Pastoral Perspectives

Prayer Culture

What is culture? Culture is the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. Culture is also the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society. Prayer is a genuine conversation with God, honestly telling God what you need, how you feel, what your struggles are and sharing with Him anything and relating with Him as your Heavenly Father as well as your best Friend. Prayer is a means whereby your relationship with God deepens as you participate more and more in it. You do not get tired of involving in prayer because it enhances and strengthens your faith and your relationship with God. The more you engage in prayer the more your faith in Christ is stretched and strengthened. More prayer means more power!

Does True Way have a prayer culture? If not, how do we as a church encompasses prayer in such a way that it becomes our way of life? It all begins in the life of each believer or Christian worshipping at True Way. Prayer is basic to the Christian faith. When one becomes a child of God, he or she will start learning the methodology of prayer. We cannot acquire fluency in prayer overnight. One has to take baby steps in order to develop good, healthy prayer life. It takes a community of believers to enhance such a prayer culture through vivid examples from matured Christians amongst us. One good way of learning prayer is observing how other people prays. Fervency in prayer can be caught by everyone through observation and practice. When someone is so passionate about prayer, it spreads like wild fires! Soon, the whole church is immersed in faithful, fervent prayer. It only takes a spark to light up a community fired up for prayer.

We can develop a prayer culture slowly but not overnight. One way to begin is through our organised Discipleship Groups (DGs). DGs are good platforms for developing the prayer culture. In a DG setting, we can excite each other in regards to prayer. We can share what we understand about prayer and then, teach others to implement it into their personal prayer life. We can be honest and transparent about our handicaps in prayer and then, desire earnestly to get or learn the necessary skills to strengthen and overcome it. In a DG setting, there will be a time of sharing our individual needs and then, either pray as a whole group or breaks into smaller groups to pray for those needs. As we pray, we are trusting God to answer our prayers. We rejoice in seeing the answers coming along the way. This further enhances our capacity to pray and motivates us to pray more. We pray because we know we have a faithful God who not only listens to our prayer but also answers them according to His divine will.

Another way is through our informal prayer sessions before the worship service begins. Every Sunday, before 8.30 am worship service, there is an informal prayer session which commenced since January 2015, praying for about 15 minutes at the Event Hall, It started with only 3 people. The informal prayer sessions, before 11 am worship service, did not successfully kick off.

Still another way is through a Prayer Invitation on the PowerPoint slide requesting the worshippers who have prayer needs, to come forward to the front of the Sanctuary immediately after the worship service ends, to be prayed by the Pastors. This avenue of prayer has yet to be utilised by the worshippers at large. The reason is likely due to the fact that people are rather shy, perhaps, and so, not being comfortable about coming forward to the front to share their needs and be prayed for by the pastors. I would think that it is still not our True Way culture to have people coming forward to be prayed for like any other churches. Since the prayer committee implements this, we observe that there are not many people who would like to be prayed for in the public.

There is still a better way and that is through the monthly Church prayer meetings. If worshippers begin to see the importance of attending the monthly Church prayer meetings, then the prayer culture of True Way can be further enhanced. When each worshipper has given priority to their spiritual disciplines in terms of incorporating prayers into their daily Christian life, this can slowly permeate into the church life and the prayer culture will be so much different beyond expectations!

Hence, it really takes the whole church community to make it a reality to enhance the prayer culture of True Way. The prayerfulness of the church brings glory and honour to the Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ! 

Preacher George Ang

September 24, 2017