In the Grip of Prayer

I had a very interesting conversation with my wife recently. I shared with her that I was experiencing this strange ‘hollow’ feeling inside of me – it’s like being in this big room all by myself. I don’t feel charged up like I used to after morning devotions. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in me to give to others although I’m listening to sermons and praying regularly.

I reflected on my daily routine and asked the Lord to search my heart for any ‘wicked ways’, but nothing significant showed up on my radar. Then my wife said, “Maybe God is changing your ‘spiritual container’ – He’s upgrading you to a bigger one!” Immediately, I had the impression of a 300ml water bottle being filled to the brim with water and the time taken was 5 seconds. I then used this 5-second timing as a benchmark to fill the next bottle, but this time it barely covered the base. As I took a closer look at the bottle, it was written 1,500ml. Obviously it’d take a longer time to fill – probably around 25 seconds instead of the usual 5. And the accompanying voice said, “Stop counting the seconds; start looking at the size of the containers!”

That ‘hollow’ feeling in me was because I’ve kept to the same routine even though my spiritual container was a bigger one now. What used to work won’t be sufficient to sustain me and others anymore. I need to up the ante and match up to the size of the container which God has entrusted to me and to stop counting the seconds. Perhaps you’re in a similar situation – that ‘hollow’ feeling in you is not because you’re backsliding but God’s also changing your spiritual container. You definitely need more of Him than ever before.

Sometimes unknowingly, we substitute ‘adrenalin for anointing’ and this applies to both our secular jobs and spiritual pursuits and ministry. We keep on going and doing the work when we should be locking in with God more. The very discipline of – and desperation in – prayer, the source of anointing, which has brought us good success thus far is often the first thing to be sacrificed or neglected as we get busier with growth and expansion. You can study what God says without the Holy Spirit, but you’ll only know what He’s saying by His Spirit.
 
Leonard Ravenhill warned us some years back, “No man is greater than his prayer life – the pastor who’s not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We’ve many organisers, but few agonisers… many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”

We need to stay within the grip of prayer.

We had an amazing time at the Revival Series class this week where we heard stories of the miracles and supernatural healings during the Bario Revival in the 1970s. They caught fish without using baits; an angel taught a lady who was illiterate how to speak and write in the Bahasa language; and the supernatural healing of a worker who had a deep cut in his leg when the axe head became loose and slashed him. Instead of carrying him to the nearby clinic, the workers carried him to the church to be prayed for, and he was miraculously healed! The only trace of him being badly injured was the blood stain on his jeans. We want to see God’s power return to His Church!

Every revival is birthed through prayer. Every supernatural healing happens through prayer. Every spiritual battle is fought and won through prayer. The shop units in our church building at Odeon Katong were contended for through prayer. Yet prayer remains the ‘Cinderella’ of the Church today; the unwanted sister in the house. When Jesus sent His 12 disciples to preach the Kingdom of God, He gave them “power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.” (Luke 9:1-2) This is worth contending for, until we see this power and authority being restored to the Church.

Prayer is like sharpening the axe. The more you pray, the sharper you are. Prayer is not twisting God’s arms to give us what we ask for, but it’s the preparation of our hearts to be the ‘runway’ for God’s revelation, miracles, signs and wonders to land on and take off from us.

As we shift our Wednesday night prayer meetings to Saturday early mornings, I believe we’re going to see a shift in the intensity of our prayers, “for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer.” (James 5:16)

God is doing great and exciting things in Cornerstone. There’s a heightened sense and expectation for God to move in our services. Let’s stay close to Him. When we keep pressing in with God, be it for revival in our land, or for salvation and healing, that which seems impossible will be inevitable!


Ps. Kevin Koh

Wrestling with God

Lately, due to my knee injury, I was drawn to study a Bible character who had a limp, and a passage which I found deeply helpful (especially amidst a crisis). It comes from the famous, enigmatic extract in Genesis 32 where Jacob was on his way home to Canaan with his small tribe of wives and children after a 20-year sojourn.

We’re told that Jacob was “very afraid and distressed”, because his estranged brother, Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men (Gen 32:6). This is no welcome party – it’s an army! So, after splitting his household into two camps to try and avoid complete annihilation, the famous scene enacts itself: “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day”  (Gen 32: 24). Jacob’s wrestling match has taught me a few lessons. 

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How Much Truth Can We Bear?

Jesus was a master at losing people. If you recall, there was a time when the crowds that followed Him were huge. Many were there because they heard of the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish so they flocked to Him in the tens of thousands.

Jesus, of course, had no intention of allowing anyone to follow Him just for the benefits they could get. So, He said the most provocative thing in Scripture – “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.” No explanations were given. No apologies were made. For the majority of the crowd, that was just too much.
 
They came for the free bread and now ‘He’s asking us to be cannibals!?’ So, in just one sermon, He lost almost His entire congregation. As read more…

Radical Prayers of Faith

One of the ‘Uniquely Cornerstone’ core values is embedded in the understanding that the church is called to be God’s House of Prayer. For this very reason, we should pray. It’s therefore not a matter of if we should pray, but when we pray. The result of our prayers should reveal the Kingdom, the power and glory of God.

