As promised in the previous post, here is a great testimony from Nigel Irwin, leader of the Whanganui Christian Leaders Association. An encouraging story as to what God can do when we hear from and obey Him.
… ‘As Christians equipped with the powerful weapon of prayer, why are we so often surprised when God answers? Recently, I’ve been surprised – and excited – as God has come through in response to fervent prayer. In the aftermath of the Whanganui floods, I was praying with a group of other ministers in the city and I began to cry out on behalf of farmers in our region. In addition to diving prices for milk solids on the global market, our local farmers are having to deal with stock-loss, damaged land, and for some, kilometres of ruined fencing. Already in New Zealand we’ve been becoming more aware of increasing suicide rates among the farming community and I very much feared this would begin to impact our region. As I prayed, asking God to reverse the milk prices and bless farmers, I distinctly sensed Him say, “Pray, and see if I will not open the windows of heaven.” I took this as encouragement to continue praying, and to call others to focused prayer. Then, as I began to do so, I sensed that this was to be a ‘campaign’ not only for the Whanganui region, but for farmers right across this nation.
I took a bold step and declared a National Day of Prayer for Farmers (NDOPF), to take place on Wednesday 29 July. To be honest, I thought it was a bit cheeky. One pastor in a rural city, calling an entire nation to prayer. But I watched with wonder as God proceeded to open every door. Soon, word got out through all denominations, through the NZ Christian Network and through the generosity of NZ’s Rhema Broadcasting Group, who contributed significant levels of free advertising in the week leading up to the NDOPF.
Just 3 weeks after that day, the news came through that overnight, the prices for milk solids rose by more than 15%. Then a fortnight later, those prices rose another 10%. These two increases came following month after month of price reductions. As we prayed, the tide has turned. I’m somewhat nervous as I celebrate, as I would hate to see prices drop again in the next auction – but I’m choosing to believe that God is in the process of a complete reversal, opening the windows of heaven, just as I heard Him say.
What a mighty God we serve! Don’t ever underestimate what God can and will do through the audacity of one person who believes. Let’s be a nation full of believers, and see what God will do!’
In His service, Nigel Irwin. Senior Pastor, Whanganui Central Baptist Church.