A Singapore that Prays Without Prejudice

Imagine our workplaces abuzz with revival prayer. All it takes is for each of us to set the pace and set the tone. Some of us, however, may feel a bit awkward about praying with believers of a different age, tradition, or social standing.

That was me, once upon a time. Here’s my story.

In my undergrad days, a renewal movement was sweeping through my hometown, Penang. I was deeply impacted.

Prayer was happening everywhere. Christians from all kinds of churches came together to seek the Lord. Up until then, I never knew that Anglicans, Baptists, Brethren, Methodists and Presbyterians existed. I had never met so many marketplace Christians before.

And then there was Mrs Huang, a lady of influence. One day, she asked if I could be her regular prayer partner. I wasn’t sure how to respond.

Why? Well, age-wise, we were decades apart. She was a 60-something grandma. I was a 20-something campus kid. Talk about generation gap!

In terms of style, Mrs Huang and I were poles apart. She was Presbyterian. She prayed softly, slowly, sweetly. Yes, super politely. I was classical Pentecostal. I prayed like a bullet train. I prayed loudly, sometimes sounding wild and fierce when I got into tongues.

Sociologically speaking, we were worlds apart. She was Mrs Prim and Proper, the elegant cheongsam lady with soft make-up and every strand of hair in place.

She lived in a bungalow in the atas (classy) area of town. Her neighbours were the rich and famous.

In contrast, I was Miss Tomboy in boring down-to-earth gear. My neighbours were mediums, prostitutes, gangsters, gamblers and drug addicts.

Linguistically, we were East and West. Mrs Huang understood English but spoke Mandarin 90% of the time. Whereas I spoke English 300% of the time and understood Mandarin just 80% of the time.

From her, I learned that prayer is not an art, but a cry of the heart…Prayer is about my relationship with God. To pray is to be God-centred, Word-based and Spirit-empowered.

Humanly speaking, we had absolutely nothing in common. My mind informed me that this “prayer partnership” was an insane idea doomed to fail. I couldn’t compromise who I was. I preferred prayer buddies who were my kind, my style, my generation. But guess what. God overwhelmed my emotions.

For no rhyme or reason, I heard myself say to Mrs Huang: “Er … okay, why not. Sure!”

So, on Thursday afternoons, dressed in elegant cheongsam, Mrs Huang would pick me up from my campus in her Volvo. Off we’d go to her classy home. First, dinner with her doctor husband. Then at 8pm sharp (I mean sharp), we would disappear into her prayer chamber.

She would pray in Mandarin, I would amen in English. I would pray in English, and she would amen in Mandarin. We usually weren’t done until past 10pm. Then she would drive me home.

Well, this went on for about a year. And, believe me, it was anything but routine. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Mrs Huang had wanted to learn prayer from me. But it was the reverse. I felt tutored. I was the one being taught.

In her quiet, Presbyterian way, Mrs Huang exuded a restedness in Jesus. She prayed with depth and wisdom, full of grace and truth.

From her, I learned that prayer is not an art, but a cry of the heart. Prayer is the love language of a soul surrendered to God. It’s not about my capacity to put words together. It has nothing to do with the volume of my voice. Prayer is about my relationship with God. To pray is to be God-centred, Word-based and Spirit-empowered. We pray in the authority of Jesus’ name.

Looking back, I would say that Mrs Huang was a God-send. The Lord disarmed my prejudices. I experienced deep change.

Since then, I have no trouble praying with anyone of any era – be it the quiet conservative, the loud charismatic, the cheongsam type or the ripped jeans kind, the high-flying cosmopolitan, or the heartlander Ah Beng. It makes no difference.

God is not prejudiced. God is the God of the generations. God is the God of all kinds. He is our Good Father. We are his One Family, created for community.

In Him, there is neither class distinction nor denominational distinctives. And He has put the same longing in us for the Church to be Salt and Light. For Singapore to turn God-wards. For Antioch missions to travel to the ends of the earth. For this Little Red Dot to glorify Jesus in every generation, in every way!

