Welcome to the May 2017 Prayer Vigil!
I am so glad that you have chosen to worship God this weekend through the prayer vigil. My deepest hope is that you will draw near to God, and watch as He shall fulfill his promise to draw near to you.
As you prepare for this time of praying, remember a few things:
• Pray using the prepared prayer guide. This united focus will draw us together throughout the weekend.
• The goal is not to finish the prayer guide, but to pray. If you have time, pray longer. If not, use it during the week to guide your prayer time.
• Read the accompanied scriptures, we are told we will be sanctified by the truth, and His word is the truth!
• Believe, in faith that your prayers will be answered, know that your prayers are powerful and effective and it is one of the most important things you can do for IBC!
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” – John 17:4
It has been said that you may observe what is most important to people by how they spend their last days. When the chips are down and time is up what really matters to them. This shall be the focus of our prayer this week. We will look at how Christ prayed in His final hours before his impending death on the cross that Friday. When the moments were growing short what mattered to the King?
Read John 17:1-5
Jesus begins this time of prayer by praying for himself. He says, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do”. What powerful words to consider. That we bring Him the greatest glory by finishing the work He sent us to do. Consider Acts 13:36, “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep….” This was to be David’s epitaph. There could be no greater sense of completion for our lives than to be diligently about the work the Father has given us and thus complete it. We want to begin this time of prayer with a similar prayer for ourselves.
• Begin by thanking God for all the work He has done in your life over the last few months. Whether you realize it or not, God has been hard at work in your life.
• Ask God to reveal to you ways in which you have run from or chosen something other than Him this last week. Confess them. It very well may simply be that you didn’t consider God much this week, and lived this week for yourself rather than for Him.
• Pray for the intimacy that the Son and the Father enjoyed. Ask for the same union and fellowship with God that Jesus enjoyed. Read John 6:32-38 and ask for this bread and His will in your life.
• Now like Christ, ask God to show you the work He has for you. Have you neglected to get involved in God’s work at IBC or other local ministries? Maybe you made a commitment at one point and have dropped the ball on it. Christ was about His Father’s work, are you? Read John 7:18 who are you working for?
• Last pray that God would re-orient your goals and priorities to align with His. Make His pleasures and His desires your greatest goals and achievements. Remember, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” – John Piper.
Now let’s read the second part of Jesus’ prayer, turn to John 17:6-26
Here Christ is praying for those close to Him, those who saw the miracles, and witnessed His life as it unfolded. These very disciples were His brothers and sisters in Christ, they had followed Him through so much, and more was to come. Let us take some time to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ, our church family, as we know that they too face great difficulties in this life.
• Read verse 10 – pray that IBC and our fellowship would bring God glory. Pray that our church would find new ways to reach out to the community and at the same time minister to our existing body. May God’s glory be our highest goal!
• Read verse 11 – pray that as a church we shall be unified as believers. That sin which might undermine that unity, i.e. gossip, slander, hate, envy, jealousy, would cease and those involved repent and confess. Ask God to reveal to you if you have been a cause of disunity.
• Read verses 13 – May our church and those members of it possess and express the fullness of His joy. May the hallmark of our lives be the joy of our hearts and the love we express to one another. Ask God to do this in your life and in others in our church.
• Read verse 14, 15, 16 – As Christ followers we must be estranged from this world, for we are not of it! Spend some time considering how you might have taken on some traits or values of the world. Are you any more of the world than Christ was?
• Read verse 17 – Pray that IBC would be a place where God’s word is proclaimed and that you are transformed by it. Take a moment and pray for the Sunday service and all who contributed to it. Ask God to sanctify you by His word, that as it is read and spoken it would bear fruit in your life.
• Read verse 19 – Reflect on what task was at hand for Christ and its value to you. We were eternally sanctified by His act. May the significance of this not escape you but hold you in awe of His righteous deeds.
• Read verse 20 – Ask God to reveal to you those whom He has entrusted to you to bring the Good News to. Why have you not. Ask God first for the boldness and opportunity to approach them, then for the words to speak.
• Read verse 24 – Last, there is no better way to summarize Christ’s heartfelt prayer for us than this. We are shown the depths of that which motivated our Lord to come and even now hold Him resolutely to the task at hand. Christ wanted us with Him in paradise, in the place of no more tears, a place far removed from fear and pain and worry, a place where we sit at the throne and enjoy the glory of the Father and Son. This leaves us with two prayers yet remaining. One, ask God for such a burden as this. That you would ask for salvation for all those you know and love so they may enjoy with you the glory of the Father. And finally, thank God for allowing us to partake in and wallow in all that Christ is for us, the all sufficient one.
Before we end our prayer time let us remember also to pray -
• with thanks for the deacons and the Missions Team who worked on the missions budget and ask for the Lord’s guidance as the church vote on the budget on June 4; for those who will attend the baptism class and baptism in June; IBC’s participation in the Food Angel ministry on June 9; IBC’s quarterly prayer and worship time on June 16; the summer mission trip to Kids International Ministry in the Philippines in July; preparations for the VBS in early August.
• with thanks to the Lord for those who have come to accept Christ through the ministries at IBC; ask for the Lord’s protection and that they will grow strong in their faith.
• that God’s word will continue to work in the hearts of those who heard His word through our visits – the men at Pik Uk prison; residents of the Home of Loving Faithfulness; residents of the Mui Wo Elderly Home; the men at the Ling Oi Drug Rehab Centre.
• for the Lord’s guidance for the missionaries that IBC is partnering with.
• for Pastor Will and his family, the deacons and their families, the church staff, church ministries and ministry leaders, IBC’s small community groups and Lifegroups, others in the church who may be serving quietly, providing care and mentoring.
• for healing for Beatrice, Y.M. Chen, James Paul; for those facing difficulties in health, work, or relationships and who need our care and prayers.
[This prayer guide is based on the one originally prepared by Brian Rayburn (then Youth Minister of IBC)
for the May 2004, Prayer Vigil, now modified for June, 2017]