Prayer vigil

Welcome to the June 2024 Prayer Vigil!

Some things we have learnt from the past are worth revisiting because they are of much value and we would want to pass them on to others. Certainly, God’s word is one thing we want to read and reread and pass on to others, but there are also teachings which are based upon God’s word which helps us to conduct

our lives in ways that are pleasing to God and help us in our relationships so that God will be glorified.

The published workshop material from year 2000 on “Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills” by Dr. Ken Williams is based on God’s word to help people develop good interpersonal skills for life and ministry. This is good material to revisit because it helps us to put into practice what Scripture tells us and to keep our hearts focused on God’s word, Christ Jesus the light, because what we believe in our hearts come out in our speech and actions (Matt. 15: 18; Mark 7: 21).

These believes which we live out in our lives are called “core believes” by Ken Williams. When believes are based on truth and reality then we act appropriately and the reverse is true i.e. when believes are based on falsehoods the resulting action is inappropriate. When Jesus invites us to believe, he is inviting us to take what he says and make them our core believes, to be lived out in our lives! Otherwise, what we learn from him will be just knowledge. Ken Williams pointed out three core believes (quoted below) that we are invited to consider as believers –

“1. Everything that we accomplish for God is through relationships.

2. If we aren’t loving God and others, we are wasting our time trying to serve Him.

3. God wants our relationships to go beyond living at peace with one another to ministering to one another.”

We cannot have a love relationship with others just by following rules (The Pharisees in the Bible are examples). We can truly love others when we have a love relationship with God through Jesus and allow Him to be sovereign of our lives and letting the Holy Spirit work within us so we can live out God’s word (Col. 3: 12 – 14; James 3: 17).

The part of the Gospel of Jesus which has immense impact on our relationships is the power of “forgiving”. Our salvation and relationship with God hinge on it! (Matt.6: 14, 15; Mark 11: 25; Luke 6: 37). It is so important that forgiving others is a necessity in Christian life – it is not optional. It affects all our relationships; reconciliation can only be realised through forgiveness; it is needed to provide interpersonal and personal peace; it is an important testimony to the world and to young believers; it reveals God’s power in our lives to those around us; it is a powerful tool in spiritual warfare (Eph. 4: 26 – 27; 2 Cor. 2: 10 – 11); and God is glorified in our community when our lives demonstrate forgiveness. We are told “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12: 21) and the act of forgiving releases us from the power and control of evil. The act of forgiving requires us to relinquish the anger and other emotions associated with unforgiveness because anger and bitterness allow Satan to get a foothold in our lives (Eph. 4: 26 – 27) and also adversely affect our health and healing. The act of forgiving is a conscious choice we have to make and we need to understand what “it is” and “is not” as summarized in the table below –

Forgiving Is                                                                             Forgiving Is NOT

Getting rid of anger                                                                   Demanding repentance

Not mentioning the incident again                                             Laying blame

To display the love of Jesus                                                      Conditional on the other person’s response

Forgiving immediately                                                               Being seen as weak or giving in

Loving the person regardless                                                    Forgetting

To pardon a wrong or sin                                                          Getting even

Often a process                                                                         Avoiding the person

To be no longer resentful or bitter                                             Suppressing our feelings

As Christians, we have to always forgive                                  Tolerating or condoning sin

Love of God                                                                               Trusting unconditionally

Putting down our burden                                                           Trying to change the other person

To feel free and be free

Have healing

To be able to live the way God wants us and to forgive without being anxious, we need to pray continually and honestly to God to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4: 4 – 7).

Pray – Holy Father, help us to know and understand your Word so that it forms the core believes that will be lived out in our lives. Let not our hearts be hardened at any time but help us to be teachable and our hearts malleable so that we will imitate Jesus our Lord. Protect us from the deceptions and lies of the evil one and his ways in this fallen world so that his darkness will not intrude into our hearts and therefore into our lives and our relationships. Help us to understand what forgiving truly means and to live accordingly. Take away whatever may get in the way of our obedience to your will, in forgiving people and in loving them the way that you want us to. Work in our hearts so that your purposes will be accomplished (Phil. 2: 13).

Let us continue in prayer –

- With thanksgiving that the Lord has forgiven us so that we can forgive others; pray as the Holy Spirit guides us for the person(s) we need to forgive and ask God to remove any anger, bitterness or resentment within us;

- With thanksgiving for how the Lord has guided us thus far in the calling of a pastor to shepherd IBC;

- With thanksgiving for the deacons who have been serving IBC with untiring spirit for the many years with Pastor Will and the time with Pastor Scott; thanking God also for our ministry leaders, workers and church staff;

- With thanksgiving for the remarkable way that God has guided IBC in the hiring of a children ministry


- With thanksgiving for those who attended the Alpha Course; pray for those who accepted Christ to be

strengthened in their faith and become fruitful; protection for those who heard the gospel that they will eventually receive Jesus;

- With thanksgiving for the several attendees who will be baptized on June 9; pray that God will move the hearts of others to come forward in faith for baptism and church membership;

- With thanksgiving for Pastor Will’s willingness to return and shepherd IBC in the transition period before the arrival of the new pastor;

- With thanksgiving for all that the Lord has done through Pastor Scott and Debbie during their time as part of the IBC family; pray for their preparation and safe return to the U.S.;

- For the Lord’s guidance and enabling of all that needs to be done during this transition period;

- For the Lord’s guidance for Carlos in his future direction and ministry;

- For those who are planning this year’s VBS and for the Lord to touch the hearts of many to volunteer; pray that families will make a prompt response to the invitation;

- For volunteers for the family outreach activities at the Hong Chi Pinehill School for children with special needs;

- For the youths who have been taking public exams - Maggie, Jo Jo, Timmy, Isabel, Charis and Joshua; pray for God’s presence, peace and wisdom as they plan for their future;

- For those among us who need physical, emotional or spiritual healing and care: for Michelle Niem and Quina’s friend Paula (treatment for cancer); Cliff Tan (for complete recovery after stroke); Samuel’s friend Henry (lymphoma), Thomas Lam (eyesight); Iris’ two sisters and Alice, sibling of Jackson’s sister-in-law (for long term cancer remission); Stephanie’s mother (healing from second lung cancer surgery) and father (eyesight and hearing); Anna Chen’s niece, MeiMei (terminal illness); Scott Sapp’s loved ones (grieving and depression); Rosemarie (for correct diagnosis and treatment); for God’s grace, care and strength for Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, Herald Lau and Alex’s father.

- For the Lord’s strength, guidance and peace for caregivers for the elderly or those with health or special needs.

- For God’s salvation for non-believing friends and loved ones – Frank’s brother Jan (who needs healing for

glaucoma); Kenneth’s mother and siblings; Michelle Niem’s family members; Angela’s sister and brother-in-law; Pansy’s husband; Stephanie’s parents and sister; Frederick’s mother; Mona’s colleague and neighbour Lily; Ivy’s son and family; Maria Tanielu’s mother and family; Charles’ brother William.

“.... And forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matt. 6: 12 – 13) In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

[This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]

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