2018 is the Year of Prayer. Let us pour out our longings in intimate, beseeching prayer. Start a prayer circle or join one.

Come let us go at once to entreat the favour of the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty, I myself am going. Zechariah 8:21

A Singapore that Prays Without Prejudice was first published in saltandlight.sg. Reprinted with permission.

WHAT'S ON IN COOS

Events on June 20, 2019

7:30 pm: Caregivers-to-Caregivers Education Programme

Details Description: - C2C Programme provides training to caregivers of persons with mental illness. This unique training programme is free of charge. You will be supported through 2.5 hour 12 sessions and be empowered in your caregiving journey. 2 May - 18 July, every Thursday.
Location: Room 217B/305
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Events on June 21, 2019

9:00 am: FIN-SJSM INCLUSIVE ARTS WORKSHOP

Family Inclusion Network (FIN for short) invites you to a 2-Day Inclusive Arts Workshop. Experience Dance, Contemplative Music & Prophetic Art in this Space of Honour. Discover Singapore’s 1st integrated community space where people with different abilities can move independently; where they can feel accepted for who they are, and be valued for their contributions.

Registration has closed. For enquiries, please email fin.every1in@gmail.com
Location: Enabling Village, Singapore
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7:30 pm: Alpha Cycle Two Run [5 of 8 sessions]

Alpha Cycle Two runs for a total of 8 sessions, plus additional two sessions of Holy Spirit Day & Celebration Dinner.
Location: COOS Room 308
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Events on June 22, 2019

9:00 am: FIN-SJSM INCLUSIVE ARTS WORKSHOP

Family Inclusion Network (FIN for short) invites you to a 2-Day Inclusive Arts Workshop. Experience Dance, Contemplative Music & Prophetic Art in this Space of Honour. Discover Singapore’s 1st integrated community space where people with different abilities can move independently; where they can feel accepted for who they are, and be valued for their contributions.

Registration has closed. For enquiries, please email fin.every1in@gmail.com
Location: Enabling Village, Singapore
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2:30 pm: English Service : Ps Lee Seng Yan Speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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4:30 pm: Youth Service

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on June 23, 2019

8:30 am: English Service : Ps Lee Seng Yan Speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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10:45 am: English Service : Ps Lee Seng Yan Speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on June 25, 2019

7:30 pm: Talk on 'Journeying with Persons with Same-Sex Attraction'

How should we engage and respond to those struggling with same-sex attraction and those in the LGBTQ community? How do we balance grace and truth? Gain a better understanding by attending a talk by Choices Ministry on 'Journeying with Persons with Same-Sex Attraction'.
Location: Chapel
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Events on June 26, 2019

3:00 pm: Cafe Oasis cupcake workshop

Anyone and Everyone is welcome to express themselves through food! Come learn how to customise your cupcakes. The workshop will cover basic techniques, 2 cupcakes to decorate and a prize for the best looking cupcake!
Location: Atirum
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Events on June 27, 2019

7:30 pm: Caregivers-to-Caregivers Education Programme

Details Description: - C2C Programme provides training to caregivers of persons with mental illness. This unique training programme is free of charge. You will be supported through 2.5 hour 12 sessions and be empowered in your caregiving journey. 2 May - 18 July, every Thursday.
Location: Room 217B/305
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SERVICE DETAILS

MAIN SERVICES (ENGLISH)
Saturday | 2.30pm
Sunday | 8.30am and 10.45am
YOUTH SERVICE (ENGLISH)
Saturday | 4.30pm
*Except every 1st weekend of the month, where youth joins main services.
SERVICES & OFFICE LOCATION
130 Margaret Drive Singapore 149300
It is a 10-minute walk from the Queenstown MRT Station.The bus-stops nearest to the church are served by
SBS Bus 51, 111, 145, 186, 195 and 32 and TIBS Bus 970.

The office is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9am to 5.30pm.

Click here for more service details.