As I was sitting in the prayer room earlier this week, just soaking in the presence of God and listening to the worship play, the New Zealand national anthem came on. I have heard this anthem many times throughout my life, I mean its part of who I am as a Kiwi, of course I know it…..or so I thought. We all know the first verse in English and in Maori but have you heard all nine verses? Have you seen the translation of the Maori verses? Perhaps you do know all of this already, but for me my mind was officially blown. I already thought our National Anthem was awesome, but now…….WOW.
Statements like ‘Let our love for Thee increase, May Thy blessings never cease, Give us plenty, Give us peace, God defend our free land.’ Or ‘Guide us in the nations van, Preaching love and truth to man, working our Thy glorious plan, God defend New Zealand.’ WOW
The english verses are awesome…..and then there came the Maori verses. The verse we commonly sing (E Ihowa) says this:
‘O Lord, God of all people. Listen to us. Cherish us. May good flourish. May your blessings flow. Defend Aotearoa.’
‘Let all people red skin, white skin, Maori, Pakeha, gather before you. May all our wrongs, we pray be forgiven. So that we might say Long live Aotearoa.’
WOW WOW WOW….
The final verse in Maori translates to..
‘Let its good features endure. Let RIGHTEOUSNESS and HONESTY prevail among the people of God. Let it never be ashamed, but rather let its name be known. Thereby becoming a model to emulate. Aotearoa.’
I don’t know about you but all of these verses give me goosebumps. What an incredible declaration over our land. And most people sing it without even realising what they are saying. As we sing our anthem we are breathing life over our nation. His breath of LIFE is permeating through New Zealand. Papa is breathing into His kiwi kids!
As I have sat at the prayer house most mornings and started to learn about what it means to contend for something like New Zealand or this wonderful city of Tauranga or the people in my community of Gate Pa – I have come to realise its not about desperately trying to persuade God to be good and bless these places or people – but it is about taking the time to agree with heaven and releasing His kingdom and His goodness and God-given destinies on earth – releasing this over His kids who might not yet know Him or know His goodness. This anthem has basically got most of New Zealand contending for the country without even noticing.
Anyway…Im still learning. God is GOOD. Thanks Papa
‘Make her praises heard afar! God defend New Zealand.’