How Pray As One NZ began

On the final evening of our 9-day series of bringing the nation together to pray for the Spiritual Wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, Gayann Phillips shared the following reflection with those gathered in the virtual prayer room.

— oOo —

On Monday morning, 23rd of March, I received a group text message from Nigel. “Kia ora everyone. I’m keen to spend some time discussing and praying with you all… looking at what a coordinated approach to national prayer might look like…”

This evening is our final meeting in our first round of online prayer gatherings. I want to thank you for joining with us and I’d like to share with you a vision I had at the outset, when a few of us gathered in Zoom to pray about what became the Pray As One NZ initiative.

I saw a wooden vessel, a bucket of sorts. And as I looked at the bucket, I could see a single drop of water fall. Drip… Then another… drip… And another drip.

Slowly more drips began to fall into the bucket. Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip-drip… Drip-drip-drip. Slowly, the level of water in the bucket rose.

The rate increased until it appeared as if the heavens had opened and a constant shower of drops had caused the water to rise above the edge of the bucket and to spill out onto everything around.

The drips represent the prayers for Aotearoa New Zealand. And tonight, we acknowledge the intercessors that have come before us. This week, more prayers have started to be added and the level has begun to rise at an increased rate. The challenge before us now is to remain faithful in praying for our nation.

Just because this series of evening prayer sessions is coming to an end doesn’t mean that we stop praying. Rather, it is a catalyst for each of us to take a greater responsibility to intercede for our nation. 

These 9 days have affected the spiritual landscape of our nation. While we have been confined to our homes, we have gathered from many denominations, regions and ethnic backgrounds by the faith we have in Christ Jesus to be united in prayer.

I have been touched to see the declarations that have been made in the prayer rooms. Declarations we should continue to make.

Jesus Christ is Lord over this country and that the Glory of the Lord shall fill this land and the Light of Christ shall shine in people’s hearts.

God has good plans for NZ, to benefit NZ and not harm us, to give us a good future and hope. We will call out to Him and he will answer us. We will seek Him and we will find him as we seek Him with all our hearts. (Jeremiah 29:11)

We declare God’s grace, righteousness, justice, mercy and love over Aotearoa New Zealand.

We declare life and in Jesus name stand against every spirit sent to bring death, destruction, disunity and infirmity.

In these last days God will pour out his Spirit in NZ. His sons and daughters in NZ will prophesy of Jesus, and young men will see visions of Jesus, & old men will dream dreams of Jesus in NZ. Even servants, men & women – God will pour out his spirit & they will prophesy of Jesus. (Acts2:17)

I would also like to read to you this prayer, sent in by Leanne from Tauranga:

Ka whakamoemiti ka whakawhetai ki a koe Ihoa
Lord, we give you thanks and praise

Ko koe te Atua kei runga i a tåtou whenua
You are the Lord over our land

Kororia ki tou ingoa tapu
Glory to Your holy name

The name above all names
Over our whenua
From the tip of the North Island to the South Island, Stewart Island too
From the East to the West
You are high and lifted up, exalted far above all else

We thank you for the seeds of Your gospel in our land
We declare fruitfulness from those seeds
We declare a harvest from those seeds
In Jesus name

We thank you for the armour of God at hand
We thank you for our position as sons and daughters of Christ in heavenly places,
assigned to outwork heaven’s rule and reign here on the earth of Aotearoa, NZ

Thank you for our assignment as the church of Aotearoa NZ to be pioneers of something you want to outwork on the earth
Thank you for causing us to not only be a blessing in/to our own nation
We thank you that you are using us to be an example to other nations.
To lead the way as it were (I mean this with humility not arrogance)
To pioneer something from heaven for our own nation and the nations of the earth.
In Jesus name


And in closing… a declaration from the Lord’s Prayer:

Lord, we pray that Your Will be done – in us / the Body of Christ / in our nation. AMEN.