Welcome to the Sep 2018 Prayer Vigil!
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to allow the Holy Spirit to take charge of all aspects of our lives, not just on the occasions when we want him to. To be “born again” and to live a life “in Christ” we need the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
When the Pharisee Nicodemus came to Jesus, Jesus answered,” Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 5 – 8).
Those who believe in Jesus will receive the Spirit, whom you cannot see, and he will bring transformation to their lives, which you can see – “ On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7: 37 – 39).
We often hear that we are not to do the work of God by our own strength and wisdom but by the power of the Spirit. The work of God can only be accomplished by the ways of God and the divine power of God, which is available to us through the Holy Spirit. In Luke 4: 18 – 21 and Matthew 12: 28, Jesus revealed his own partnership with the Spirit in the work he came to do on earth. So, as Robert E. Coleman puts it in his book “The Master Plan of Evangelism” – “In this light, evangelism was not interpreted as a human undertaking at all, but a divine project which had been going on from the beginning and would continue until God’s purpose was fulfilled. It was altogether the Spirit’s work. All the disciples were asked to do was to let the Spirit have complete charge of their lives.” Therefore, it is by allowing the power of the Spirit and God’s word to work through us that we can touch the lives of people who are without Jesus. We cannot “bear much fruit” unless we remain in Jesus and having his words remain in us as Christ told his disciples in John 15: 5 – 8. And as Jesus is no longer on earth in the flesh he had asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the Advocate, who would enable the disciples to “remain in Christ” and be fruitful (John 16: 7 – 15).
However, this does not mean that we can be complacent or passive in our Christian life, sitting back and letting the Spirit do his work! The Christian life is a very active life as we learn from the Bible – disciples are to actively love each other as Jesus commanded (John 13: 34 – 35); to carry each other’s burdens (Gal.: 6: 2); our faith should lead us to do good works (James 2: 14 – 18; Eph. 2: 8 - 10), doing good even to those who hate us (Luke 6: 27 - 36); we are to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4: 7) who is dangerous like a prowling lion (1 Peter 5: 8); we are to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey Christ’s commands (Matt. 28: 18 - 20). As the apostle Paul teaches us, we are in a spiritual battle, “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God…..Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Eph. 6: 10 – 18). We need to humble ourselves, submit to the Spirit and rely his help as we pray (Rom. 8: 26), to pray continually (1 Thess. 5: 17) and to pray with urgency, fervently and with persistence so that salvation may come to the lost in this dark and sinful world. We cannot be complacent but we need to wrestle with demonic spirits and invade the kingdom of darkness with prayer by the power of the Spirit.
Prayers of Praise, Gratitude and Thanksgiving to God our Father –
- For Christ’s faithfulness in taking on the immense burden of our sins on the cross so that you may be made righteous and have eternal life in him.
- For those people whom the Father sent to share the gospel with you and to pray for you while you were still a non-believer.
- For giving you the Holy Spirit who have sealed you for redemption and who is a guarantee of your inheritance in God’s kingdom (Eph. 1: 13 -14).
- Ask the Holy Spirit to point out to you specific sins that you have committed in past weeks so that you can confess to the Father and be cleansed from all unrighteousness, expressing gratitude for this wonderful provision. (1 John 1: 9).
- For the Body of Christ at IBC, the caring disciples whom the Father has brought into your life to help you grow in your faith, grow in your knowledge of God’s word, to pray for you or to share your burdens.
- The opportunities the Father has provided for you to minister to others or to share the gospel and those who have responded by receiving Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
- For our pastor and deacons, church staff, ministry leaders and workers, small community groups, the missionaries among us and our faith partners in Hong Kong and those working in other parts of the world.
Prayers of Supplication and Intercession –
- For the physical and spiritual health and wellbeing of our pastor, deacons, ministry leaders and workers, missionaries, and their family members.
- For protection for our children, youths and young people, especially those who will be going or have gone abroad to study – Jonathan Leung, Anika Lai, Timothy and Matthew Metz, Jimmy and Maggie Brown, Christina and Cheryl Lee, Christopher Huang, Ru Sing Lui.
- For protection and growth in the faith of those who have recently received Jesus; that the Lord will bring people into their lives to provide mentoring and good counsel.
- For protection for marriages and families.
- For those who are working to organize the various ministry activities – Moms in Prayer; the quarterly corporate worship and prayer meetings; the church retreat end of September; outreach in Wah Fu Estate on September 22 and 23.
- For family members, friends, colleagues or neighbours who do not know Jesus; that the Lord will open their eyes and soften their hearts to realise they need to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness of their sins.
- For the people that the Father has provided us access to for the sharing of Jesus Christ – the inmates at the Ling Oi Drug Rehab Centre; the street sleepers in Shamshuipo; the elderly in Wah Fu Estate; the prisoners in Pik Uk Prison; those who come to the Care and Share Homely Shelter in Wanchai; the children and parents who came to VBS.
- For Kaushic and Dang as they continue with their work with WEC in the Philippines; for their children also. Also for the other missionaries among us.
- Healing and strength for James Paul as doctors continue to investigate the nature of the tumour in his liver; also strength and peace for Latika.
- May the Lord continue to sustain and heal –Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, Herald Lau and Samad Hashmi, and others you are concerned for.
“But real supplication is the child of heartfelt desire, and cannot prevail without it; a desire not of earth nor issuing from our own sinful hearts, but wrought into us by God himself.” – James O. Fraser, missionary to the Lisu people in Yunnan Province of China.
[This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]