Thursday was a fantastic day. It was the day that I witnessed for the first time the strong presence of God in a live worship concert by Paradise Worship! There were around 500 youths (perhaps more, I just threw in some numbers) in Shammah Hall, PCC. That was excluding some older people (perhaps the parents of the teenagers).
Although I have seen via DVD videos of live worship concert (that was Hillsong), I have never felt as much in awe as I was on that night. The atmosphere of praise and worship was strong, as almost everyone rushed to the open space between the stage and the seats, and began praising and blessing the Lord, jumping and hailing His name!
The worship team were exceptionally good in bringing up ourselves to praise and worship the Lord! Just like the 5-minute session. Of course... they are themselves worship pastors and leaders. They used a few songs from their latest album "Only By Grace", including "Across The World", "My God & King", "You Reign", and "Surrender". In fact, they also borrowed some other songs like "The Stand" and "Take It All".
Matt Heins, the Senior Executive Pastor, later came up to give a sharing followed by an altar-call. He shared that the God that we worship is the God of the breakthrough, based on Luke 11:2-9. The passage was about Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray (the short version of the Lord's Prayer), followed by a parable of persistent friend requesting for bread in the middle of the night. He pointed out that, when Jesus told the parable, He emphasized that, Jesus was bringing out a situation where it is natural, logical, and factual that the man in the house would not get up in the middle of the night to help his friend; but because his friend was boldly and shamelessly persisting his request, it was granted.
He pointed out that God would grant us what we ask for if we keep on knocking, and the criteria that we need to have are boldness and shameless. (Well, that's not because God is granting unwillingly, and that's not the case where we can ask for anything, even if it is wrong.) He also emphasized that the two aread that persistent prayers would break through, which is:
1. Natural, logical, and factual barriers - that when it seems that it is natural, logical, and factual that something would not happen, God WOULD make it happen if we pray persistently, bold and shameless.
2. The volatility and unpredictibility of life
After the altar-call, the worship session was wrapped up with the same songs as mentioned above. The whole session lasted for about 2 hours, and yet it was an amazing and fantastic experience that I had.
The stage of Shammah Hall PCC, fully equipped with musical instruments
Me, Gino, Kenneth, and Andre (Clockwise from top-left)
The congregation, before concert began
Worship leader and musicians on stage
Youths praising God
Group photo with Paradise Church Senior Executive Pastor, Matt Heins
[From left] Kenneth, Ben, Sharon, Matt, Andre, Geraldine, David, Aaron
P.S. I was told by Andre that the second day of workshop was great. I missed a whole lot of it I know, but what to do... cannot just walk out of the office just like that (unless I am not working for food... lol!)