Wednesday, 01 September, 2021
Title: So That Your Joy May Be Made Full!
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
“…Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” – John 16:23b-24
I remember at the beginning of this year, in my devotion about how I often woke up in the middle of the night because I felt overwhelmed by the empathy for our beloved brothers sisters who suffered from different illness. In November 2020, after having spoken to my mentors who both confirmed with burden and tears telling me that our church needed to strengthen and revive the spiritual atmosphere. With this confirmation and prayer, I trusted that it was God’s will for me to take the lead in the prayer ministry of our church. It was with fear and trembling that I took on the ministry. As I started to pray and seek God’s guidance, HE moved me to form an intercessory prayer team. As a new pastor to the church and followed immediately by the MCO lockdown most of the months, I hardly got to know members in the church. Who can I call to serve as intercessors? In my mind, intercessors must be someone with certain spiritual maturity and must have the willing heart to pray for others. They are the volunteer soldiers who put on the armour of God and stays in the gap for God’s beloved people. I asked God, “Who shall I call, my Lord? I do not know many of them well and definitely a lot less about their spiritual life? ” I started to approach some of the members I knew. One by one they turned me down! I was very much discouraged with this “mission impossible”, so I went back to my prayer closet and cried out to God for weeks. “What should I do now?” Then the story of Jesus choosing His disciples came to me, so I decided to lock myself inside my prayer closet every day for 4 hours to pray and wait upon God until I have the name list. Within a few weeks, God brought to me 24 prayer warriors. Most of them have been waiting for the call. Some of them already have had their small prayer group, and they were eager and full of joy to join the team. It is like the story in 1 King 19:18 where God reserved 7000 with clean hands and pure hearts for Himself. The intercessors team officially started in on 25 February 2021.
Today, after almost 6 months of interceding and praying for various requests for different ministries, church members, and their families with urgent needs, we have seen many prayers answered by God! Some are not according to our expectations because God has different plans. We grieve together with some, and we rejoice with many. Most of all, we rejoice together and find ourselves drawing closer to God and experience His greatness each day. It is like the verse in John 16:23b-24, our Lord Jesus told His disciples, “…Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
I was once much burdened and full of weariness for our beloved brothers and sisters. I was feeling so weak, helpless, incapable, and perplexed. Today, I am full of joy and feel so blessed. Not only have my burdens been lifted up, but God has brought in a team of prayer warriors to battle together with all of our leaders. I also learned that there are more unsung prayer warriors in our midst, either they come together to pray every Saturday morning, or pray on their own time alone or with their small groups. Even our young people have formed their own prayer meeting to uphold the church, the nation, and one another!
Indeed, when God answers prayer, HE makes our joy complete! How awesome HE is! Praise be to our God!
Dear Father in Heaven, we want to praise You and bless Your name! You are a living God and altogether powerful. Nothing we ask is too small or too big for You. Thank You for always hearing our prayers. You, who created heaven and earth, are a great God who will listen to our prayers! O Father, please help all of us to pray unceasingly for Your church, Your kingdom and Your righteousness, and for others. Open our eyes to see the things that break your heart so that we can bring it to You in prayer. Give us the hearts that love and care for one another and for others as You have loved them. Thank You Father. In Jesus’ name we pray.
我记得今年年初，在我一篇灵修里，提及我经常在半夜醒来，为患有各样疾病的亲爱弟兄姐妹感到不堪重负。2020年11月，在与我的导师交谈后，他们都带着沉重的负担和泪水确认并告诉我，我们的教会需要强化并复苏属灵氛围。在这次确认和祷告之后，我相信我在教会领导祷告事工是上帝的意愿。我怀着战战兢兢的心承担这事工。当我开始祈祷并寻求上帝的指引时，祂感动我组成一个代祷小组。作为教会一名新的牧者，且紧随其后大部分时间的MCO（行动管制令）封锁，我几乎不认识教会的会友。我可以找谁作代祷人呢？在我看来，代祷者必须是属灵成熟的人，并且必须有为他人祈祷的心；他们是穿戴上帝的全副军装且置身在上帝所爱的子民的空隙上的自愿军。我问上帝：“主啊，我该找谁呢？我对他们许多人都不是很了解，对他们的属灵生命更是不怎么了解了。” 我开始接触一些我认识的会友。他们一个接一个地拒绝了我！我对这个 “不可能完成的任务” 感到非常气馁，所以我回到我的祈祷室，向上帝呼求了几个星期：“我现在该怎么办？” 后来，我想起耶稣拣选门徒的事迹，所以我决定每天4个小时安静在祈祷室里，祷告并等候上帝，直到我有了名单。在几周内，上帝给我召来了24名祈祷勇士。他们其中大多数人都在等候着被召唤。他们有些人已经有了自己的祈祷小组，他们渴望并充满了喜乐地加入这个小组。这正如列王纪上19:18所记，上帝为自己预留了7000个手洁心清的人。代祷小组于2021年2月25日正式启动了。