About UsPray As One NZ (PAONZ) began on 1 April 2020, as a 9-day national prayer-response to COVID-19
In late-March, a conversation began between a small number of Christian leaders, discussing the potential of such an initiative. Through mutual contacts, this small group was invited to join an Australia-wide Zoom prayer meeting, which saw 250+ believers gathering each night to pray for their nation. Our NZ delegates were inspired and challenged to adopt a similar approach here.
In the days following, a team of NZ believers, prayer-warriors, and ministry leaders was gathered via two Zoom conferences, to pray and seek the Lord for His will and guidance.
The outcome of these times was the 9-day prayer strategy which began on April 1st.
This consisted of:
- An initial 12-hour continuous Zoom prayer meeting, focused on 12 regions of New Zealand and 12 current challenges facing NZ society.
- A nationwide, live-streamed YouTube/Facebook worship service.
- A further 8 days of 1-hour Zoom prayer meetings.
In the days following the initiative, the original advisory team gathered again to assess, reflect, celebrate, and pray. On the strength of a combination of positive feedback received, requests for further opportunities to pray together across the nation, and the strong, clear direction of the Holy Spirit, PAONZ has now entered Phase Two.
Beginning Monday 4 May, we commenced a weekly, 1-hour gathering of Christian believers across the length and breadth of New Zealand, praying and interceding for the spiritual wellbeing of the nation.
PAONZ is a simple initiative with an intentionally simple purpose: we exist to gather God’s people of Aotearoa, New Zealand to pray. For this reason, our format is also simple – weekly, 1-hour prayer meetings, facilitated using the Zoom conference platform to enable the broadest possible engagement and participation.
Inherent to the DNA of PAONZ is unity. Scripture calls us to “… maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. (Ephesians 4:3) In an age of significant diversity in the Christian church, especially relating to secondary (and tertiary) matters of doctrine and theology, PAONZ will seek to avoid potentially-controversial topics and tangents wherever possible.
For this reason, we ask that individuals and/or organisations do not petition the PAONZ team to promote or advocate any special-interest initiatives, as worthy as they may be. Our goal is inclusion and participation. Areas of special-interest can often be divisive and controversial, and therefore a threat to the unity of our prayer gatherings.
In short, PAONZ’s purpose is to gather Christian believers to pray. We are not a vehicle, avenue, or platform for the promotion or advocacy of any special-interest group or initiative.
In the first of our continued Monday night prayer meetings, I believe the Lord showed me a picture concerning our commitment to prayer and unity.
As Matthew Renata prayed about the korowai of Christ, draped across our shoulders (in response to David Dishroon’s word regarding ‘putting on Christ’ from Romans 13:14), I saw a large piece of woven flax (harakeke) draped across Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Then, all of the ‘weaves’ were drawn tightly together, as though tightening our unity, and increasing the strength of our covering.
This brought to mind the logo that was chosen for Pray As One NZ – a woven tapestry of colours, reflecting our unity and diversity. I believe this is a prophetic logo for our prayer initiative, and a symbol of the Lord’s blessing on our efforts.
On Monday night, I believe the Lord ‘commanded His blessing’ as He saw us gathering in unity, bringing our one voice before Him.
“2 years ago as I was driving I saw lots of what seemed like lots of threads before me and the Lord said he would bring them all together and weave them together/unity.”
“Prayer in the Holy Spirit unifies. This is what it will do FIRST for the Body of Christ in the nation. Then the God ordained destiny of this nation will emerge with greater clarity. That’s what’s at stake.”
Who Are We?
PAONZ is a collaborative initiative that isn’t owned by any one organisation, but is rather a partnership between several. PAONZ is led by a Planning Team of five, which is accountable to an Oversight/Advisory Team of 22 – all of whom are mature Christians in various forms of leadership around New Zealand. We are all unanimous in our understanding that PAONZ was birthed and is therefore owned by the Holy Spirit – our Advisory Team will continue to listen for His guidance and direction, aiming to keep in step with Him at all times.