Welcome to the Feb 2019 Prayer Vigil!
The event of Scott Sapp’s sudden departure from us since the day he collapsed while jogging in Happy Valley is felt by many as extremely sudden, sad and unfortunate. His family members in the U.S., the churches he attended, the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) brothers and sisters, and the work colleagues he had gotten to know over the 20 or so years he had been in Hong Kong, are mourning over his death and will be for a while to come. Yet what happened after he was hospitalized on 12th January was nothing short of amazing.
Besides his mother, brother and sister who flew in from the U.S., numerous people visited Scott Sapp at his bedside as he laid in a coma in the ICU of Ruttenjee Hospital. IBC held a prayer vigil with people signing up on WhatsApp and praying around the clock as the church had never done before. Church and BSF leaders came together with Scott’s mother and brother at a deacon’s home to pray for Scott in the evening of Wednesday, 16th January; and a worship and prayer meeting was held at IBC in the evening of Friday, 18th January. It turned out that Scott had another cardiac arrest on 17th January, and eventually went to be with our Lord sometime after 2 pm on 19th January. A memorial service was held in his honour at IBC in the evening of Wednesday, 23rd January, with the church filled to over capacity as it had not been before. Throughout the week and at the memorial service we got to know Scott Sapp, from the scriptures that we read and the testimonies of his loved ones, friends and colleagues, in a way that we did not before. It is as if God was using him to lead one last Life Group on sermon application but on a grand scale, with all of us attending. He had been a blessing to many and God had blessed him. He is a rich man indeed in the kingdom of God!
heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world….” (Ps. 19: 1 – 4)
Pray – Holy Father, God almighty, we thank you for creating Scott and for how he had revealed your presence and knowledge of you to others through his quiet, gentle and unassuming character; his patience, hard work, faithfulness, kindness, self-control; his love and commitment to teaching the children at BSF; his caring nature to his colleagues at work; his many years of serving at IBC as greeter and usher, as Life Group leader on sermon application, and also engaging other people in his passion for hiking. We see that he had been salt and light for you Lord and we pray that we will be like him, abiding in your word and walking in your Spirit, such that those around us will see your glory and praise your name.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12: 2)
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5: 14 – 16)
Pray – Father, help us not to be conformed to the ways of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds by your word and the power of your Spirit. We see this in Scott’s life where he focused on what he considered good and pleasing to you. Although we are amused by the fact that he did not own the latest electronic devices, e.g. he was still using a dumb-phone , we see an example of a life that has not been attracted by the world to conform, yet he was able to touch the lives of so many people.
“You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to
dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered…..
Our days may come to seventy years, or
eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
If only we knew the power of your anger! Your
wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90: 3 – 6, 10 – 12)
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” (Matt. 19: 14)
Pray – Father, thank you for reminding us that we are only mortals and that our days on earth are numbered. Help us to always be aware of the brevity of life and to consider precious each moment of life, for we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Let us be wise and make use of every opportunity to bring glory to your son, Jesus Christ, so that more people will be able to spend eternity with you. Help us to always treasure and be wise in the relationships that you have given us that they may bring praises to your name. Let us be diligent in teaching our children your word as Scott was doing, that they may eventually choose to love and follow Jesus, because they are the future of Christ’s church and your plan for this world.
“… On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Cor. 12: 22 – 27)
Pray – Father, thank you for drawing us together as one body in Christ and having Scott as part of the body. We have seen how each member of our church body have lived out your word by coming together in support of Scott and his family members during this difficult time, in prayer and providing the care that is needed. We are thankful for our pastor and church leaders for acting as role models for us. Give us the strength by your Holy Spirit to continue to live in accordance to our vision “To glorify God as one caring community of disciples”. We pray for those who are non-believers and who came among us during the hospital visits and memorial service and ask that you open their eyes to see your love and goodness that they may be drawn to seek you. May they also be touched by the assurance that Scott is now with you in heaven for eternity.
Please continue in prayer for –
- Scott’s mother Shirley, sister Cindy, brother Jeff and other family members as they mourn Scott’s passing.
- James Paul, asking the Lord to sustain him with strength, peace and a clear mind as he continues to struggle with his illness; ask the Lord for strength and wisdom for Latika as she takes care of him.
- Y.M. Chen, Beatrice and Herald Lau as they continue to struggle with physical disabilities. Grace Ip’s husband, Eric Ho who will be undergoing surgery for a tumour in his kidney; pray that he will receive and trust in Jesus during this difficult time.
- Pastor Will, the deacons and their families; for our ministry leaders and teams as they prepare plans and budgets for the coming church financial year.
- the Lord to guide and provide for those who are unemployed or under-employed; may they be encouraged and be granted wisdom and peace.
- us all; to live intentionally by the Holy Spirit, and to be always reaching out with the gospel as we progress into the year of 2019.