Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Prayer for the World 2007

Last weekend, Friday evening (2/3Feb 2007) was the event. It was hard to stay awake. About 100 Regent students, faculty and staff laboured on throughout the night. Some stayed for the whole night from 8PM to 7AM the next day, others stayed for a little while, but many had a great time praying and worshiping. Due to a late start, refreshments only happened at 12AM midnight, pushing the programmes back one hour. The grapes were great, coffee, tea and fruit juices were aplenty plus great snacks like pretzels, chips and cookies. That might sound like the highlight for the evening, but I must say the highlight was the worship/communion at 2AM. I remember Andrew from England who taught us to point our hands towards God in worship. He had an interesting reason behind that. Being a soccer fan from the UK, he said that when he was at a soccer stadium with a bunch of friends cheering their favourite team, they will point their hands and fingers at the sky in one unison, singing loudly for their team, believing in their heart that it is the best team they are cheering. He admitted that kind of cheering was a little odd as every supporter (including opponents) will think their team is better. However in worshiping God, Andrew taught us that when we sing with our hands we proclaim a definite and victorious God. That set all of us wide awake and for the next few moments, everyone in the chapel were worshiping with gusto and believing that all our prayers is viable because we are calling upon a God who can do the impossible. That certainly energizes many of us.

Yes. Communion is the highlight for at the table, we declare our common identity in Christ and we share Christ's concern for the world. Compared to last year, this year's event was slightly less attended but the atmosphere remained electric. Members of the community were deep in prayer and earnest pleading for God to change the world. I must say that this Prayer for the World event is the most 'spiritual' event among all of Regent's offering. I sense a kind of openness that is very different. An openness that is united in a common concern for the world. It is that moment where no one is distinguished whether they get A's, B's or F's. Whatever ethnicity, denominational background, nationalities or other differences, it does not matter. Every member wears the common uniform of love for God and neighbour.

It is also a special time of sharing information about our home countries. At each hour, different people gathered at different rooms praying for the countries represented. This year, the Singapore/Malaysia slot was held at the Prayer Chapel. Some people were surprised to know that Singapore and Malaysia were formerly one country. If you have a chance to participate in next year's event, you should. Trust me. It is awesome.

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