“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14, NIV)
ETAC’s theme for the quadrennium is “Renew, Revive, Reorganise and Rebuild”. In keeping with this, ETAC leaders and members of the eight churches meet every first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street) to fast and pray, specifically seeking God’s direction for revival within the Annual Conference.
Since June 2018, these prayer sessions have been a time for all to worship and dedicate themselves to the Lord for personal renewal. The pastors take turns to lead and preach, emphasising the connection between prayer and revival. The messages are a call for Conference leaders and members to hunger and thirst after God, and for revival among the ETAC churches.
Each month, the prayer sessions focus on the specific needs of each local church, missions, social concerns, family and society. Participants experience different ways of praying: in groups, at prayer stations, through prayer labyrinths and in silence.
“A prayerful church is a powerful Church”—Charles Spurgeon
Prayer has always been an integral part of the Church. ETAC local churches hold weekly prayer meetings, usually on Friday evenings. Members are urged to attend to pray for the sick and the families of their church.
“24-hour prayer chains” have also been organised to engage both young and old members to pray for the church and one another during selected time-slots. Some ETAC churches also have regular all-night prayer sessions when we gather at one or two churches to pray together from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning.
A few churches have recently organised prayer and healing services. These have opened the door for evangelism as church members bring their unchurched family members and friends for prayer for that breakthrough in their lives.
It is our prayer that as we continue to seek the face of the Lord, He will visit and revive our churches, so that we will grow in Him, preach the good news to the Indian community, and meet their spiritual and social needs.
The Rev James Nagulan was elected President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC) in 2016 for the quadrennium. He is also Pastor-in-Charge of Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street) and Seletar Tamil Methodist Church.
Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference