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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SEEK THE WELFARE OF THE CITY (JEREMIAH 29:7) ~ SANDAKAN INTER-CHURCH PRAYER MEETING

Article by DaliusLL, Parish Soccom
photos by courtesy of Milton Yong 
Sandakan:  St. Mary's Parish Hall was filled nearly to capacity as more than 500 Christians gathered from various denominations of Sandakan for a joined prayer meeting on 27th May 2015 at 7.30pm. They came in one voice and in the bond of Christian love to pray together with the theme “Seek the Welfare of The City,” for the well-being of the country and Sandakan in particular. It projected a spirit of close and vigorous cooperation among member churches.
The event was initiated by Canon Yong Thian Choy of the Anglican Church, where he has attended the World Christian Prayer Gathering in Albert Hall, London recently. He opined that through the Sandakan Inter-Church, this gesture should also be good to be adapted in Sandakan to continue with His saving and unifying work through prayer and concern of Christian people living here.

During the event, all leaders of the member Churches; Catholic, Anglican, Basel, Baptist, SIB, Covenant Sanctuary, Methodist, Presbyterian, Trumpet Christian and New Life Centre took the stage to pray for one another and followed by the participants taking to the podium.  It is true indeed as what Canon Yong said that the persecutors of Christian will not bother to ask us from which denomination  we are from. They only see us as Christian, and for this, we should stop looking at our differences. 
This prayer meeting was also a celebration of unity and collaboration, showing to others that the churches can be united for a common ground when faced with trials and challenges. It was really touching to see, when Canon Yong asked among the participants from the security personnel (representing the security of the nation) to come forward and were prayed over by all the participants for God’s blessing, grace and protection.
The event also saw the Sandakan Inter-Church made a three point declaration of prayer for the welfare of Sandakan.  The first declaration prayer as written in Psalm 24:7 that all may pray for all the gates of Sandakan to be opened to God’s grace, blessing and protection. Secondly, as stated in Proverbs 11:10-11 that all will pray for more righteous people who reside in this city and the third declaration prayer to be adopted from Isaiah 26:1 that all Christian will pray for a strong and a protected Sandakan city.
It was indeed an electrifying experience when praying together in sequence of singing of praise and worship songs. Not only the prayers accompanied by vibrant music but also with the blowing of real rams’ horn trumpeted along with the prayers that made the whole surrounding lifted in spirit. It was amazing to see everyone participated with enthusiasm, a reflection of intimacy among members in sharing God’s love.
In concluding the event, Fr. Sunny Chung of St Mary's Cathedral prayed that God will continue to bless and inspire all the leaders of the churches in Sandakan in the spirit of goodwill to be united for the common good of all Christian over here. The prayer meeting has indeed awaken the spirit of oneness among the brothers and sisters of Christ in Sandakan. The prayer meeting ended at 9.30pm and later adjourned for fellowship at the Parish Canteen.
Let's continue to pray for one another. Let's communicate and foster a common interest in the things of the Kingdom. Let's take opportunities to deploy our resources to support one another to advance the glory of Christ. Let's trust that the Spirit will direct our obedience and love to the accomplishment of His sovereign purposes. The day's event has put across that the churches are not merely united in Spirit but in practical cooperation.

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