An enthusiastic crowd of 51,000 Christians gathered in thanksgiving and prayer at the National Stadium on 5 July for the Jubilee Day of Prayer (JDOP), the largest multi-denominational Christian event in Singapore’s history. It was also streamed live on YouTube and attracted over 4,000 views.
Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup of The Methodist Church in Singapore, also President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) and JDOP Chairman, declared in his opening prayer: “Jubilee is the day of God’s favour, setting us free and restoring us in right relationship with one another. We are also gathered here as a sign of growing unity in the body of Christ.”
“Give thanks, God is good. His love endures forever,” recited the crowd with clappers and a glorious Jubilee Wave – akin to the Kallang Wave – across the Stadium.
“This is the spirit of the Jubilee: togetherness, thankfulness and generosity…that will see us into the future,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who arrived to a sea of Singapore flags, clapper cheers, and thunderous applause as a special guest. President Tony Tan and his wife also graced the occasion.
PM Lee acknowledged the mission schools that moulded young people of character, extensive charitable services for the underprivileged, and “church leaders… for guiding their flocks to practise their faith with moderation and restraint”.
Together with a thrilled crowd, PM Lee sang the well-loved patriotic song “One People, One Nation, One Singapore” alongside children with their red Jubilee scarves – representing the blood of Jesus uniting us as one people – raised.
Bishop Dr Wee introduced the Aaronic Benediction, taken from Numbers 6:22-27, which was sung over PM Lee, and Dr Lawrence Chia, Chairman of the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore (EFOS) draped the scarf on PM Lee.
Heads of denominations shared messages and prayer pointers in between worship songs such as ‘Days of Elijah’, ‘Our God is Greater’, ‘Take My Life and Let It Be’, and ‘Waves of Revival’, a song written by local songwriter Andrew Yeo for JDOP.
The Rev Tony Yeo, General Secretary of EFOS, exhorted us to consecrate our lives to God.
The Rev Edmund Chan, of the Global Alliance of International Disciple-Making Churches and Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah each shared a “Word in Season”.
“The purpose of unity is rooted in the unity of purpose,” said the Rev Edmund Chan. Bishop Rennis Ponniah preached from Luke 17:11-19 about God’s mercy in our nation’s manifold blessings over the past 50 years and His mighty power to fulfil Singapore’s destiny.
The Rev Dominic Yeo of Assemblies of God of Singapore prayed for unity of purpose in the Body of Christ, and singleness of heart for national leaders and civil servants. Thanking God for shalom and success, the Presbyterian Church’s Rt Rev Dr Steven Gan continued in responsive prayer in English and Mandarin for far-sighted leaders.
Lutheran Bishop Terry Kee prayed in Mandarin for God’s love, harmony and protection upon each family for the challenges that threaten family today, as well as social cohesion among people.
Also, the Rev Rick Seaward of National Prayer Alliance reminded us to celebrate the good in our land. He led in intercessory prayer for those whose fathers are still unsaved, for strong Christian homes and families, and to celebrate a strong and growing church. The Rev Lawrence Khong, Chairman of LoveSingapore, invited the crowd to pray for the pioneer generation, young adults and children to fulfil their destinies.
The Rev Yeo urged us to give away the New Testament Jubilee Bible – produced by the Bible Society of Singapore – to non-Christian friends. Offerings collected at the event will be used to bless the needy and less fortunate in Singapore regardless of race, religion and language, said Bishop Dr Wee.
The event concluded on a high note at 7:14pm, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Beyond the exhilaration of an electrifying atmosphere, deafening cheers and fervent prayers by the united body of Christ, I left with not just a heart full of hope for Singapore’s future and its next generation, but also a conviction of the necessity to continue praying for our nation.
This marks the 10th year of the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) in Singapore. Recent years’ GDOP had also spread this vision of a nation-wide day of unified prayer to include ethnic groups and languages such as Indian, Filipino, Thai, Korean, Hokkien and Burmese communities here.
Above photo courtesy of the Jubilee Day of Prayer photographers
Chia Hui Jun is Editorial Executive at Methodist Message (MM). Additional reporting by Grace Toh, Assistant Editor of MM.