The alarm clock rings as usual at 5.30 a.m. Edmund gets up to switch it off and gets ready.
I get up at 5.45 a.m., and I let David sleep a little more, and shake him awake at 6 a.m. We always make it in time for the 6.30 a.m. prayer walk in different housing areas around the Faith Methodist Church (FMC), Kuching.
A few years ago, young David asked me why we had to join the prayer walk. He said that we could pray at home, and that God was omnipresent.
I replied, “If I don’t join the prayer walk, I definitely would not be praying for half an hour.”
FMC started the Saturday morning prayer walk in March 2015. When the prayer walk made its round to Taman Seng Goon 2-3 months later, I “got onto the train” and stayed on. That morning I wore a yellow dress and a pair of sandals, and walked 5 minutes to Boulevard Jaya car park (it had since been demolished and new construction was taking place) to join the group led by Rev Pau and Rev Poh. Dingo, my neigbhour’s dog walked with me (it has since died, during Awam Muharram two years ago). Since then I have learnt that it is more suitable to wear exercise gear. I have also committed some of the recommended prayers to heart – those days the church office printed prayer slips so that we knew what to pray for as we walked past the houses and dropped evangelistic tracts in some letter boxes.
When my son first joined the prayer walk in 2015, he was 10. At that time, he suffered muscle aches in his sides even before the end of the 30-minute walk. In his words, “luckily the problem subsided after a few months” – because I never asked him if he would like to stop, and he never asked to do so. Thank God, he does not have to be dragged out of bed or else I might have pitied him and let him sleep in. I thank God indeed that He has made it easy for my family to walk and pray for the neighbourhood together.
Actually our Saturday feels incomplete now when Saturday prayer walk is called off – which is very seldom, but once because of Chinese New Year, I think. In fact, the 6.30 a.m. walk takes place so early that it does not affect our other activities on Saturday, if they are any. Once I have even gone for the walk, gone home for a shower, and arrive in time to give a whole-day workshop in Politeknik (Matang) at 9 a.m.
For me, the best thing after more than 200 walks around the various housing areas (in more than 4 years is this) – when I look at the houses, I almost involuntarily pray for the people inside. It is like Pavlov’s dog reaction. First, the dog salivated because it saw food , a natural behaviour. Then Pavlov rang a bell whenever food was presented to the dog. After a while, the dog salivated at the sound of the bell although there was no food presented.
You ask how I can pray if I am concentrating on driving. Well, my husband drives most of the time. So when I look at the houses going past, I sometimes pray for the people inside – just like what I do in prayer walk. For Christians to do God’s will on earth, and for God to loosen our tongues so that we can speak forth His word with as much enthusiasm as when we talk about new eating places. For non-Christians to know that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him.
By Ting Su Hie,
Faith Methodist Church, Kuching