“We are entering a season of God’s amazing visitation upon the church and upon the land. It’s all because of God’s merciful heart and unstoppable purpose. I believe it will be a visitation of the Lord that leads to a radiant holiness, a bumper harvest of souls, righteousness in the land and a marvellous raising of Kingdom workers for the mission fields of the world…..And I know that such a Visitation of the Lord is undergirded by a Church that gives itself to prayer and fasting.”
These are some faith-filled and prophetic words which our Bishop shared in his Lent message.
We are indeed in a special season of prayer and fasting. Christians have been gathering in “solemn assemblies”, patterned after Joel 1:14:
"Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD."
We gather because we desire to see His purpose fulfilled in and through the Church and the Nation of Singapore. This desire leads to prayer as we seek to align our priorities with His Kingdom’s. And in praying and worshipping, this desire is fuelled as well. Desire begets prayer and prayer begets desire.
In assembling, we also mutually encourage each other to seek first His kingdom. This is something that is often lost in our modern church. The church, right from her early days as recorded in the Book of Acts, gathered frequently to “stir each other to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). After all, the word “church” is rooted in the Greek term ekklesia, which means assembly.
My years in NUS were spent living as a stay-in student at Raffles Hall. There, Christians met regularly to pray and fellowship. We “assembled” almost on a daily basis. Those were very formative years. Recently we had a reunion (see photo). It was very moving. We looked back and realised that those were “revival years”. Our lives were changed forever and much of what we are today were seeded on those few years together.
That period of our lives was special and difficult to re-enact as we went separate ways and started our working lives.
This is why I have always espoused that the community life of the church is important. As a church family, whenever we can, we should value these assemblies. A spiritually rich community will bear much fruit. We have a unique opportunity in this season. The Cathedral is also hosting three assemblies on 5th, 6th and 7th August (Sun-Tues), starting at 7.30pm at CNS. I encourage all of us to practise fasting during that period, including the 8th if possible. It can range from a full fast to foregoing a meal per day. What is important is to be intentional to set aside time and energy to pray and seek the Lord.
We pray. We desire. We fast. Together.