by Stephanie James
From 26 to 29 July this year, sons and daughters from over 30 nations met in Ilsan Kwanglim Church, Seoul, for the first-ever United Prayer Rising (UPRising) Conference. In a time when this generation is struggling to find their purpose, the team from UPRising saw a need to gather young people from the nations to be inspired and empowered by the wisdom and love of fathers in the faith and the field. This happened over three full days in Ilsan. On the fourth day, the delegates made their way to Nuri Peace Park at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - a place considered to be the most heavily militarized borders in the world - for 6 hours of non-stop worship and intercession for the reunification and salvation of the Korean peninsula. The vision was to mobilize nations to come in agreement with the heart of the locals – for the Korean people to be one again, in the natural and in the spirit.
With such a level of intensity in the conference, and with a rather large delegate from Malaysia, the impact was felt differently from one person to another. Here, we have gathered a few stories from the Malaysian House of Prayer family, some of whom were a part of the Malaysian team that led worship and prayer room sessions.
Jane Lee (PenHOP) :
The heart for North Korea had already been brewing in me as we interceded for the persecuted church in the Prayer Room at PenHOP. So, at Ascend – the launching event of UPRising in Kuala Lumpur on 7 August 2015 - I felt a stirring in my heart that I ought to be there. Nevertheless, I knew that the circumstances and my life plans would not allow me room for that unless the Lord interrupted my schedule. In hindsight, I am glad that He made it possible for me to be there just to feel His heartbeat for the nation.
A highlight for me in Korea was the call to identify with the sins of the nation. At a prayer mountain in Seoul, the Lord encountered my heart as I read Isaiah 26:19, pleading for mercy over the sins of my nation. Being the “Christian”, “son”, or “daughter” of God, sometimes, we run the risk of thinking that we are better than others, but that day, the Lord changed my prayers into identifying with the sins of my nation and repenting on behalf of my nation.
Subsequently, during UPRising, Pastor Dong Chan Park was sharing on his attitude of prayer. Once again, this was in line with what the Lord was showing me, as he urged us to repent on behalf of the nation when we interceded for North Korea at the DMZ. 2 Chronicles 7:14 gripped my heart so strongly like never before.
It was a sobering moment at the DMZ, repenting and crying out for this barren land. But the hope in Isaiah 35:7 resounded deep within my soul, “The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”
Deborah Chew (TNB-HOPKL) :
A definite highlight for me during UPRising was hearing Dr. Michael Brown's message for this generation. He talked about the increasingly sensitive topic of how Christians should react in response to homosexuality.
Before hearing him speak, I've been quite torn in my beliefs on this subject. On one hand, I know that the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong. On the other hand, when I hear my friends with homosexual tendencies talk about their experiences, it was so easy for me to empathize with them and give them advice which was not biblically correct. I spoke merely out of compassion and attempt to make them feel better without ever stating my convictions of what I really believe is right.
"We have to have hearts of compassion and backbones of steel," said Dr. Brown. This phrase hit me hard. I realised, then, that standing firm in my convictions and what the Bible says is equally as important as loving them.
Grace S’ng (TNB-HOPKL) :
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep...”
(Acts 13:36a, NIV; emphasis added)
Acts 13:36a became my heart’s cry - that we as sons and daughters would “passionately serve God’s desires for our generation” (Passion Translation; paraphrased) so that we would leave a legacy for the next generation to passionately serve God’s desires for their generation and beyond.
At UPRising, we caught a glimpse of what it would look like for the next generation to rise up, not only as future leaders, but also as young leaders of today. Even as we live wholeheartedly, serving the purposes of God in our generation, it is now time to champion the next generation to arise as forerunners in their generation. As it says in Psalm 145:4 - “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”
Tan Yong Xing (PenHOP) :
For me, one of the significant moments in UPRising was when people came together to pray for nations, rapid-fire style. It was beyond powerful! I'm lost for words trying to describe the spiritual atmosphere as it happened. The power behind prayers of different nations interceding together in Spirit and unity was unlike anything that I've seen or experienced before. There was so much authority given to us over the powers and principalities when we come together as one in Christ. This is what locking shields with one another looks like regardless of cultural background, language differences and nationalities – we were one in the Spirit. This, I believe is what shake the heavens and tear down spiritual strongholds over the nations!
As a Malaysian, seeing prayer warriors all across the world, blessing my nation, was very touching for me. How often do we see many nations represented in one place, crying out to heaven, straight into the throne room of God, pleading over a single nation? I believe with all of my heart that all of our prayers on that significant night were heard and shifted things in the spiritual realm. Whether it would take months or years to see it come to pass, we have no reason to give up but to press on because He hears the prayers of His saints. He will pour out justice to the nations!
Proto credit: UPRising
The UPRising website: unitedprayerrising.com