Pastoral Perspectives

Watch and Pray!

Today, we are celebrating the 50th year of the building and independence of our nation Singapore.  What our founding father, the late first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, had done and achieved, we cannot afford to take for granted.  There is an urgent call for vigilance and resilience for Singapore and its people to press on for the next 50 years.  The demographics of Singapore have changed and the economic landscape has also changed.  The political forefront has been changing too!  There are a lot of challenges and uncertainties ahead of us.  We cannot be layback but be alert and be aware of things which are happening around us.

The religious and spiritual climates have also changed.  What has been comfortable and open to do is now no longer that easy to be done.  Sharing our faith has taken on a greater challenge than before.  The audience now is different from those of many years ago.  When we share, we are confronted with a different audience now.  In the early 70s and 80s, we had the nation-wide “I Found It” campaign, the Billy Graham Rally, the Luis Palau Rally and other evangelistic rallies.  Now, we hardly hear of such rallies in Singapore.  Door-to-door outreach effort is getting tougher too.  Approaching people to interact about religious matters is also not forthcoming.  The most viable form of outreach now seems to be friendship or lifestyle evangelistic efforts.  Our day-to-day testimony in our workplace, in our family and society count!  We need to live a life worthy of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In Philippians 1:27a, the Word of God says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  Our conduct before God and others is important.  We are supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (see Matthew 5:13-16).  We need to live a life worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In Colossians 1:10, the Word of God says, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”  When we bear much fruits, others will know that we are the disciples of Jesus Christ.  Our testimonies are important and they count!  In Philippians 1:27a, the Word of God says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  God is counting on each one of us, His children, to testify of His grace, His goodness and His glory to the people around us.  Are we doing what we are entrusted to do?

We are the ambassadors of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:20).  Thus, we need to watch and pray like never before!  We need to watch over our words and deeds.  We need to constantly check and examine ourselves to see whether our Father in Heaven is pleased with all that we do, all that we think and all that we say.  We need to watch over our family, making sure that we have time for God and His words and not allow the world system and ideologies to suck us into its mould.  We need to watch and pray so that we will not fall into temptations and then sin against God and His people.  In Matthew 26:41, the Word of God says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  Besides being watchful, we must also pray.  We must not neglect the discipline of prayer.  We, indeed, need to discipline ourselves to pray.

As what Nicky Gumbel said in the video in last Friday’s Alpha Course, he said that “Prayer is the most important activity of our lives.”  When we pray, many things happen!  When we pray, something wonderful happens.  When we pray, our relationship with God deepens.  We will enjoy knowing God and loving His ways and His works.  Our relationship with God will take on a new dimension.  We will always look forward to spending time with God and communing with Him through prayer.

When we pray, our lives will be transformed, situations will change and our personal life will change too!  We will be so excited about what God is doing in our lives that we cannot withhold but share the faithfulness and goodness of God with others. When we pray, you will turn the world upside down!  We will see the mighty works of God being displayed before our very eyes.  We will draw many to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  When we pray, we will see the power of God at work in ways beyond our comprehension and expectation.  We will also encourage others to pray too!  When we pray, we bring glory, honour and praise to our glorious and great God!

Watch and pray!  This is a crucial moment for all of us to embark on.  It is never too late to begin.  Let us, therefore, heed the words of our Lord Jesus: “Watch and pray!”