Welcome to the
March 2018 Prayer Vigil!
As IBC approach the 60 year mark in its existence as a body in the kingdom of God, it is good to look back and remember God’s love, faithfulness, mercy, grace and generosity throughout the years. One highlight was in 2004 when IBC went through the 40 Days of Purpose journey, based on Pastor Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life”. Prayer was a major component of that journey and many lives were changed, for without prayer and God’s power all our labour would have been in vain. For this prayer time, let us pray just as we prayed then -
I. Connecting with God, Repentance and Cleansing
Please do not rush or feel hurried. Do not feel you have to finish praying through all the material in this prayer guide in half an hour, Take your time and enjoy this precious time with the Lord and pray longer if you have to, and I hope, that you would want to.
"....Much time spent with God is the secret of all successful praying.
Prayer which produces a powerful influence is the mediate and immediate product of much time spent with God. Our short prayers are effective and effectual because long ones have preceded them ......God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow His gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer. To be much alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of having influence with Him .......”
Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds
How do you feel at this time? Do you feel excited and uplifted? Do you feel a sense of anticipation or do you feel just the opposite? Apprehension or disappointment? Weary? Overwhelmed? Harassed? Burdened by sin? Whichever way you are feeling, be assured that God already knows exactly how you feel and He already knows all the reasons.
"For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:20 (NIV)
However, be assured that no matter how you feel, that He loves you and wants the best for you. So in this time of prayer, draw near to Him and honestly share with Him all your joys, concerns, sorrows, burdens or troubles. Put them all at His feet and leave them there. You don't have to be eloquent in order to pray. We know from reading Exodus chapter 4 that Moses did not consider himself eloquent, yet God spoke to him and he spoke to God.
"Trust in him at all times and, O people pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Ps 62:8 (NIV)
Repent of those sins which you are aware of and ask God to cleanse you. Ask him to remove anything that hinders you from drawing near to him. You want to be free of all that is displeasing to him in your life. You want to be a clean vessel that he can use for his purpose.
"Those who make themselves clean from all those evil things will be used for special purposes, because they are dedicated and useful for their Master, ready to be used for every good deed." 2 Timothy 2:21 (TEV)
II. Expressing Love, Affection and Thanksgiving
Thank God that because He created you, and He loves you, your life has meaning and purpose.
Remember the first of the five purposes that God created us for. "You were planned for God's pleasure" and "Bringing pleasure to God is called worship". And worship is a lifestyle which pleases God. It is not just an event, and it flows out of your love relationship with God. It means
• focusing your attention on God
• expressing your affection to God
• using your abilities for God
This prayer time is part of your life of worship and God is pleased that you offered this time to Him. It pleases Him that you are praying to Him and telling Him that you love Him. Express your gratitude for what Jesus has done for you on the cross and for all that God has blessed you with, even difficulties and trials.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of you faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Thank Him for the second purpose of your life. "You were formed for God's Family" and “Loving God's family is called Fellowship”. Thank Him for
• the IBC church family
• the people and relationships that He has brought into your life
• the opportunities to give and receive love
"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:11-12 (NIV)
III. Supplication, Intercession and Praise
Pray that IBC as a caring community of disciples will bring spiritual growth to all believers who attend.
"Now, my God may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." 2 Chronicles 6:40 (NIV)
Pray that God will stir in our church an authentic hunger for spiritual transformation and lasting kingdom fruit. Ask God to guide our members into a deep, lifelong commitment to spiritual growth.
Praise God for what He has done and is continuing to do at IBC
- the small community groups and Life groups which have been formed
- the people who have made commitments to Jesus recently and over the years
- the wonderful worship services on Sundays, our worship teams and the audio-visual teams
- the people, resources and materials that God has made available to IBC for his kingdom work
- the missionaries whom God has put under IBC’s care through mission partners
- the outreach opportunities that God has provided in Hong Kong and elsewhere
- Protection from Satan as he tries continuously to deceive, interrupt and create dissension. That each of us will not ever lose our Christian witness for Jesus or be a stumbling block, but will be able to stand at the end
- The caregivers for the children who are doing such a wonderful job. Pray that they will be sensitive to the children's needs and situation so that they can help them understand life's purposes and God's love.
- The children and young people who attend IBC. Pray that they will grow in God's love and follow Jesus
- Pastor Will and his preparation of the sermons for each Sunday. That the Lord refreshes him each day as he faces the many tasks he has to complete each day
- The worship teams and the audio-visual teams for the worship services. That they will submit to the Lord, follow His guidance in the important work they do during each Sunday service
- Carlos and Analie Spencer. For God to give them wisdom and strength to lead and care for the youths and young adults
- More men to step into leadership roles
- The small community group and Life group leaders. That the Lord will give them wisdom and insight as they lead discussions. That the Lord's love will be revealed through them
- The members of each of the small groups. That believers will experience spiritual revival and growth. That non-believers will experience the love of God, their eyes and minds will be open to the truth, their ears will hear God's message clearly and their hearts be like fertile soil that will bring forth much fruit
- The non-believing loved ones of members of IBC. That they will participate in the small groups and be drawn to make a commitment to follow Jesus
- God's care and healing for Beatrice Ariwi, James Paul, Y.M. Chen and Samad Hashmi.
"He answered their prayers, because they trusted in Him." 1 Chron.5:20 (NIV)
"Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:13-16 (NIV)
Thank you for joining in this prayer vigil and being a prayer warrior. May the work of prayer continue...
“….so that in all things God maybe praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen" 1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)
[This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]