Today, we anticipate that God will revive the church in Malaysia, and at the same time bring change to this country. But revival and change does not happen overnight. The church needs to pay the price of many prayers.
Chrisanne Chin led the conference participants through the history of prayer movements in Malaysia.
Prayer movements in Malaysia began with the Tamil Annual Conference. In the 1980s, when freedom of religion was threatened, the NECF was founded as a response. On 19 March 2008, moved to pray for church revival and country change, the Malaysia National Prayer Network (MNPN) was founded.
In 2012, on the eve of Malaysia’s jubilee year and 13th General Election, Malaysia Prayer United (PU) was founded. 24-7 Prayer Malaysia joined PU as the secretariat, using prayer to bring unity among denominations, churches, pastor fellowships and prayer networks, so that all may be united to pray fervently for church revival and reformation for the country.
In PU’s database, there are currently 121 prayer bases in Sarawak, including 15 prayer mountains (SIB Sarawak), 45 prayer hills (SIB Sarawak), 21 prayer centers/towers, 18 churchs and 22 prayer groups. As for registered prayer warriors, BEM Sarawak has 1500, Assemblies of God has 5000. Of over 18 24-7 Prayer Centers, more than 70% are still running.
Every generation needs the fire of prayer, until Jesus comes again. And the fire of prayer behind every generation needs to continue burning. It cannot be left to die out. In order to see church revival and reformation for the country, we need to build a 24-7 prayer movement, one strong enough to break down the Berlin Wall, to destroy aparthield in South Africa.
A continuous prayer movement first and foremost requires a united church. As in the early church, the apostles were united in fervent prayer during the 10 days between the ascension and Pentecost. As a result, the Apostle Peter only needed 5 minutes to preach the gospel, and 3000 people came to Christ.
Secondly, the church needs unity to build walls. When Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem to build its walls, he was not alone. There were builders, gate guards, and watchmen. The latter were also in charge of watching and praying 24-7.
In other words, each individual church must be a temple of prayer, and each person must be involved. We cannot look down on small beginnings. When Zinzendorff started his 24-7 hourly prayers, he started with 24 men and 24 women. This little prayer discipline led to over 200 years of prayer movements. Not only that, the continuous fervent prayers resulted in an unbroken stream of missions and justice movements.
In order to see this type of prayer revival and results, we must first build a successful culture of prayer. Chrisanne Chin brought up these few points:
1. Praying through
Praying through, or PUSH (pray until something happens), is continuous, unbroken, and fervent, until something changes, or something is accomplished. As the prophet Isaiah said: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7)
Chin also shared some of the effects such prayer had on her family. Since young, Chin loved asking questions, including questions about religion, so she was the first child to become a Christian in her family. She began to pray unceasingly for her family’s salvation, until all of them eventually came to Christ. One of her relatives even became a pastor.
This is as one of the parables of prayer: “5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
In other words, our prayers must be bold and we must persist in asking, begging, demanding, because this is a serious matter, an urgent need.
3. Pursuit of unity
Unity is the heart of a church’s revival and a country’s change. Chin raised the example of Columbian evangelist Julio Cesar Ruibal, whom God used to bring unity among church leaders and pastors. On 13 December 1995, he and a Protestant pastor were assassinated after a gathering. During his funeral service, the pastors of the area made a convenant of unity, which still stands today.
On practical steps for prayer, Chin listed a “War Room Strategy”:
1) Habit of individual prayer
Prayer movements must begin with individual prayer habits. Jesus Christ himself set an example for us as he frequently went into the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:16).
Chin suggested starting with an hour. Prayer contents can include self, family, unbelievers, church revival, city and workplace, state government, and country.
2) 2 persons an hour once a week
The second step is to find a prayer partner who is similarly burdened, to pray once a week for an hour. Matthew 18:19 promises us: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
The contents of two-person prayers are similar, including personal revival, church revival, God’s justice in the city and workplace, a good state government, and the kingdom of God in our country.
3) 5 hour prayer meeting
5 hours?! This is not impossible. Chin used Dr John Sung’s description of 5 hour prayer meetings as “sweet prayer”. Pray for supernatural burdens, so that all of Asia may be saved.
Also, do you remember the Hebrides Revival in Scotland during the 1950s? Two old women spent 5 hours in prayer twice a week, from 10pm to 3am.
How to do a 5 hour prayer meeting? Find 5-6 prayer partners to light up the church and the country. Prayer contents are similar to personal and 2-person prayers.
The heart of Light Up Malaysia started with members of the prayer movement asking for peace during the 14th General Election. Its mission is to use prayer to cover every electoral district of the country.
As for Sarawak Christians, we also need to light up each district in Sarawak. This is not on a single church, but needs all denominations and churches to unite and create an “Anchor Church” within the 12 divisions, 31 federal constituencies, and 82 state constituencies in Sarawak.
At the same time, church leaders and pastors of each denomination should meet once a month or once a season, to pray together and provide prayer items that reach the parliament (??), so that our prayers can bring about practical influence in our communities, cities, and country.
Chin also encouraged Sunday School children to come with their familes and pray for the church and country. Do not look down upon the little children, for this is the way to educate and build up the next generation to receive the commission.
As John Wesley said, “Prayer is where the action is”, let us ask our Heavenly Father to light us up, to become the spark in God’s hands! Fellow prayer warriors, are you ready?
Reported by Lee Sing
Translated by Joy Tie