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Small Towns Lead the Way

Written by Colin Shaw

13 September 2015

Jesus was born in the small town of Bethlehem. Small towns can play a significant role in the purposes of God!

Recently, Grace and I stayed in the mid-North Island town of Te Puke where Christians from a variety of churches gather every night of the week to pray for their town and wider region. This nightly prayer has been taking place non-stop for the last two years – truly a prayer meeting with the touch of God on it. On the night we attended we observed the ‘oneness’ of those present, the common love for Jesus and the commitment to steadfast prayer (maybe this is getting close to what Jonathan Edwards referred to when he talked about extraordinary prayer, visible unity and explicit agreement).

One of the three team leaders, Judy Abrahams, told us how there have been many answers to prayer, that every night is different and that this special prayer gathering has inspired Christians in other towns to start similar gatherings.

Alongside the above, local kiwi fruit growers (Te Puke being the hub for the kiwi fruit industry) have seen a remarkable turn around. Earlier this year, in the aftermath and disappointment of big crop losses due to PSA (bacterial kiwi fruit vine disease), local pastors and others gathered to pray with a good number of local kiwi fruit growers. They prayed for God’s blessing on the current harvest. The good news is that the 2014-2015 harvest has been the best ever for much of the kiwi fruit industry in NZ.

All this is ample evidence that God can well bring positive change in towns when Christians commit to oneness and steadfast prayer and together seek the wellbeing of their local community: evidence that small towns can play a significant role in the purposes of God!

The next blog will be from Nigel Irwin, pastor of Wanganui Central Baptist and the leader of the pastor’s network in Wanganui. It will be a great story on how he was led to start a significant prayer initiative.

Until next time

God bless


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