Dear Carmelites and friends
We have just come through the most critical week of the Christian calendar – the Holy Week – Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection! What a glorious day when Christ rose from the dead! Hallelujah that Christ has risen! The tomb is empty and our hearts are filled with thankfulness that He came to seek and save those who are lost! While we rejoice in the hope of our salvation, there are still many who have yet to hear the gospel or know Jesus. Many are also feeling great loss in the midst of this pandemic, and many who are lost are in need of our prayers, love, and help.
God’s Word from James 5: 13-16 urges us to pray:
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
In times like these, we are also urged to heed the words from 2 Chronicles 7: 13-15
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
Troubled? Happy? Pray & praise God! Praise Jesus! Call the elders, the pastors, your Care Group leaders, or a friend, and pray! Let them visit you digitally as we abide by the government advisories. Let’s pray in faith. Confess our sins. Seek forgiveness. Healing is not just physical but mental, social, emotional, and spiritual.
Lent was a period of a “spiritual detox” – of cleansing and of sacrifice. Covid-19 forced us into a sacrifice of the things we take for granted…life! Health and lives of those stricken? Work from office or loss of jobs? Our regular income and fleeting wealth? Face-to-face physical encounters with family and friends? Eating at hawker centres or restaurants? Shopping at malls? Going to schools or gyms? Etc. etc. etc. Fear has gripped many.
We cannot imagine how those without faith navigate the turbulence of their thoughts and feelings. So how about people of the faith? How are we? Anxious? Are we also hungry for much that has been stripped away? Or thankful that we have the basics and perhaps even more than we realized? Let’s be hungry for God, seeking for more of Him…in Word and Prayer! James 5:16b said, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
You may think “Righteous? Er…I don’t feel righteous.” Well, this is not our righteousness but that of Jesus’. First, we need to confess Jesus as our Savior. Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Pray now and tell Him that you need Him to save you. Pray this A_B_C_D way:
1. Admit to God that you are a sinner.
2. Believe in your heart that God loves you and sent Jesus to live and die for your sins.
3. Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord!
4. Decide to follow Him daily for the rest of your life!
Now, with Jesus as Master, head, and leader of our lives, we also need to confess our sins to one another. Get the weight off our chests! If we have sinned against one another, listen and acknowledge that it’s how the offended person feels even if we didn’t intend to cause misunderstandings. Listen, confess, forgive, pray for one another’s healing. Once we humble ourselves to confess, our hearts can be cleansed. We will be set free! Let God’s Spirit do the work in our hearts and lives! Let us pray and pray and pray…. Don’t we want to pray powerful and righteous prayers that please our Father? Power lies not in our hands nor in our prayers but in our Almighty God!
Let’s pray the WORD!! For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Heb 4:12) That’s exactly what we need! 1 John 5:14 says “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” His Word is His will. His Spirit will do the rest as we surrender ourselves to Him! For “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)
So we invite you to journey through this Circuit Breaker period to pray and praise Abba God our Creator, Redeemer, Lord and Friend.
The prayer guides for the day are sent out every morning on Telegram and Facebook. If you are not yet connected on either platform, head to www.carmel.sg/connectwithus