A family’s Experience of 2006 Global Day of Prayer (GDOP)

The year 2006 was indeed a most unforgettable year for me and my family (husband, Choon and 2 teenage boys, Bruce and Ken, aged 14 and 15 then).   I was baptized at Pentecost Methodist Church (PMC) in Apr 2005 at the age of 51.  I came to really know and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ around 2002.  Choon was baptized in his teen in another church but had not attended church services for years till he attended PMC with me around 2003/04, when he finally renewed his faith.  After my baptism and Choon’s transfer of membership to PMC, we still did not really integrate with our church members as, not having joined any cell groups, we did not really got to know them.  That was the time we just wanted to worship in church and leave quietly.  My younger son, Ken was sort of ‘forced’ to accompany us for church service as we wanted him to know the Christian faith.  Despite our encouragement, he was reluctant to join the youth group. Bruce my older boy did not join us because of his Autism (ASD).

At the start of 2006, I felt the prompting to be more connected with PMC members and started paying more attention to the announcements of events and programmes.  Subsequently, when our Pastor showed the ‘trailers’ of GDOP worldwide and encouraged members to attend the oncoming GDOP, my interest was aroused.  At the time, I did not know that this event was being organized for the first time in Singapore.  I just felt the urge to attend this event with my family. Choon was not exactly the type who is enthusiastic about such mass events but to my surprise, he agreed.  As we had never gone to the National Stadium as a family, we kind of look forward to it.

June 4, 2006 turned out to be a fully packed day for us.  It was also my mum’s birthday [lunch with extended family] and PMC’s 74th Anniversary.  I thought Choon was going to be in a black mood and changed his mind about the GDOP in the evening! Praise God indeed that we went ahead!  As we had not arranged to join our church’s transport, we made our way there by taxi.  On reaching there, we were in a festive mood and surprised to receive snacks and drinks and small flags of different countries, the latter being especially my son Bruce’s favourites.  However, we were rather lost and not knowing where PMC members were seated, we made our way to some empty seats among strangers.

Some memories of the event have faded but the impressions and emotions felt then, have stayed with us.  I remember feeling really connected with fellow Christians for the first time when the participants ran towards the Stadium field each carrying the flag of a different country, and we were all asked to wave and pray for the country of the flag that we were carrying.  We had never done any corporate prayers, and for the first time, hearing all those around us praying out loud and continuously, it affected us greatly, and I felt that this was really meaningful to remember about the sufferings in other parts of the world and pray for them.  As the evening progressed with prayers led by Christian leaders of many denominations and followed by congregations, songs of praises, corporate affirmations and repentance, we were really moved and changed by it. Choon and I were not the demonstrative type, and we do not raise or clap our hands in worships before.  Yet, when my son Bruce, seeing everyone around him raising their hands, followed suit, it compelled us to follow suit.

Another impactful impression on us was the public demonstration of humility in the act of asking for forgiveness and reconciliation by Church leaders of 2 different denominations.  Christians sometimes pass judgements and negative comments about other Churches and Christians without realizing the harm of splitting Christian believers. That night we felt that Church leaders really did the right thing for their congregation to follow.  When it came the part where all youths were ask to stand up and be prayed for, I really felt in awe that my sons were being prayed for by so many Christian believers!

Much have happened since that unforgettable day of Global Prayer.  God has touched us and led us step by step in our walk with Him, and we are now more involved with our church activities and know many more members.  Ken is now in the Youth group and Bruce is now able to attend service with us regularly.  I thank my nephew Soon Yean for asking me to record this, so that I’m forced to recollect and pen these memories which would have been forgotten in time to come.  To all fellow Christians who helped make this event possible, indeed you are God’s faithful servants doing His work in reaching out and touching many lives.  I look forward to GDOP 2008.

Maggie Tan
15 Feb 08