Come to God Constantly in Faithful Prayer
By Rev Gordon Siu
August 28, 2022
A number of surveys during the pandemic have found that depressive symptoms among Hong Kong people have increased while their happiness index has dropped. For Christians, as they have had fewer opportunities to meet with other believers and they have more worries over their health and the future of Hong Kong, their faith seems to have become lifeless. Unknowingly, faithful prayer life has been forgotten.
Prior to His being betrayed, the Lord had Passover supper with His disciples. He told them a crisis was coming and one among them would betray Him. The others would fall. This heightened the uneasiness among the disciples and they were “very sad”. At that moment, their greatest need was prayer, but they were asleep, “exhausted from sorrow”. The Lord exhorted them, “Why are you sleeping?… Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation”. To those who are sorrowful, the Lord’s most important encouragement is “Get up and pray!”
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). If we cherish hope but allow ourselves to be worried, if we are not patient in affliction and even give up a faithful prayer life, then we are in a very dangerous position. A sister and her husband had a crisis in their relationship and she was prepared to accept the divorce request from her husband. Then she noticed some unusual behavior of their child at home, and she woke up to the need to quiet down to pray on her knees. Unexpectedly, when she started to pray, her tears poured down. She was going to accuse her husband before the Lord, but deep reflections came from within her heart: “He is your husband. Do you honor him? Do you respect him?” She then invited her husband to join her in prayer during which they both cried. Miraculously, years of grievances between them were resolved and they reconciled with each other.
We may think that praying is talking, but the most important thing about prayer is really listening. In prayer, we can of course pour out our hearts to God and seek His help and guidance. But when we turn to God, He will speak to us, illuminating the pride, the lust of the flesh, worries and disbelief within us. We then know we should humble ourselves and seek His power. In prayer, our thinking becomes clear and we can better discern temptations from the evil one and make a right decision.
More than ever before, brothers and sisters in Hong Kong need to pray together. The Book of Acts tells us that whenever the church comes across a crisis, the response of believers was invariably united prayer. The most important thing about coming to a prayer meeting is not to listen to a sermon but to pray together with brothers and sisters. It is not to relay prayer “items” to God, but to share and understand the needs of certain groups or some brothers and sisters. It is then that we can put in our understanding, feelings and time to faithfully pray for God’s grace together. I attended prayer meetings of Korean churches before. After the pastor had explained the prayer needs, all the believers would pray aloud and the sound of prayer fills the whole church. It was after a long time that brothers and sisters would break into groups to continue to pray. I very much long to see Hong Kong churches likewise experience the power of faithful prayer: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).