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Prayer & Praise: God Our Provider

Before you begin

  1. Ensure that there is sufficient battery power on your device – whether it’s your laptop, mobile phone or iPad. 
  2. Connect your device to Wifi.

How to use this guide

  1. Follow the script provided: Read, pray, worship and reflect as each section guides you.
  2. Pace yourself. Don’t rush through. Quieten down your heart and just soak in the presence of God, talking to Him as His child.
  3. Spend time reflecting on your own. Fill your heart with words of life.
  4. Youtube videos: Tap on the video to start playing it. If a video plays with an advertisement, click “Skip Ad” at the bottom right of the video.
  5. Sing out loud or contemplatively. However you choose to use this guide, may the Lord enable you to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

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Welcome to our evening of Prayer & Praise this March 27, 2020!
Thank God that we can use creative avenues to stay spiritually connected to Him together.

Pause

Before we begin, take 3 deep breaths slowly to quieten yourself. As you pay attention to your breathing, breathe in His love and breathe out your anxieties, distractions and fears. Let our Father take care of you. Breathe in, breathe out. Again breath in. Breathe out. Once more, breathe in, breathe out. When you have quietened down, let’s begin.

Let’s pray

Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, You are our Lord!! How blessed we are to call You Abba Father! Thank You!

God, You delight that we come in Prayer and Praise of You. Father, please draw near and speak to each one of us personally. Shut out the noise around us and in our minds. The world around us is in great turmoil and the news truly troubling and heart breaking. But You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. {Psalm 46:1-3}

Holy Spirit, still our hearts to exalt our great God! Tune our ears to listen for our Father’s voice. Speak Lord for we desire to hear You. Open the eyes of our hearts to see You and all that You are in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

Let the redeemed come and worship God in humbleness.

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). Our God reigns forever! He is our Defender, our Comforter and our Provider.  When we cling to God, His strength enables us to rise as wings of eagles. Let’s sing to Him Who is our Everlasting God

Let’s read Psalm 46 aloud. Follow the words in the video below.

Our God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deut 31:6). Give thanks that The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases.

Let’s pray

Thank You for the precious truths in the songs we sang. Nothing escapes You as Creator…the minute details, the way things have unfolded, You are the Everlasting God and we take comfort in knowing that You see all, know all and loves all! Your words remind us that, “…God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17

Thank You God for sending Jesus to save the world.  We remember the world in crises…who need Your words of hope and healing and Your light in these dark times. Awaken in us the reality of how You are always at work around us. As we turn to 2 Kings 4:1-7, please open our eyes to behold the wonder of You as God our Provider. Help us see ourselves in the story, to put ourselves in the scene and observe what is transpiring in that time. May we fully experience Your power at work. Show us the small details and the grander scheme of things that You, our Sovereign, Compassionate and Provider God, brings in times of need. We ask these all in Christ Jesus’ our Saviour’s name. Amen!

Let us read aloud God’s Word in 2 Kings 4 : 1 -7

Observe carefully all that is going on. Allow the dynamics of the scene to come alive in our minds. In this story, what are each of the characters experiencing?

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NIV)
1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

Pause

Now let’s watch this video and enter the scene to see how God works. Keep in mind what is going on around the world where someone might be in this same position.

Personal Reflections

As we take time to read the following sections, pause after each Scripture segment. Ask God the questions in blue. Then wait in silence before responding to Him in prayer.

When you are ready, move to the next Scripture segment.

“Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You”.
(Psalm 9:10 NIV)

Lord, what does this mean for me?

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path”.
(Proverbs 2:6-9 NIV)

Lord, what are you saying to me?

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

(Proverbs 3:3-10 NIV)

Lord, how can I make this true of me?

In times of trials, troubles and temptations, who do you turn to? Who do you trust?

Jesus says in John 14:6-7, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”

Let’s declare together that God is a Way Maker, Miracle Worker and Promise Keeper! As this is a new song for some, the lyrics are below for easy reference.

Lyrics
You are here, moving in our midst
I worship You I worship You
You are here, working in this place
I worship You I worship You

You are Way maker, Miracle worker, Promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are

You are here, touching every heart
I worship You I worship You

You are here, healing every life
I worship You I worship You

By faith I believe that
Even when I don’t see it, You’re working

Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working

You are here, way maker
I worship You I worship You

Music video by Mandisa performing Way Maker (Lyric Video). © 2020 Capitol CMG, Inc.

