Will you come for the Pre-Service Prayer?

Dear BPCWAians, Every week in our church bulletin under “Appointments for Today and the Week” we print a Sunday 8:30 am Pre-Service Prayer Meeting. Perhaps of all activities in the church, this is one that is least known amongst its worshippers, but yet one of the most important activities. I hope that through this Pastoral, you understand what is this about and as a result, come for this pre-service prayer meeting.

Who is this for? Simply because it is in the appointments of the week without any specific target group specified means that this is a prayer meeting that is open to all worshippers. It is not just merely for church leaders and full-time workers. It is not even just a ministry that is open only to members. In fact, when you read this announcement in the bulletin, as much as the Tuesday night Prayer meeting is an invitation for you to join us in praying for the church, likewise the pre-service prayer too. Whether you are more comfortable praying in English or in Chinese, whether you are a student that has chosen to worship with us while you’re studying here or an adult, whether young or old, this Sunday prayer is open to you. If you’re here for the Basic Bible Knowledge classes and are able to come just half an hour earlier for this prayer, come. Even if you can’t make it every week, come even if only just for some weeks. Join us together in prayer and experience the blessedness of starting off the Lord’s Day in prayer with God’s people.

What is this for? Being a time of prayer before even the 1st Bible Study for the Lord’s Day, it is a time that we set apart to seek God’s help for the day ahead. When God sanctified the Sabbath and set it apart for Him, it was for a spiritual purpose. Hence this prayer meeting is to support this day of worship and service to God because it is a spiritual warfare that we face – we need to seek His help to worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and also His guidance and protection for the day ahead. So, one might say that unlike the Tuesday prayer meeting, this pre-Service prayer is one with a special focus especially intended for everything that we do on the Lord’s Day. During this prayer meeting, we seek His help to guide, use, and protect the many ministries that are serving on Sunday. These include the background roles such as the Transport ministry, Audio Visual ministry, to the kitchen ministry. We pray for the teaching of God’s Word at the Basic Bible Knowledge classes, and at the Sunday School lessons lined up for that day. But most importantly, as Worship Service is the focal activity of the week for the believer, we plead for God to bless and accept every part of the Worship Service, and in particular, that God will be magnified in the preaching of His Word. “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” (2Th 3:1) Also, we seek His help for the Worship Leader, interpreters, musicians, offertory stewards, welcomers, and ushers, that in all our separate roles, we will all join in pointing worshippers to God. And if there are fellowship meetings scheduled for Sunday, we pray for God’s enabling power upon the teaching at these sessions to edify the hearers. Every week, we also pray for the Nursing Home ministry to fulfil its objective of encouraging the believers in the Homes, and saving souls. If City Evangelism is scheduled, prayer is raised for the sowing of the Word later that day to bring His elect into His kingdom and His church. And during Holy Communion Sundays, we pray for the Lord to draw His people to Himself to see His glory and to reinforce our love for Him.

Why should I come? Well, firstly, because it’s the Lord’s Day. There’s no better way (after starting off your day in your private devotion and prayer) to prepare for the day of worship and service than by a time of prayer with God’s people in His house. In this time of prayer together, our own hearts are prepared for congregational worship as we pray for each aspect of the Worship Service. And as we pray for the sermon each Sunday, we also ask God to prepare our own hearts as well to hear His Word. It is a time to seek God’s favour and blessing upon the activities of the Lord’s Day, which we will all be involved in for the rest of the day. As much as you make preparations to attend the activities, prepare yourself spiritually too, for these spiritual activities. Begin the day by asking God in prayer to work in your life, in your family’s life, and in the lives of His people here in BPCWA as God is uplifted and His Word is taught and preached on Sunday. Pray for the preaching of God’s Word to be faithful according to His intent and will. If these are important to you, you will come and pray together with us at the Pre-service prayer.

I hope that now that you know this, you will desire to be there praying together with us at the pre-service prayer. If you can only do it occasionally, come anyway and know the blessing of starting the Lord’s day of service with a time of prayer together. There is no “enrolment” or roster – simply be at church on Sunday by 8:30 am and come into the cry room which during this half hour we cry to God to meet with His people and accept their worship.

Ac 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication …

Yours in our Lord’s service