—A "How-To" by Moses David.
(Last New Year's Eve in Tenerife, a special prayer meeting and candlelight ceremony was held for all Family members, friends and fish, led by Rachel. It was a real blessing! Here's how you can do it this year where you are: HAPPY NEW YEAR!)
1. THE MEETING CAN START AROUND 10 P.M. with prayer, thanking the Lord for the past year and asking His guidance for the coming year. Then the leader of the meeting can give a talk about the major accomplishments of the past year, giving stats of the previous year in comparison to this time this year, showing how much we have grown, lit distributed, converts, disciples, births‚ marriages‚ etc.
2. MENTION NEW COUNTRIES PIONEERED, NEW WITNESSING methods such as FFing, Church of Love, Bible School, etc., and particularly how these were put into practice locally with new disciples, converts, fish, etc. The purpose of the talk is to encourage everyone by how much we have accomplished and how we are growing.
3. AROUND 11 P.M. BEGINS THE CANDLELIGHTING CEREMONY, Everyone should already be seated in a circle around the room, two circles if necessary, one inside the other. In the middle of the room, inside the circle‚ should be a plain table with a large candle on it.
4. THIS LARGE CANDLE REPRESENTS JESUS WHO IS THE LIGHT! During the leader's talk this candle could be lit, if large enough to keep burning until midnight, and the room darkened except for this candle and perhaps a small lamp beside the speaker. If not large enough to last, it should be lit around 11 p.m. or wherever the candlelighting ceremony begins.
5. THE SPEAKER CAN START BY EXPLAINING THE CEREMONY the symbolism of the candles, etc. The meeting is for thanksgiving for the past year and prayer for the New Year. The Lord is the Light! A few Scriptures on the Light could be read such as Ps.18:28; Ps.27:1; Mt.5:14-16; Lk.11:36; Jn.1:1-9; Jn.8:12; 1Jn.1:5.
6. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A SMALL WHITE CANDLE (unlit) about six inches tall, held by a paper plate, paper cup, cupcake cup or something similar so the hot wax does not drip on their hands.
7. PLEASE CAUTION EVERYONE as the ceremony begins, to hold the candles away from clothes and not to back into other people, and watch out for long hair, curtains, tablecloths, upholstery, etc., too! Be sure you have good ventilation too!—You'll be surprised how much heat a few candles generate!
8. AT THIS TIME, EACH PERSON PRESENT, ONE BY ONE, LIGHTS HIS INDIVIDUAL CANDLE FROM THE BIG CENTRAL CANDLE AND ANSWERS THREE QUESTIONS:
(1) What are you most thankful for during the past year, or what was your greatest victory personally this past year?
9. (2) WHAT IS YOUR PRAYER OR HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR?—To win more souls, do more FFing, find a husband, etc., whatever is your biggest desire for the New Year, personally.
(3) What verse do you claim for the New year? Each person must answer these three questions in about one minute or so, depending on the number of people and time, and the leader can closely monitor the time.
10. BY 12 MIDNIGHT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE HIS CANDLE LIT AND QUESTIONS ANSWERED and be in prayer as the midnight hour begins a brand new year!—So you'll have to time it prayerfully. If you find time running out before everyone has had a chance to answer the three questions, then the remaining people can just light their candle and answer question 3 and then share questions 1 and 2 during fellowship time after midnight.
11. AS THE CLOCK STRIKES MIDNIGHT, YOU CAN HAVE GENERAL PRAISE, thanking the Lord together—"Hallelujah Time"—speaking in tongues, etc.‚ followed by songs of praise‚ as you feel led. Then if the leader has any more to say‚ he can say it now. Afterwards, everyone will appreciate refreshments as you have a time of fellowship and a love feast.
12. THIS KIND OF MEETING IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE—disciples, friends, catacombers and even for the children‚ as it makes quite an impression on them. At our New Year's meeting‚ the older children that could come went to bed early and then were awakened in time for the meeting. It impresses on everyone the fact that the coming of the New Year is a serious time and that we need to pray and have goals for it.
13. IF THERE ARE ANY VISITORS, someone should be sure to help them find a verse out of the Bible and have them write it down so they can read it when it is their turn to light their candle. If there are those there who don't speak the language the meeting is conducted in, then somebody should give a running interpretation for them. This is best done if the language group all sit together.
14. THIS CANDLELIGHT SERVICE IS LIKE COMMUNION—SYMBOLIC. The Catholics use candles as a symbol of prayer—a lit candle means: "I am praying for you." Ours mean: "We are the lights of the world, and we are praying for you and the New Year!" God bless you! We love you!
—Again: A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU! PRAISE THE LORD!—GOD BLESS YOU!—AND MAKE YOU A BLESSING!—WITH HIS LOVE!—M & M & ALL!—HAVE A GOOD TIME!