Tim Keller in his book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (p.5) says:

“I learned that … many people find God through affliction and suffering. They find that adversity moves them towards God rather than away. Troubled times awaken them out of their haunted sleep of spiritual self-sufficiency into a serious search for the divine … When pain and suffering come upon us, we finally see not only that we are not in control of our lives but that we never were. I also came to realise that adversity did not merely lead people to believe in God’s existence. It pulled those who already believed into a deeper experience of God’s reality, love and grace. One of the main ways we move from abstract knowledge of God to a personal encounter with him as a living reality is through the furnace of affliction. As C. S. Lewis famously put it, ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain.’ Believers understand many doctrinal truths in the mind, but those truths seldom make the journey down into the heart except through disappointment, failure and loss.”

How painfully true of many of us!

This Covid-19 pandemic is a global crisis of epic proportions in physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual areas. Daily, we get updates from the government, the papers, TV etc. Social Media platforms have endless posts detailing the impact of Covid-19 on businesses, schools, churches and hospitals. A few of us may even know someone in a high-risk group or wonder if any unknowing carriers are in our proximity.

Walk around the malls and you can only imagine the financial impact that this will have on our economy. Flights are cut, social venues are shut, financial markets are crashing, and so on. To plan or not to plan? How do we plan at all? Everything is uncertain.

As church services are suspended, we will desperately miss our gatherings, the fellowship that we once might have taken for granted is now only to be experienced technologically. Thank God we still can connect, but as social beings, it just does not feel the same.

So let us get down on our knees and plead for our Father to shake us out of our complacency, awaken us to compassion and move us to comfort others to look to the One who alone can bring beauty out of ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair.

We will now pray for the countries, the community, the church, and ourselves.

Prayer for the Countries

Pray against further spread of the disease around the world. There has been over 530,000 reported cases with over 24,000 deaths. Thank God that over 120,000 patients have recovered!

Pray:

  1. Governments & Singapore leaders:
    a. For worldwide unity & effort to effectively curb the spread of COVID19. The U.S., China, Italy, and Spain are seeing escalating numbers, insufficient respirators, masks and disinfectants. Pray for citizens all over the world to be socially responsible and maintain good hygiene practices.
    b. For leaders to have knowledge and wisdom to allocate the necessary resources for public health and safety.
    c. For PM Lee Hsien Loong, Mr. Lawrence Wong, Mr. Gan Kim Yong and all our ministers to be safe, strong, steadfast and seek God for divine wisdom and empowerment to lead our nation in the fight against Covid-19. In all that is going on, pray that they will turn to God for help.
  2. Medical & Scientific Expertise:
    a. For the medically- and scientifically-gifted to pool their expertise to find a cure and help end this pandemic.
    b. For the doctors, nurses, medics and all hospital staff to have the immunity, strength and stamina as they are at the frontlines. Ask God to sustain them with essential nutrients and rest, as many are fatigued by the overwhelming number of sick they see every day. Pray that God Himself will minister to them as they see so many die and feel for families who cannot properly mourn the loss of loved ones. Pray too that God will protect the families of the healthcare workers even as they stay apart for safety reasons.
  3. Cleaners Disinfecting & Sanitizing Public Spaces:
    a. For protection against contaminated items like discarded napkins, tissues, plastics, metals, containers etc.
    b. For strength, stamina and safety to effectively clean all the frequently touched areas as well as high traffic areas.

Let us remember that our God is Jehovah Jireh.

He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

To our Jehovah Jireh, let’s sing!

Prayer and acts of love for the community

Recall 2 Kings 4:1-7. Think about your own community. Use the points below, and as God brings to mind the people around you, pray.

  1. In your neighbourhood, your residence block, your circle of friends, does your family know anyone who is going through an “impossible” situation? List their names and pray for them now.
  2. Elisha told the widow to borrow jars from her friends and neighbours. This meant she had to tell others she had a need. How hard is it for you to ask for help from others? How hard might it be for someone you know to ask for help. Write down the names of people that might be a source of help to your family or who will join you in helping others. Pray for them too!
  3. God took what the widow had and used it to deliver her and her sons. What items does your family have—however small—that God might use to help you through hard times? Could He be asking you to give them to help another family in need? Write down the names of those who would appreciate a call, email, or a text message from you to find out how they are doing and if they have any needs. Do contact them right away or by tomorrow morning.