From Matthew chapters 5 to 7, after Jesus had finished speaking to the multitudes, the people were astonished at His teaching for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And when Jesus taught them to pray, it was not some heartless command but a result of their witness of His relationship with God, His Father.

The effective, fervent and heartfelt prayer is quite the opposite of lethargic, repetitious, and superficial prayer. While we’re passionate, it’s not read more…

The Blessing of Things Going Wrong

You’ve made all your plans. Everything’s prepared. You double-checked and triple-checked. You committed it all to prayer. You’ve made every effort. Despite all the preparation, something goes wrong. The computer crashes and you lose all your data. Your guest speaker suddenly can’t come. The kids fall terribly ill. All of a sudden, your well-made plans are scuttled and you’re left wondering what on earth went wrong.
 
At this point, you can consider a couple of responses. God forbid but some blame their bad luck. The most natural response, in my opinion, is to point the finger squarely at someone else and, trust me, there’s always someone close enough to the matter to be blamed. Or, attribute the matter to spiritual warfare. The worst of all is to back away from ever attempting something quite as audacious.
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When God Doesn’t Make Sense

February 2019 was an interesting month for me. I received not one – but two – watches. Instinctively, I began to seek its spiritual and prophetic significance as I believe the Lord is saying something to me through this. And so my mind began to run through all the ‘watch-related’ Scriptures for clues.

Is the Lord asking me to ‘watch and pray’ more (Matt 26:41)? Or am I to be ‘His watchman on the wall’ (Isa 62:6)? Maybe it’s about learning to ‘number my days’ (Ps 90:12) or to learn more about moving in ‘times and seasons’ (1 Chron 12:32) like the sons of Issachar, since one was a classic retro-looking watch and the other a modern high-tech watch. Or perhaps the Lord is bringing me into a ‘time of refreshing’ (Acts 3:19)? Or the new watches replacing the old read more…

Strengthen the Weak

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” 
Heb 12:11-12

Over the last few weeks, I’ve learnt a painful but valuable lesson, one which could permanently affect the way I live, how I move, and what I’m able to accomplish with my family. On a family trip to Mt. Kinabalu, I suffered a painful injury to my knee while carrying my youngest daughter on an uphill forest trail. I believe God is teaching me a spiritual lesson and reminding me to strengthen my aging body.

As God’s children, may we continue to allow Him to discipline us and follow His instructions, training, and correction to strengthen the body read more…

The Dark Side of Success

In Luke 12, there was a certain rich man whose ground yielded plentifully. This man could be any person – a stockbroker whose portfolio of stocks had risen greatly in value; a real estate owner whose property assets had dramatically improved; or even a businessman who had just gotten the deal of the century. Or, he could just be a senior pastor who’s seen increase year upon year and all it’s been is hunky dory. Whoever he is, he’s someone who’s struck gold and has now more than he can accommodate. So, he has a logistical problem. He doesn’t have enough space to store his increase.

There’s this internal chatter. He asks himself a question, ‘What shall I do since I’ve no room to store my crops or increase?’ In his mind, he replies to his read more…

Move with Lions!

Will this year be an exceptional one of unusual testimonies and exploits? It’s been said that your destiny is not fulfilled until you hold in your hands your own little book. God is showing us our own book and, when we turn the leaves of these pages, I pray for faith to leap in us to believe.

I’ll soon be 59 years old and, like my husband, we’re both inching towards the big 6-0. I’m a good 20 years into the second half of my life if, by reason of strength, I live to 80 years. God is leading me to the finishing line, so there’s an urgency for me to live wisely and well as there are fewer days in front of me than behind. How I live from this time will shape eternity more than ever. The fact read more…

Move With Lions!

Will this year be an exceptional one of unusual testimonies and exploits? It’s been said that your destiny is not fulfilled until you hold in your hands your own little book. God is showing us our own book and, when we turn the leaves of these pages, I pray for read more…

We’re Stewards, And Not Owners

The idea of stewardship is found throughout the Scriptures. In fact, an important foundation that needs to be laid in all our lives is a realisation that we’re all stewards in this life. The one thing that causes us to fail to understand this is when we think we’re owners instead of stewards.

This is easily evident in the way we speak and how we make decisions. When our conversations are filled with ‘mine’ and ‘I’, in all likelihood, we’re no longer thinking as stewards. In the same manner, do we pray and ask God about the decisions we’ve to make, recognising that our lives belong to Him?
 
Interestingly, Jesus spoke about stewardship extensively. In the many instances when He spoke on this subject, they were directed towards the Pharisees – the religious leaders of His days. read more…

Putting a Smile on The Father’s Face

Last November, after speaking at our weekend service for the second time, I asked the Lord what He thought of the message. His reply astounded me – what pleased Him most was not so much the message itself, but what happened the night before the service – the diligence in working through the message and the posture of desperation for His Presence in the service.

And the Holy Spirit said these three words to me that forever marked and changed my life – “Remember this day!” I immediately knew what He was referring to. It was a loving warning from my Confidant to keep this posture in my heart for the rest of my life, so that I’ll not be complacent when it comes to the things of God as I get more fluent in what I do, be it read more…

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