Youths from the Maranatha Prayer Ministry from Church of Christ the King, pray with the Ow family. Photo by Darren Boon
SINGAPORE – It’s not often that the Ows pray together as a family. But on the evening of Dec 3, patriarch Terrence Ow made sure he wasn’t put on air traffic controlling duty while his lawyer-daughter rushed home instead of working yet another late night.
“We put down everything to be together for tonight’s prayer,” said Mr Ow. The Ows, as several other families did recently, had invited youths from the Maranatha Prayer Ministry of Church of Christ the King to their Ang Mo Kio home for prayer during the Advent season.
That night, nine youths aged 14 to 21 joined their hearts in prayer with Mr and Mrs Ow, his daughter and 14-year-old son, who is part of the ministry. For 30 minutes, prayer leaders guided the family through songs of praise, scripture reading, reflection and intercessions.
The session is termed a “prayer walk” by the Maranatha Prayer Ministry, which has been visiting homes during the Advent season for the last 10 years. They pray with the family members through various methods such as the Taize, praise and worship, rosary, Divine Mercy and symbolic prayer, whereby an object is chosen and then related back to one’s Catholic faith.
Joyce Ng, 21, vice-president of the youth group, said the Advent prayer walk helps to spiritually prepare parishioners for the coming of Christ. “A lot of people are so caught up with the fellowship, gifts and food for Christmas that they lose the meaning of preparing for Christmas and forget about Advent,” she said. “We should focus our hearts on preparing for the coming of Christmas rather than the gifts.”
She added that the prayer walk aimed to encourage families to pray together as a family both during and after Advent.
At the same time, youths of the ministry learn through the various activities to “serve and give, support and minister to the people”, said Amanda Lek, 17, who has been with the group for five years now.
This year’s prayer walk was held from Nov 30 to Dec 5. The group of 20 youths, visited a total of 26 homes.
By Darren Boon