INTERNATIONAL PRAYER CONFERENCE
THE International Prayer Conference for Wesleyans in Renewal (IPCWR), which was held at ACS Barker Road from June 16 to 19, 2004, was the culmination of more than two years of prayer and planning by Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC).
It was funded by TRAC, together with local churches, and it attracted almost one thousand delegates from Singapore and abroad. An Opening Service was held at the ACS (Barker Road) auditorium on the evening of June 16 at which Bishop Violet L. Fisher of the New York West Area preached, and supported by beautiful anthems rendered by a combined Methodist choir and orchestra directed by Mr Jusuf Kam of Wesley Methodist Church.
Speakers at the remaining public night meetings were the Rev Dr Terry Teykl, President of Renewal Ministries; the Rev Dr Patricia McKinstry, Pastor of Upton United Methodist Church; and the Rev Dr Isaac Lim, President of TRAC.
At the public meeting on June 18, designated for youth, it was heart-warming to see how the Lord moved them, with several from Paya Lebar Methodist Church sharing their mission experience in Chiengmai and performing two dance items.
The Rev Dr McKinstry spoke on the different forms of worship which included clapping, raising of hands and dancing as part of her approach, and urged the delegates to put them into practice.
This was followed by the team from Truth Ministry leading a praise and worship session in a rousing time of worship.
At the daily conference sessions, each morning began with a short worship, followed by a time of inspiration led by the Rev Dr Lim, the Rev Miguel Escobar (President of Terraglobe Ministries), and the Rev Dr Wes Griffin (President and International Director of the International Leadership Institute).
Following the worship sessions were the Bible Study sessions and a time for inspiration led by the Rev Dr Sam Kamaleson (President of Friends Missionary Prayer Band), the Rev Dr Rob Frost (President of Share Jesus International), and the Rev Dr Alvern Vomsteeg (International Director of Training, International Leadership Institute).
In the afternoons, all conference delegates attended workshops of their choice from three groups: “My Passion – God: My Soul’s Desire”; “My Compassion – Mankind: My Beloved Neighbour”; and “My Vision – The World: My Parish.”
Children of delegates were given the opportunity to sign up for the Children’s Track – six workshops for children between seven and 12 pertaining to topics related to prayer and praise, including “Sign Language in Worship” and “Praise and Worship Songs.”
The common thread throughout the conference was a sense of urgency for a people called Methodists to pray for a renewal of their church.
It was also a timely reminder of our Wesleyan heritage and the need, especially in these days of war and rumours of war, for all Methodists to persevere in prayer and to restore the Wesleyan flame.
Some delegates were challenged to return to their countries to share what they had learnt and experienced at the conference; others were eager to start prayer rooms in their churches, and many felt the weight of God’s call to carry the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Lord said: “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
This conference was a timely reminder that we need to travail in corporate intercession and seek the presence of God, so that as a people called Methodists we will be instrumental in the transformation of individuals, communities, nations and the world – to God’s glory.