life (v. 2, 3). May people also know that Jesus shared your glory even before the world began and he is not just a prophet and that he completed the work that you gave to him to do on earth and everything that came through Jesus came from you, the Father, even your words. All that belongs to Jesus is yours and what is yours is Jesus’. May Jesus be glorified through us who know him (v. 4 - 10). Thank you that Jesus is with you now. Protect us Father by the power of your name from the evil one and darkness, that your children at IBC will remain one just as you and Jesus are one. May we have the full measure of the joy of Christ even though the world may hate us because we are not of the world (v. 12 – 16). Sanctify us by the word which is truth and also through Jesus’ sanctification. May we remember that we have been sent into the world to deliver a message so that others may also believe and become one with us just as you and Jesus are one. May we remain in you and in Jesus so that the world may believe that you sent him (v. 17 – 21). May we be mindful of the fact that we have been given your glory, that our oneness shows the world that Jesus is from you and that we are loved by you (v. 22, 23). Let us see Jesus’ glory and rejoice in the love that you have for Jesus even before the creation of the world. May we continue to grow in our knowledge of you through Jesus so that both your love and Jesus are in us (v. 24 – 26).
Pray also –
- That IBC is a Spirit led church, experiencing God and following God’s will and intentions.
- That whatever we do at IBC, we do it as Jesus would have, and for the good of the whole Body; that the Lord will guide us on the right paths for the coming year so that his name will be praised.
- Thank the Lord that we can still worship, have Bible study and fellowship during the pandemic with the technology that the Lord has provided; thank the Lord for all the people who worked hard to make this possible – Pastor Will, Rommel and his audio-visual team, our worship teams, Life Group leaders and church staff.
- For our pastor, deacons, ministry leaders and workers, and church staff; for their families and their health; may God provide strength and wisdom for all that they do.
- That the unity, joy and hope we have from Easter will draw non-believers to Jesus.
- For the new believers among us; for God’s protection and growth in their faith through the love of Jesus and knowledge of God’s word.
- For the upcoming IBC Alpha Course to begin on April 21, 2021. It will be held each Wednesday with the last session on July 7. Pray that we will respond quickly to the Spirit’s prompting on who to invite, for the participants who will attend and for those who organize the course.
- For the gospel message to continue to reach many in spite of the pandemic – remember the street sleepers in Sham Shui Po, the Care and Share Homely Shelter, the elderly in Wah Fu Estate and Mui Wo Elderly Home, the prisoners in Pik Uk Prison, the inmates at Ling Oi Drug Rehab Centre.
- For God’s love, strength, peace, hope and joy which we can have in Christ despite our struggles with health issues and difficulties in this world; pray especially for Thomas and Lena Lam, Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, Herald Lau, James Paul in India, Veronica Tso, Maldes Chan (suffering from severe nerve pains).
- For family members of those who passed away recently – Jeff Roskell’s mother in England; Irene Jackson (So) and Johnnie So’s mother; Bill Siang’s father (Miranda’s father-in-law); Jim Pounder’s mother in England; and Uncle Ip.
- Thank the Lord that Tony Mo’s wife, Fanny, is recovering well after her recent cancer surgery; pray for complete restoration of her health.
- For God’s mercy and protection during this pandemic and that he will allow us soon to gather and meet face to face, for worship, for fellowship and for the gospel.
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor. 15: 14)
[This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]