By Bishop Aaron Yap
Arise Shine !
Isaiah 60:1, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you."
As Malaysians and citizens of this country, we observe the Malaysia Day of Prayer every year and for the past few years, we are encouraged by the Scriptures to do so especially for our beloved country Malaysia Day as per written in 1 Timothy 2:1- 2, "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."Annually When we celebrate our Country Merdeka Day on 31 st August 2018 towards Malaysia Day on 16 th September 2018. We have the 40 Days prayer and fast for our Country!
This year Malaysia Day of Prayer (MDOP), 2018, we are very much aware that
Something is Very Different that many called as a "New Malaysia", a new political situation that some of us could not have imagined some years ago - or even a few months ago. A change has swept the land this past GE 14. And for a couple of days, even more than World Cup, many Malaysians were glued to the TV and online news to see what was happening. And somehow, by the grace of God, and the consistent prayers of the committed many, we
Have transited peacefully into a new era. As Christian, we pray all the times, for our King, Sultans and Governors, for the previous BN Government and then for the new PK Government, also for the Opposition parties. From the past to the present , Christians always pray regardless of what situations – good or bad, peaceful or persecution, we witnessed changes and transformation, and we continue to pray, the watch is not yet over. We still need to pray.
Arise, shine! One of the original Hebrew word, can mean to arise – out of slumber or rest, to stand up from sitting down, to become awake from a situation of keeping one's eyes closed. As a people of God, we are called To arise out of our slumber and intercede on behalf of our land. As Prophet Jeremiah also admonished us in the Book of Jeremiah 29: 7, “ 7 Also,
Seep the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
The Lord had to open our eyes, out of our slumber or comfort zone. He had to open our eyes to what is going on as well as open our eyes to God's great power. Even before this great move of God in creating a new situation In our country, there was a greater move of prayer. Change starts from all of us! Change starts from each one of us!
Arise, shine! "Arise" also means to be powerful. So we are not just to awake from our slumber and take a care about the world around us, but we are to become powerful – or influential – in the world around us. Many people want to become influential - have an effect on the world around them, have people listen to them, make a change. But for many people, the path to power is either position, or riches or some kind Of status. Christians are to become powerful or influential through prayer and then
We can influence the society through our persistent and patient prayer. We are not powerful because of our name, or our status or any powerful persons we know. We are powerful because of the name of Jesus and our heavenly Father. Need to continue to kneel before God and pray for our new government and country leaders, for our society and country. We need to shoulder our responsibility and carry our nation before the Lord. People are people, human beings is still human beings, we have Our own weaknesses.
We should not fall into the same slumber again! This new Malaysia continues to need our prayer - as strong, as ceaseless as before.
Arise, shine! -- Finally, the Bible calls us to shine. The Hebrew word here for shine is to become light, to become lighted up, to give light. In other words, switch the light on. Not just any light, but We ourselves – we need to switch our light on to reflect the very glory of the risen Lord. Sometimes we can get tired or burnt out, and our lights may become dim, or fed up with what is happening around us or in the country. Sometimes we feel hopeless, sad, or we can Cry, but we must “Never Give Up!”
For Christians, for you and me, that we will arise and take our place in this new
Situation that God has brought about by shining – by letting ourselves be visible in every arena of society, through charitable works, advocacy, evangelism and prayer! Everything is undergirded by prayer, sustained by prayer and accomplished by prayer for His Glory. Amen!