We consider prayer to be an essential and highly cherished element of our church culture. We believe local churches must become centers of prayer, for Jesus said that His house will be called a “House of prayer for all peoples” (Mark 11:17). Our church doesn’t just talk about prayer, we actually pray. And as we pray, we believe that people are transformed by beholding the glory of the Lord and by getting glimpses of heaven. As an army of mighty warriors, we also see prayer as the place where we engage the enemy and rout him before we step out to advance the kingdom.

In 2006, God used Pastor James Rhee to bring two outpourings of the Spirit.

The History of New Philly’s Prayer Movement
New Philadelphia’s prayer movement began in Sept 2006. Previously in the year, the church experienced two powerful outpourings through an itinerant preacher named “Pastor James Rhee.” Up until this point, New Philly was a fairly quiet denominational church made up of people who were passionate for Jesus. But everything changed after several people experienced the baptism of the Spirit and fire.

Though the outpourings were embraced by some, it was also rejected by many. Sept 2006 was a very difficult month for the church, as many people left the church due to the “strange” manifestations that accompanied the outpouring and also as people left the church to serve at a new church plant called “Jubilee.” In this way, Sept 2006 proved to be a bittersweet month.

Up until this point, the church had prayer meetings but no prayer movement. In the summer of 2006, a lay leader named Christian Lee read a book called “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” by Jim Cymbala and was strongly impressed by the Spirit to start up a prayer movement. Christian drew from his experiences in NYC with the prayer movements of “KCCC in America” and Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. He sensed the prayer movement at New Philly would not remain local but would help birth a mighty revival in Korea.

The ppt used at the first Friday prayer meeting.

The Very First Friday Fire Prayer Meeting
On Sept 22, 2006, with the support of the pastors, Christian gathered together about ten people for the first “Friday Prayer Meeting” and then proceeded to form a prayer team. For weeks, attendance was sporadic at best. There were also organic, unstructured prayer meetings happening in people’s homes that helped fuel the call to pray. In time, more and more people saw the importance of the church’s corporate prayer movement and began to commit their time and hearts. During its infancy, the lead pastor of the church, Sam Eapen, played a key role in providing covering for the prayer movement to grow. As the Holy Spirit moved powerfully upon the prayer meetings in signs and wonders, they became affectionately known as “Friday Fire.” A year and a half later (Apr 2008), Pastor Sam moved to Chicago and asked Christian to step up as the “Lead Pastor” of the church. Without a seminary degree and with no pastoral training, Pastor Christian did the only thing he knew best, which was prayer.

The Prayer Movement Today
To this day Pastor Christian continues to emphasize prayer as the key to revival and continues to personally give strong leadership to the church’s prayer movement. You will often see him leading prayer topics each week at various prayer meetings along with other key leaders, many of whom have been trained on the church’s previous prayer team.

Whether it’s in our Small Groups, Community Groups, Sunday services or in our own private prayer closets, you’ll notice that we pray everywhere. Here is a list of our corporate prayer meetings: whether it’s in our Small Groups, Community Groups, Sunday services or in our own private prayer closets, you’ll notice that we pray everywhere. Here is a list of our corporate prayer meetings:

  • “Friday Fire” – Second and Fourth Friday of Each Month 7:30pm (NPC Hillside, New Philadelphia Sanctuary 5th Floor, Annex Building)
  • This is a bi-weekly prayer meeting where people from both campuses gather to seek God’s face with fervent, fire-filled prayer for the church, the city and the nations. Open to all those who are truly hungry.

  • “Sunday Swim Hillside” – Sundays 11am (NPC Hillside, Main Building Prayer Room)
  • This is a weekly prayer meeting where Hillside leaders and members gather to pray into various church concerns and events. Guest speakers have also been known to drop by and deliver key prophecies.

  • “Sunday Swim Seaside” – Sundays 1pm (My Ku Restaurant, 3rd Floor, Gwangali Beach)
  • This is a weekly prayer meeting where Seaside leaders and members gather to pray into various church concerns and events.

  • “Sunday Swim Itaewon” – Sundays 2:30pm (NPC Itaewon, Itaewon Sanctuary)
  • This is a weekly prayer meeting where Itaewon leaders and members gather to pray into various church concerns and events.

  • “Joint Prayer Meeting” – Third Saturday of Each Month 7pm (at NPC Itaewon, Itaewon Sanctuary)
  • This is a monthly prayer meeting where various English ministry churches gather to pray for revival and healing in their churches, in Korea and in their own lives.
Gathering with church leaders (Oct 2006).
A month after we began our prayer movement, the author of
“Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” came to Korea for the 1st time!
(Oct 2006).
People grabbing something to eat after the Friday prayer meeting (Oct 2006).
Praying at a Lock-In (Oct 2006).
Praying after Sunday Service (Nov 2006).
The “O.G. Prayer Team” (Dec 2006).

A portion of Sunday Swim at Hillside where key leaders receive prayer. Photo courtesy of Allen Nettrour (Sept 2012).

Sunday Swim Hillside packed with leaders ready to pray! Photo courtesy of Allen Nettrour (Sept 2012).

Prayer at Sunday Swim Seaside. Photo courtesy of Jen Kim (Mar 2013).

Prayer at New Philly is not incidental but intentional. At the NPC Hillside Sunday Service. Photo courtesy of Allen Nettrour (Jan 2012).

An altar call at a previous Joint Prayer Meeting. Photo courtesy of John Matthew Ko (Oct 2012).

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