prayer vigil

Welcome to the July 2022 Prayer Vigil!

In a sermon entitled “Better than Miracles”, preached by Pastor Timothy Keller at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City on 14th April, 1996, Pastor Keller pointed out that the famous passage on love in 1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 13 was written by the Apostle Paul not just as a poetic description of love, as many people had come to think, but as a strong rebuke of the Christians in the Corinthian church. Paul’s intention can be seen in the context of the whole book, in which he pointed out many of the flaws and wrongdoings of the people in the Corinthian church, a church filled with energetic and ambitious people in a city similar in atmosphere to today’s New York City.

Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that even if they possessed remarkable spiritual gifts but without love, the gifts were useless. The gifts are given by the Holy Spirit as tools to accomplish the purpose of love for the church as a whole, and love is the essence of the Christian faith (1 John 4: 7, 8).

It is a reminder to us of what Jesus said in the Gospels (Matt. 22: 37 – 40; Mark 12: 30, 31) that the essence of a relationship with God is love and it is a requirement by God’s command for the lives of his children. Love is also the power and the essential ingredient behind the gospel for the transformation of lives. It is true that lives can be transformed through various means – love of self or self-interest, knowledge, training and discipline, religious believes, fear, pain or circumstances etc. But what God uses to transform people for eternal life and entry into his kingdom is love, and love is what makes spiritual gifts useful in the service to the church. Without love there is the danger that the gifts may be exercised for self-interest or to satisfy pride. Therefore, we should remind ourselves to examine our hearts when we exercise whatever gifts we have been endowed with – “am I doing this to satisfy my own needs, my pride or my ego, instead of out of love for God and others?”

In his sermon, Pastor Keller described love as a miracle and indeed it is. Love draws us into “oneness” with Christ and it draws people together in a church into one body. It is also the power that creates oneness in a marriage. You may remember the chorus of a hymn we used to sing at IBC

“Bind Us Together, Lord

Bind Us Together

With Cords That Cannot Be Broken

Bind Us Together, Lord

Bind Us Together

Bind Us Together In Love”

Pray – Holy Father, thank you for your Holy Spirit which you have placed in my heart and that by his power I can do the work of your kingdom in ways I cannot even begin to imagine. Help me to live constantly by your Spirit that the fruit it produces in me (Gal. 5: 22 – 25) will draw people to Jesus for their salvation and for your glory. I pray that all my supplications and intercessions now in this prayer time be made out of love and through the guidance of your Holy Spirit.

Continue in prayer to our Father in Heaven –

  • We thank you Lord for the leaders and workers of your ministries at IBC; pray that they are energized by your love, their love for your church and by the oneness, love and encouragement of the church family.
  • We pray your blessings upon Pastor Will and his family as they prepare to leave for his sabbatical in August this year; we ask for your guidance for the deacons, and our church community in our plans to continue in worship and the work of Christ during Pastor Will’s absence.
  • We pray for your guidance for the Youth Leader Advisory Team as they support Carlos and Henson and members of the search team in seeking a new Associate Youth Minister; We ask also for your provision and guidance for Carlos’ theological studies and your presence with Henson as he leaves for the Philippines.
  • We continue to lift Lena Lam up to you in prayer for your healing through the target therapy she is receiving for her brain tumour; we ask also for healing for her husband Thomas Lam’s eyes and your care for the rest of the Lam family – in particular your care for Stephanie’s mother (Samuel Lam’s mother-in-law) who will have breast cancer surgery on July 7; we pray also that she will experience your grace and come to know Jesus.
  • We continue to pray for Michelle Niem and ask for effective treatment for her sarcoma so that she can be healed; may your presence give peace and comfort to her and her family; We also continue in prayer for Anny Metz’s brother and ask for appropriate treatment for his cancer and that his new found faith in Jesus will give him peace; We lift up Iris Leung’s two sisters who are undergoing treatment for cancer and we intercede for them asking for your mercy; We pray for healing for Kaushic’s mother who has suffered pain and injury from a fall; We ask that you be with Candy Ip’s husband and keep him safe as he waits (2 to 3 months) for his heart bypass surgery; We pray for your mercy and healing for Abel (Mona’s brother-in-law) who is in ICU in Canada suffering from sepsis and pneumonia; We continue to lift up Henry Cheung’s relative who is suffering from pancreatic cancer.
  • We also lift up Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, Herald Lau and also Cliff Tan’s father in the U.S.; may your presence give them strength, comfort and healing, removing any fears from their hearts; We ask that you refresh and sustain those who provide care for them.
  • We remember families and individuals who are struggling with relationship problems and other challenges; we pray that you will protect and guide them so that they will find resolution for their problems and healing for their hurts.
  • We pray for the new believers or those recently baptized among us – Jojo (Josiah Wong), Pico (Akari Kanayama), Heidi Chan, and Henson Remaldora, Terry Preece, Herald Lau, Charis Yip, Jackson Jeor, James Hall, Matthew Lam, Aaron Lam, Diana Ng’s friends from the Mainland – Yang Zi, and Xiu Li and her daughter Paris; we ask that you protect them and your Spirit guide IBC to help them grow in their relationship with you.
  • We pray for non-believing friends, spouses, children, parents and other family members (name those who come to mind); we pray that your Holy Spirit will work in their lives so that they will eventually accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour; We also lift up Angela’s sister and brother-in-law Menchie and Mike; Kenneth Lee’s mother and siblings; Michelle’s husband and daughter; Frank’s brother Jan and family members; Pansy’s husband; and Mona’s colleague and neighbour Lily.
  • We pray that all who come to IBC and our small community groups will experience God’s presence, holiness, love, peace, cleansing and healing; we lift up Diana Ng’s mandarin home Bible study group, for growth in faith and witness, that their family members may also come to know Jesus.
  • We pray for our Young Adults to grow in their faith and knowledge of the word of God; we ask that you guide Diana Ng and Yuko Lai as they minister to them.
  • We continue in prayer for Hope, Josh, Aaron, Aidan, Jerry, Justin, Roshan and Jimmy as they plan for university or gap year or travel; travel mercies for Hope in Europe for a month before university in the U.S., guidance for Aidan in his gap year.
  • We ask Lord for wisdom and energy for Cliff Tan so he can complete all the work needed to relocate his family back to the U.S. in July; we pray for travel and moving mercies.
  • We lift up Kaushic and Dang Biswas as they continue with their busy mission work in the Philippines; we ask for your protection for them, their children and the other missionaries working with them.
  • We lift up to you the prisoners in Pik Uk Prison, the street sleepers in Shamshuipo, the elderly in Wah Fu Estate and Mui Wo, the inmates at the Ling Oi Drug Rehab Centre and those in the Care and Share Homely Shelter; we ask that your light shine in those places and that your people can continue to minister to them.
  • We pray for those who are working hard to prepare for the VBS to be held in the beginning of August, may your Spirit give them strength and creativity; we pray that the children who will come, and their parents, will experience your transforming love during VBS and come to know Jesus.
  • We remember the poor, needy, elderly and those who are suffering in the COVID pandemic, we pray that the help provided by IBC and others will help them find hope in Jesus.

We thank you our Father for listening to our prayers and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

                                                                                                                                                            [This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]