Prayer Life – the CEMI Way
A praying church is a strong church. The value of prayer, whether in a believer’s devotion life or in a congregation cannot be overemphasized. Without prayer, the church loses its ground for spiritual battle. It is the foundation upon which all petitions, requests, and thanksgiving are laid. If we talk about prayers for specific purpose-—healing, blessing, restoration, national recovery, reconciliation and others, the church as a whole has to brace itself for a prayer that really works. CEMI-Philippines is at the forefront of making prayer a movement in Pampanga. Since its beginning in the 1970s, Bishop Jesse Candelaria has been promoting charismatic prayer. In CEMI, there are prayer services that believers can attend to help them be more intimate in their walk with the Lord.
In 1990, the first prayer tower was built which is the first among Christian churches nationwide, and it is now known to be the Zion Prayer Tower. Aside from those who voluntarily visit the tower for prayer from Monday to Saturday, several ministerial groups recognized by CEMI are holding their regular services like the Strongmen of God which meets on Monday night; the Adorable Women of God every Tuesday and other ministries for their monthly devotions. Dawn Watches are from Monday to Saturday every 5:00 to 6:00 AM. The tower also has volunteers from morning to evening to personally attend to the needs of the believers or groups intending to pray.
Before the “Pagdidilig sa mga Pangako ng Diyos”every Thursday night, prayer intercessions were held on Wednesdays, but at the onset of the “21 Days of Prayer,” the intercessory prayer was moved to Thursday with an increased number of attendees, and the thematic messages shared by the Associate and Resident Pastor, Rev. Joyce Ann Candelaria-Nickowski. The 21 Days of Prayer has become a tradition in CEMI as it continues to ignite the passion of the believers for united prayer. Year after year, there are 21 themes culled from the Bible like names and personalities of God, promises of God and others that have been used from day 1 to 21 to hold on to what God has in store for us.
We hear the testimonies of our brothers and sisters how God has answered their prayers. We also stand amazed at how miraculous healing for hopeless cancer patients has been told, and how financial struggles and personal difficulties have been surmounted by the anointed corporate prayer.
The “Times of Refreshing Retreat” or TOR is another avenue for making the prayer and devotion life of the delegates stronger. TOR imparts the discipline of spiritual excellence for service, and this includes of course—prayer! TOR is a training ground for being a worker and consequently, a leader in the CEMI ministries. In the Life Discipleship Conference, a study conducted after the TOR, there is a series of topics ranging from Belief to Church. One topic to look forward to is the lesson on prayer. It teaches how a believer in the Lord is supposed to integrate prayer in his or her Christian life.
With all these opportunities we have in CEMI, there is no reason why we would not want to dig deeper in our relationship with the Lord by having a prayer life, the CEMI way.
Editor’s Note: The 2012 21 days will start on April 9 up to April 29, 7pm at the CEMI Villa Dolores Main Auditorium.
Prayer Points for 21 Days of Prayer for 2012
1. To stay in our faith in God regardless of what may happen.
2. To take every opportunity to share the gospel.
3. To keep ourselves worthy of His name and His trust.
4. To always be in prayer for God’s church and for those serving in the ministry.
5. To be protected against calamities and economic downturns.
6. To receive divine health for church members and their families.