In the Beginning (of the Year) was the Word


RP-NYP EDGEr Diong Siew Siew and TNT EDGEr Jolynn Ng enjoying their time at the retreat. (Image credit: Yap Beow Kheng)

In order to begin the new year aligned with God’s purposes and vision, staff from The Navigators Singapore gathered to spend time with God as they engaged in their basic spiritual disciplines. This Staff Prayer Retreat was held at YWCA from 7-8 January, and was structured around Zephaniah 3:17b, “He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Staff were directed to listen to God through His Word and enjoy fellowship with Him.


NP-SIM-TP Navstaff Patricia Ko leading everyone in worship. (Image credit: Yap Beow Kheng)

NP-SIM-TP Navstaff Patricia Ko who led prayers during the retreat provided some insights into the event. “The personal Extended Time With God (ETWG) comprised of two parts. One part was to dwell in His presence and commune with Him (we wrote a letter from God). The other part was planning for our year ahead. Both were so needful to gain new strength and momentum in our walk and our work. Personally, the longer time allocated helped us enjoy our time with God and plan at an unhurried pace,” Patricia explained. Prior to the retreat, staff read The Deeper Christian Life by Andrew Murray (it takes about three hours to complete reading the full text). “The advance reading prepared us in terms of our posture before God, reminding us that there is always room to deepen our walk with Him,” shared Patricia.

Prayer Retreat 2019 abba.jpg

Background image credit: Irina Iriser

Coming to worship God calls for a quietness of heart. Here is a psalm to meditate on as you quieten your heart and mind to approach God.

Psalm 131 (VOICE)

A song of David for those journeying to worship.

O Eternal One, my heart is not occupied with proud thoughts;
    my eyes do not look down on others;
I don’t even begin to get involved in matters too big, matters of faith, state, business,
    or the many things that defy my ability to understand them.
Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You.
    Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet.
    My soul is like this weaned child.
O Israel, stake your trust completely in the Eternal—
from this very moment and into the vast future.

No doubt we’ve written letters to God and talked to Him in our daily devotions and studies. We’ve seen Him at work in our lives as we look back at 2018. But how about penning a letter FROM God? During the retreat, our staff assumed a different perspective as they heard God speak.

Perhaps you would like to spend time hearing from God as well? What does God desire to say to you personally?

Try following this template from Radical Mentoring as you craft God’s letter to you, which will take approximately 1.5 hours. You may like to pause here and pen this letter in your journal or in the comments below.


National Director Yap Kim Meng (left) and ITE ministry leader Pun Wee Leong share their lessons from The Deeper Christian Life by Andrew Murray. (Image credit: Yap Beow Kheng)

As an example, National Director Yap Kim Meng shares with us his personal letter as God affirmed, rebuked, challenged and promised His goodness to him:

Dear Kim Meng,

I’m so glad you are My child. I am pleased that you responded to My invitation to come back to Me as My redeemed child.

I had My eye on you since you were born. And even before that, I planned your place in your family, country, nationality and so on. These were all specifically tailor-made for you. Your life events were all arranged and endorsed by Me and I have chosen to bless you richly and bountifully. I am delighted that you responded to Me in your teenage years, when you were led to follow Me and taught to obey My teachings. Now in your later adult years, I am far from done with you. There’s so much more that I want to teach and bless you with because I want to bless many more through you.

However, I want to alert you of your need to be careful not to become complacent. You need to be sensitive to those around you, your loved ones and those who are dear and close to you. Grow in your love for Me and the brethren, just as Christ loves you. It is not possible by your own ability. You have to depend on the help of the Holy Spirit; be alert and in tune with Him.

My instruction to you is in Colossians 4:17, “See to it that you fulfil the ministry you have received in the Lord (ESV).” Be awakened to My calling, align in step with Me and be ready for My assignments. Finish the tasks I have given you; let no distractions sway you or affect your focus. You will see the fruit of your labour in time.

With much love,

  • This article is in line with The Navigators CORE Values:
    CORE 4
     The leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
    CORE 5 Expectant faith and persevering prayer rooted in the promises of God.

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