2015 Manila – Kevin Choi

The Power of Prayer


I met with some of my team members briefly for the first time when I was in Seoul before heading to Manila. Through your prayers and His grace, we were a team from day 1. By day 8 we had become family.

There was not a single moment where I felt that we were in disunity. The culture of honor New Philly stewards truly flowed within our team and overflowed into the local ministries. The way we submitted to our leaders, loved selflessly on one another (even through discomforts and sickness), and had fellowship helped exude the anointing we carry. So much so that the native pastors and ministries were blessed to a point of tears. They never stopped talking about how this team from Korea was like no other.

The testimony I will share with you today is called the “Power of Prayer.”

In Manila, I prayed and inquired in earnest. I personally wanted to see physical healing. I wanted to increase in my faith, and then bring it back home. I wanted to bring the kingdom in Sydney as a medical practitioner. I wanted to be an instrument and vessel for His glory. This was the reason I was going on missions. It was a selfish desire. But even in my stubbornness the Lord showed me what I wanted. And more.

Once I was on the plane to Manila, instead of wrestling within myself, I finally submitted and asked the Lord to show me what He intended for me. Even though I had specific things I wanted to see, did not want to lose sight of His heart. In response, the Lord highlighted Luke 10:18-27. The Lord was telling me, even through all the things He was going to show me, not to rejoice in the signs and wonders, but that names are being written in the book of life.

Answered prayers in Manila

On the first Sunday, our team preacher Pastor Susy gave a sermon on prayer. She did not realize beforehand that the name of the church was “Christ Life Prayer Ministries.” And in the midst of this I realized the keeping power of prayer over my own life through my family, friends and church. I realized the Lord had kept me from stumbling, surrounded me with Christian friends wherever I went around the world. I started to realize His blessing on my life in getting into medical school, becoming intimate with my family, meeting Ashleigh, finding the perfect job in Sydney. This is because of those who would never stop praying for me. The Lord was showing me the importance of prayer. The power of prayer.

Thus I stood up and gave my testimony about the power of prayer in front of church for the first time in my life. The next day I received a letter from one of the youth leaders whom I had prayed for during fellowship. Without me knowing or asking, The Lord showed me how a spoken prayer could transform the life of another. He was showing me how to pray for others. From the simple passage that the Lord highlighted to me on the plane, He was showing me what it means to minister to the spirits of people wherever I go. I am meant to shine His light.

Throughout the week, as our team leader led us in prayer I began to ask the Lord for greater things. I began to pray in boldness like never before. I asked the Lord, ‘what is on your heart for me today?’ On one day, the Lord answered, “Hope.” It was on this day that I was asked to give my testimony. The next day He told me to “worship.” On this day, when we were sent to the Mabuhay Church, our ministry was marked strongly by worship. It was also the first time I stood to lead spontaneous praise. On another day, I asked the Lord to show me a specific vision of anyone He wanted me to pray for during our ministry times. The Lord then showed me a young man with a blue and white shirt. I ended up finding this man that following night on New Year’s Eve. I was able to pray for this man and his family who are nonbelievers. The Lord was teaching me how to pray. He was continually showing me the power of prayer.

But in the midst of this journey He did not forget my selfish prayer. I had asked the Lord to show me how I could bring the Kingdom as a doctor. And at every church I went to, the Lord showed me what type of doctor I could be. With each ministry assignment, He was highlighting to me different aspects of my medical training, and how it translates into Kingdom power: Family medicine in Maliksi. Orthopedics & Surgery in Mabuhuay. Cancer treatment in Tay Tay. Geriatrics in the home of a pastor’s wife. Auto-immune diseases in the middle of the mountains. Opthalmology in metro Manila.

For the field of family medicine, the Lord showed how a 7 year old child coming to Christ in the slums of Manila could bring an entire family to know the Lord.

For Orthopaedics & Surgery the Lord showed how His loving and protecting hand is always present and saves.

In the pancreatic cancer patient God told me how He was moving by softening the heart of a woman of Catholic faith to accept Christ as Lord and savior. This overflowed to her unbelieving husband also coming to repentance and accepting Jesus as his savior as well.

Yes, I wanted to see healing and signs and wonders. But the Lord knew my heart. He told me, rejoice first when people are saved. This is His will. This is His heart. Be humble. Then everything else will follow.

Answered prayers outside of Manila

In the midst of this learning process, I did not give up hope that I would witness God release His supernatural healing. I wanted to see signs and wonders with my own eyes. During one of the night services, I prayed for an elderly woman. As I prayed for the osteoarthritis in her knee, she felt a cold sensation rise up from her foot to her knee and remove the pain. The second time I prayed for her diabetes she felt the same sensation descend from her head and into her stomach (around the area of her pancreas).

God answered my prayer by moving in quite supernatural ways. In fact there were many miraculous full and partial healings that occurred throughout the trip. But for some reason I was still not convinced. I am stubborn. I am cynical. My heart can be hard. But praise the Lord because He said yes to my prayer to see healing anyway. Just because He can. And because He loves me. But it did not happen in Manila.

Last week, on my way home in Parramatta (Sydney), I tripped on a sidewalk for the first time in 5 years. I sprained my ankle badly. A young African man asked me if I needed healing. I looked at him with skepticism. Inquired the Lord. Prayed that this man would not be a cult member. And I gave this man permission to go ahead and pray. As I heard his prayer, I knew he was a man of faith. What a meticulous God. And I was healed instantaneously!

Final Note

I know that if I pray, if we pray together as a house, we can never be defeated. He answers every single prayer. From these simple prayers He shows and gives us more than we ask for. For He is for us. Immanuel. God is with us.

Therefore let us no longer say, ‘Let’s just pray’. Let us no longer say, ‘prayer is the only option we have left.’ Let us proclaim, ‘We must pray,’ ‘Let’s pray in power and faith,’ ‘Let’s pray and believe.’

Just as my trip to Manila started with Luke 10, our final service with two of local pastors ended with Luke 10. I was surprised. I should not have been. But the Lord spoke again using Luke 10:27. In order to never lose sight of Him, he was telling me to ‘Love Him with all of my heart and strength’. This way I would never lose sight of Him. I would never have to fear of losing sight of His heart. How do I love Him with all my heart? By talking to him every day. By praying. Not just asking, but to stand and be still in His presence. Every day.

Thank you once again for all the prayers and finances you have sown into my own missions trip, and the other teams being sent out by New Philadephia Church. The testimonies and ministry fruit we bring back is for you. Let us continue to seek the Lord, love the Lord, and serve the Lord diligently together, for Him to be glorified in us and over all the nations. Thank you and God bless you!

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