Sunday, October 18, 2009

DAY 60 - What if your church is a house of prayer?

Today’s Reading: Mark 11

(Please read Mark 11: 1 – 33 and listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ would like to tell you before reading my Spiritual Journal below. If you would like to learn a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please read my “Count Down 5” from this blog. You may click this link directly for the method: Subject Shifting Devotion.pdf . (You may begin with a song to praise the Lord and complete you devotion by singing another praise song.)

Please click the links below to Mark 11:

“My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”
Mark 11: 17

Today Jesus asked me a question: What if your church is a house of prayer?

He led me to recall a painful happening in 1995 when my brother Dennis came from Hong Kong to visit me. I brought him to a church to have a visit. When he entered, he cried loudly. I asked him why he was so sad. He told me that he felt that church was not a house of prayer but a church filled with divisions, bitterness, accusation, darkness and unforgiving spirits. We then sang hymns and prayed for that church to have a revival. And revival did come later.

What if your church is not a house of prayer?

Christians should know how to pray and the importance of prayers. But in reality the lowest attendance in most churches is always prayer meetings. It’s usually less than 10% of the Sunday attendance. Lucy, one of our parishioner, told us tonight during our couples house group that for two weeks she kept on checking whether our 60 days/24 hours Prayer Campaign had been filled up or not. She said she was relieved to see it was all being filled up a few days ago. There are only 95 individual names in the list. Is that a good sign? Is ACiC a praying community? Is Richmond Emmanuel Church a praying church? We have around 950 people in ACiC churches and we have 95 people joining our 60 days/24 hours Prayer Campaign! A very accurate number of the 10%!

What if your church is a house of prayer?
Then the people in our church will be mightily used by Jesus to be a channel to bring healing and blessings to all nations! I wish this time will come! Please come to pray at our weekly prayer meeting this Saturday at 9a.m. We need you!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Help our church to be a house of prayer for all nations. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Please click this link to participate in our 100 days/24 hours Prayer Campaign (August 20 to Nov. 28)

Some of you told me that you cannot get in the link to read my son Ignatius’ sharing yesterday. So, please see below:

I Am Ignorant Ignatius Ng

My heart aches and I tremble with awe. How can I be so ignorant?I’ve read the first 50 pages of “Never Silent” by Bishop Thaddeus Barnum. It is an astonishing book sharing the story of the strength of faith in African Bishop John Rucyahana. This is a man who witnessed the massacre killings of the evil Ugandan president Idi Amin and persevered in faith despite risk of death. John went to study for his Masters of Divinity in the States and was eventually doing God’s work by preaching to various churches and sharing his story.John firmly preached God’s word. Yet, several American Christians, and even priests, called John “ignorant” and “primitive” for believing so adamantly in the Scriptures. These “educated” Americans thought that an African such as John should learn from America’s well developed theologies and gain greater knowledge.Wait a second...What?John is a man who endured actual persecutions for his faith, including having a gun pointed to his head. He has witnessed the power of Jesus raising up the church in Uganda, which has grown so vastly in the past 20 years that the Christians who go to worship on Sunday far exceeds the Episcopalians (Anglicans) in America. John knows the saving grace of Jesus. It is a living faith and relationship. This is what John preaches. And yet these Americans think him ignorant and primitive?Tears were flowing from my eyes as I painfully read through these pages. I felt a sense of pain and awe overwhelming me. I thought to myself: Isn’t this like the pride I take in my knowledge of theology? Am I like these overeducated Americans who excel at talk yet fall short of action?While we are sitting comfortably and complacently at church, Christians in Africa are dying for their faith; yet, their numbers continually soar. They don’t need to learn from us; we need to learn from them. It is ignorant to think that our education makes us superior in knowledge or faith. We must stop naively thinking that we can solve church conflicts or revive the church with our experience and efforts. We, I, must listen to God in order to do his will.I’ll end with a quote from John responding to a reporter who called the African church ignorant and primitive:
“You see, in my country, people are coming to a living faith in Jesus Christ. It is where I met Jesus. I didn’t meet Him in seminary or in a theology classroom...Did you know in Uganda we have many more Anglicans attending church on Sunday mornings than Episcopalians in your big country? You should check your facts. So, if you call us Africans ignorant and primitive, simple and uneducated, then I would be happy to give my seminary degree back and be called those names with my people”
Now, let's pray together for our city, for our country, for our world. Let's take a stand and do only God's will.Blessings to you all!

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