Message from The Directors: Prayer fuels Mission
2021, here we are!
With Covid-19 hitting the global community in such rapidity, our daily activities were abruptly interrupted, and the familiar demands were also removed. This should acutely draw us to prioritise time to pray with a single purpose for God’s divine plan. How else will we be able to carry out His work through us? – God has a perfect plan and He’ll change His mind if we don’t want it. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” This is a reference to God’s character that He doesn’t change. One of the greatest lessons from the book of Malachi is to trust in our unchanging God. He’s ever the same, yesterday, today and forever. He is gracious, suffers long and is merciful. God loves the sinner, but He hates sin and longs for the day he will be saved.
So, does prayer change our immutable God?
God is unchangeable, He doesn’t change His mind or will, His attributes are not compromised. But it doesn’t imply that He doesn’t change His mind concerning His acts, which are not unchanging. Therefore our prayer affects God’s action, but it doesn’t affect His Person nor His principles. God is not incapable of modifying His plans if He chooses.
We take on God's desire because we are renewed and prioritise to think like Him.
The power of our prayer becomes as strong as the agreement behind them, with one another, and with heaven only when we are united with Christ. When we participate with His Spirit in a bond of fellowship that’s so deep until we think like one person on the same things. This agreement and oneness with the Holy Spirit infusing our prayers, are backed with heaven’s full authority. We take on God’s desire because we are renewed and prioritise to think like Him. We read of many instances where God changed His intents when the righteous prayed. He changed His mind lest we forfeit the promise and inheritance in our day. To the city of Nineveh, God said if they repent, He will relent but if they do not, he will do such and such, and that was God’s mind. God was unchanging when punishing sin, and in rewarding repentance He blessed the Ninevites. It may have seemed to men as if God had changed his mind, but it wasn’t God who changed, it was the Ninevites who changed.
When Abraham stood before the Lord praying for Lot and his family in Sodom, he pleaded to the Lord to reconsider His plan to destroy the twin evil cities. Genesis 18:16-33 details Abraham’s intercession, asking the Lord not to destroy the cities if he found 50 righteous people. God agreed. But Abraham couldn’t find 50 righteous people, even 10 righteous people could not be found. Ultimately, God did move in judgement and destroyed both cities. Abraham taught us this one lesson that he could reason with God in prayer. In Exodus 32:9-10, Moses understood this well. God was on the verge of destroying the whole nation of Israel and He proposed starting over with Moses. But Moses pleaded with God to spare the people from His judgement and reminded God of His promise and plan. Exodus 32:14, "So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” We don't need an army of prayer warriors, but the prayer of the righteous who knows and understands God's heart.
When the Lord relented from the course He had purposed, the New Living Translation describes it this way, “So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.” Again, Moses taught us that he could reason with God in prayer, and we see God changing His mind. One human being standing in this vast universe, like a little speck of dust on this earth, called on the God of all creation to change His mind about the destiny of one nation. God was listening and He cared. So when Moses prayed, God changed His mind. Oft-times, we don’t need an army of prayer warriors, but the prayer of the righteous who knows and understands God’s heart. Our prayer is the means whereby a change in the events of human affairs can occur and one man can make a difference.
We do not pray to produce a change in God because it is intended to change us!
If spiritual blessings are received through prayers, then our prayers are important. If God has determined thus, then our spiritual walk with God is of utmost importance. Therefore, since God has appointed for us to come into spiritual blessings, as Christians we need to develop a prayer life, and this would be the greatest incentive for prayer. Finally, we do not pray to produce a change in God because it is intended to change us! Prayer affects us, not God. Prayer fuels mission, God’s mission in and through us! Andrew Murray put it this way, “Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ and expect great things!”
In Christ alone we serve,
Pastors Tuck Yoong and Daphne Yang Directors