Worldwide Wednesday: N – Pray for New Zealand
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. – John 14:14
Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday: N – Pray for New Zealand – We are so excited to pray for another country that covers a couple of islands. I hope you can locate this on your world map, to help you get your bearings as we join our hearts to pray for the people of New Zealand.
Two mountainous main islands 1,600 km southeast of Australia.
Official language: English, Maori. Samoan widely spoken
Largest Religion: Christian
Challenges for Prayer
Kiwi society is increasingly post-Christian and secular. Other religions are far less a threat to the Church than basic unbelief. The last 20 years have seen significant proportional decline among Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and, to a lesser extent, Catholics. Those claiming to be non-religious increased from 1.1% in 1951 to 40.9% in 2010; at current rates of change,
Church attendance is also in decline. About 14% attend weekly; 40% of Kiwis attended church in the past but no longer do so.
a) A further outpouring of the Spirit to renew those in churches and to draw in again those who have left. 24/7 prayer rooms and other prayer groups are multiplying throughout the country, indicating that God is indeed stirring the Church.
b) Effective training and discipleship tools that enable all Christians, ministers and laity to connect meaningfully with the unchurched. New bridges to non-believers need to be built.
c) New expressions of church that are dynamic, relational, relevant and culturally appropriate to both the Pakeha (Caucasian) majority and the many minorities.
d) Wisdom for the Church as it comes under increasing pressure from the government to cooperate with other religions.
There are tensions in many denominations over a variety of issues, and cooperation among denominations has declined. Some tension exists among Pentecostal churches. The activity of some churches in politics is criticized by others. New Zealand Christian Network (formerly Vision Network) is a national body linking denominations and agencies that represent the majority of New Zealand’s Christians. Pray God’s wisdom for this group in what is a vital ministry for the health of the Church and its testimony to non-believers.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to humble an independent and secular people.
Pray for committed Christian leaders to be raised up from the Maori.
Pray for immigrant believers to be bold proclaimers of the faith.
The unparalleled beauty of New Zealand’s snowcapped mountains and majestic lowland plains attracts tourists year-round as does the vibrant intersection of British and Maori cultures. A world-renowned destination for the nature enthusiast and cultural connoisseur alike, New Zealand is truly a traveler’s gem. Though tourism is a thriving industry in New Zealand, there is much more this nation’s story than trendy hotels and epic wilderness adventures.
The Polynesian Maori were New Zealand’s first inhabitants and settled as early as 800 A.D. Hunting and fishing people, the Maori sustained themselves with the rich natural resources the island provided. These resources lured European explorers to the islands in the late 18th century. In 1840, a treaty was signed between the United Kingdom and Maori chiefs, which granted Britain sovereignty over the island. Twenty years later, the UK established its first colony. Tension between the Maori and British settlers over land rights erupted in conflict and the eventual defeat of the Maori. By the 1890’s, a constitutional government emerged, and in 1947 New Zealand became autonomous.
and has embarked on numerous international peacekeeping missions.
Since the 1960’s, New Zealand has seen dynamic growth among charismatic groups and many dynamic churches have emerged. But non-belief is increasingly prevalent. In 1951 only 1% identified themselves as non-religious, but by 2010 that number grew to 41%! It is estimated that by 2020, Christianity will cease to be the majority religion and will be replaced by non-religious thought. A post-Christian nation, New Zealand faces growing secularism, which has infiltrated education and political policies. Prostitution, which was legalized in 2003, exemplifies the rapid moral decline facing this nation. The Church is in great need of unity amidst growing indifference.
Let’s Pray: “Father, thank you for your love and grace over the nation of New Zealand. We ask for you to strengthen the believers of New Zealand through Bible teaching missionaries. Send workers to help them establish strong local bodies who can bring peace and unity. We pray for healthy families lead by God-fearing fathers and Godly mothers who will love each other and honor each other as we see communities changed by the power of God. Thank you for building this mighty army in New Zealand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.