Prayer Walk Around MacPherson

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One cool Thursday evening in February, a group from GBC and Redemption Hill Church (RHC) went around our neighbourhood for a prayer walk. It was the first walk that was organised for 2023 and it was encouraging that we could partner with RHC. Members from RHC were part of their English Church Plant, which has tentative plans to be situated in the eastern part of Singapore.

The schedule for the evening was simple—break up into groups to walk around the MacPherson neighbourhood, observe the area, and pray for needs that were observed. For some from GBC, this was the neighbourhood that they lived in. They were able to offer insights as residents, but as they walked, they were also surprised by what they observed. After all, the MacPherson neighbourhood is not a small one and certainy has  diverse developments and needs.

About MacPherson

Before the walk, Pastor Oliver also provided a brief introduction to the neighbourhood. The nearby Circuit Road is part of the MacPherson single member constituency with  Ms Tin Pei Lin as the Member of Parliament. The Circuit Road area tends to trend towards an older demographic—not surprising as the MacPherson estate was one of the first few major public housing projects built in the 1950s to 1970s. The area also has a diverse mix of HDB flats, ranging from 1 to 5 room flats and also includes rental flats with a corresponding mix of socioeconomic backgrounds. macpherson 1

However, in recent years, the demographics and mix have started to change due to new BTO projects especially nearer the MacPherson MRT station. These new flats are bringing in younger families and changing the profile of the area. The new condominium next to GBC, as well as the football academy opposite us are also developments that are changing the face of the area.

Walking and praying

Members were split into 3 routes and spent an hour or so walking, observing and praying. Each group had a mix of GBC and RHC members. The areas covered were: 

  • Route One: Mattar MRT Station to Blk 37 Circuit Road to Blk 21 Balam Road to Blk 18B Circuit Road and back.
  • Route Two: Mattar MRT Station to Circuit Road Hawker Centre to Blk 68 Circuit Road to Circuit Road Market and Food Centre to Blk 37 Circuit Road and back.
  • Route Three: Mattar MRT Station to Circuit Road Hawker Centre to MacPherson Community Club to Blk 94 Pipit Road to MK CafeĢ (and surrounding blocks) and back.

Before the groups set off, they prayed for God to open our eyes and discern the needs of the neighbourhood. They also prayed for insight into areas where both churches can do ministry and plant spiritual seeds of the gospel. 

Pastor Oliver also provided some guiding questions for the group to consider as they walked:

  1. What are some cultural products/institutions/establishments that give you insights to the residents? (e.g. a hawker centre with a predominance of vegetarian food hints at the religious background; large and new day-care centres inform us of new families with young children etc.)
  2. What does it tell you about the physical, social and relational needs of the residents?
  3. What are some spiritual needs you can observe?

After an hour, members regrouped and spent time sharing their observations before praying to close the time spent together.

Next steps for us

macpherson 2This is the first prayer walk this year and it certainly will not be the last. Many were not able to join because of their various commitments, but church, let us also consider how we can be praying for our neighbours as we gather on Sundays, or even during the rest of the week for our various activities. As a church, we can pray for God to give us insight and discernment as to the needs of the residents, and for leading as to how we can do ministry to meet these needs and plant spiritual seeds. There are some existing ministry opportunities with Gladiolus Place and if you are interested to find out more, contact Felice (felicewst13@gmail.com) or Pastor Oliver (oliverchia@gracebaptistchurch.sg), especially if you are able to provide home cooked meals for the girls.

Let us also pray for our neighbours to know Jesus Christ. Pray for gospel opportunities and for the gospel to take root and be established in the MacPherson area. We can also consider setting aside time to explore the neighbourhood before or after our meetings, and spend time praying in smaller groups. Many of us also frequent the food establishments in the area and as we do so, we can also pray and ask God to work in the hearts of the people, and share the gospel if the opportunity arises.

We can also look out for opportunities to reach out to the neighbourhood. Last Christmas, we were able to hold a neighbourhood outreach event for mainly the residents of Blk 37, Circuit Road. With the lifting of most of the restrictions in place for COVID, we hope to be able to hold more of such events in future. 

As we continue to pray, and consider how to meet the needs of our neighbours, let us also hold fast to Romans 1:16 and remember that the gospel is the power of God at work, saving all who believe. Let us not be ashamed of this gospel, but instead, proclaim it boldly and courageously.