God is able to make all things work out for the good of those who love Him. We know that “the good” He means is HIS BEST for us. Let us sing with confidence that It is Well with My Soul.

Let’s pray

Lord Jesus Christ, You taught us to love our neighbour, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for You. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and Your love, for Your name’s sake. Amen.

Source: ChurchofEngland.org.

Prayer for the church family

  1. Senior Pastor Oh Boon Leong, BOE, Session to seek God first and hear His voice of love and wisdom. Pray for God to guide them in shepherding the church for the safety and spiritual well-being of the worshippers. 
  2. Pastoral & Admin Team to work well as a team remotely and be able to carry out their responsibilities effectively. Pray for the team to learn new ways to minister to the church family.
  3. Mt Carmel Church Family to demonstrate faith, hope, love and grace for one another. Pray that we will reach out especially to those who are not in Care Groups or have no ministry connection with the church. Let’s pray that we will become a simple church to do less, go deep, love much and pray more.
  4. Elderly members or those unfamiliar with technology to have healthy younger family or friends help them stay spiritually connected to church. Pray that they will learn to use the livestream services, Facebook page, myCarmel App, or Telegram.
  5. Hospitalized, House-bound, Hurting – Many among us may be caring for those who have critical illnesses and are finding it stressful to stay home without a break. Pray for tangible solutions for caregivers to get rest and for the unwell to receive medical care and food supplies. Pray for healing for those who are recovering from surgery and still need to go to hospitals for their follow-up treatments.
    Pray for harmony, patience and understanding within families. Pray that each family member will step up to help and not leave one caregiver to do it all. 
    Pray for those who are not used to working remotely from the office. Ask God to grant them a conducive space to focus and do their work well.
  6. Ps Gabriel Chia, our Youth Pastor, was recently diagnosed to have two slipped discs. Ask God to guide him to the right practitioners for effective treatment. Pray for complete healing as he disciplines himself to strengthen his body.
  7. Matthew Teo, Ps Peter Teo’s son, is on his own in the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. He has been having fever, massive headaches and a sore throat. Thank God he is regaining strength. Let’s lift him up before the Lord for stronger immunity and complete healing.
  8. Ps Fitz in the Philippines has symptoms of the flu but the local hospital has no Covid-19 test kit. Ask for God’s mercy to be upon him and his family. Pray that whatever his ailments, God will touch & restore him to fullness of health as he self-isolates at home.
  9. Personal prayer: Pray for yourself.

Practical Applications: Trusting God, meeting needs.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

  1. I will pray daily for God to use my heart, soul, mind and strength to serve others.
  2. I will ask an elderly, weak, sick, lonely, housebound neighbour how he/she is affected by the Covid-19 situation and offer to help if needed.
  3. I will thank and encourage a frontline/healthcare worker for putting the needs of others above their own.
  4. I will ask someone about their overseas family’s wellbeing.
  5. I will find creative ways to reach out to someone who is fearful and anxious about the situation.
  6. I will express appreciation for those who clean up after themselves and for those who are working harder to keep our hawker centres, schools, malls, workplaces etc. clean.
  7. I will offer to bring food to someone who is on stay home notice (SHN), leave of absence (LOA), or quarantined.
  8. I will check with credible sources before sharing any information.
  9. I will not contribute fear-based racial remarks in my conversations with others.
  10. I will resist the temptation to stockpile toilet paper.
  11. I will actively support and encourage our local businesses and employees.
  12. I will be socially responsible to abide by the church and government advisories.

Thank God for unity of hearts and minds to pray and praise our Lord.

Let us now boldly sing The Lord is My Salvation before the closing prayer.

Let’s pray

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your love, provision, wisdom, and the power You give me to follow godly counsel. Thank You for Your promise to respond when I call out to You in sincere faith. I ask Your guidance in seeing people and events that You may use to guide me through difficult times. I ask for peace and joy to carry out Your will in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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