Posted by:
17th Mar 2019

Church: A People in Prayer

The Theme

The theme for the study of God’s Word is “Church: A People in Prayer”. This is a study based on prayers mentioned in the Book of Acts.

The church has blessed legacies of prayer in the Holy Scriptures. The Book of Acts mentions prayer to God in heaven about 50 times; that is more than in any New Testament book, except Luke’s Gospel. Most of the prayers in Acts are public prayers, though there are a few private prayers such as Cornelius’ prayer. The prayers in this book were offered by various people: Christ’s disciples in general (1:13-14), new believers (2:42), apostles, (6:4; 8:15), a deacon (7:59-60), women (16:13), a centurion (10:4), a persecutor of believers (9:5), leaders of a church (13:3), the concerned brethren of a church (12:5), etc. Acts also records prayers of people in different situations: as the disciples waited for the power of the Spirit (Ch. 1), in appointing an apostle (Ch. 1), for the releasing of Christ’s witnesses (Ch. 4), when believers were still in prison (Ch. 12), at death (Ch. 7), on a journey (Ch. 9), while thrusting missionaries forth (Ch. 13), in strengthening churches (Ch. 14), when fasting and praying (Chs. 13, 14), while facing persecution (Ch. 16), in saying goodbye (Ch. 20), and in thanking God for food (Ch. 27), etc. Truly, prayer is strategic in Acts from close to the start (1:14) to near the end (28:15).

A believer can learn much from prayers recorded in the Book of Acts. Luke, who wrote Acts, chronicled how the Gospel of Christ was faithfully and effectively witnessed from Jerusalem to Rome [“unto the uttermost part of the earth” (1:8)] by the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke’s record highlighted the key role of the prayers of His people in the advancement of the preaching of the Gospel, overcoming adversities, and establishing churches.
Scripture provides models for prayer that gives structure to our prayers, as well as the topics to pray about. Thus, Scripture gives us motivation and subjects to pray about. It also instructs us on how to respond in prayer to our challenges in the work of His kingdom.

May the Lord help us to go forward in our prayers to Him, and thus fulfil our part in the establishing of His kingdom on earth. For the Gospel to spread, we must pray. For the deliverance of oppressed Christians, and for the conversion of the enemies of the Gospel and the church, we must pray. May the church of our time pray for God’s help, just as it had in the days of the Apostles.

The Participants

We praise God that there will be about 68 participants (55 from Singapore, 1 from the Philippines, 9 from Vizag, India, and a few others from Kerala). We pray for a time of wonderful Christian fellowship among the participants.

The Programme

This is the sixteenth retreat organized by the Bible Witness Media Ministry of our church. God has blessed the BW retreats to be an avenue for learning precious Scriptural themes. It has been a time of spiritual strengthening for the participants of the retreats.

In this retreat, we will have 6 study sessions on the theme. There will be singing of Christian hymns and times of prayers. There will also be time to have fellowship with fellow participants.

God willing, on the 19th of March, there will be opportunity for sightseeing: a half-day ride on a houseboat through the backwaters of Kerala, and a trip to my hometown to pay a visit to my parents, Bishop and Mrs M. K. Koshy.

Please pray for God’s blessings and protection upon all the participants. Pray also that this retreat will continue to play a part in establishing our desire for effective mission outreaches in BPC will join us for the GYM Fellowship, that they may also receive blessings untold.

Greetings from Bogo, the Philippines

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Lord has been kind and good towards us. He has preserved us in our service for Him. Our Saviour’s grace and mercy are much abounding, as He continues to sustain the Gospel work in Bogo and San Antonio.

I thank the Lord for the brethren of our churches here. They have been sustained by His grace, and they have been coming regularly to church. Some who were missing from the church for a period have been brought back to the church by the Lord and have been attending the worship services, while the rest who have been regular continue to persevere in their faith and service for the Lord.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to you and all the church brethren in Singapore for remembering us in your prayers, especially during the prayer meetings of the church. We too have been upholding you and the church in our prayers.

Rev. Lee Kim Shong (Calvary Jaya, KL) has invited me to preach this Sunday (17 March) in their Lord’s Day Service and in their Youth Fellowship. God willing, I will depart for KL on Saturday (16 March) and return on Tuesday (19 March). Thank God for Eld. Richard Tiu who will fill in my place in the pulpit ministry in the Combined Lord’s Day Service this Sunday.

We are glad that we can receive Eld. Ng and his family into our midst over the weekend and the week following. Thank God for their visit and fellowship with us on the days they will be in Bogo and San Antonio. I have invited Eld. Ng to preach and encourage us with God’s Word. God willing, Eld. Ng will minister to us at our respective prayer meetings in San Antonio and Bogo.

My family and I send our greetings to Sis. Carolyn, Bro. Cornelius, Bro. Andronicus and Sis. Dorcas. Please take good care of your health, Pastor, even as we pray for the Lord’s sustenance of your health.

Sincerely in Christ,
Eld. Eliezer Ortega

Posted under 'Pastoral Exhortation'