By Prayer Coordinator Jackie Millar
One of the perks of my role is that I meet passionately prayerful people from across our group of churches, across New Zealand.
Haare Kutia from Tāmaki Community Church in Auckland is one of those unique individuals who leave you feeling totally inspired. I asked Haare about her passion for prayer and community.
Haare, you tell me a little bit more about what you do at Tāmaki Community Church (TCC) as well as these two passions in your life—prayer and community?
"Kia Ora Ko Haremate Kutia toku ingoa and I am from Tāmaki Community Church located in Panmure.
"I am currently in my last year of social work studies and work part-time in a food truck as well as at Point England School as a Haouroa, or wellbeing home visitor (work that interacts and engages with whānau within Point England, Glen Innes, and Panmure area).
"Within TCC, I currently MC on a Sunday, preach, and run various events within our church community.
"I am very passionate about prayer and am often found on top of our beautiful Maunga Maungarei/ Mt Wellington peak (see picture above) where I spend my quiet moments with God and pray and express various concerns that allow me to unashamedly pray over those concerns.
"Often, others from our church community join me on top to pray for the community".
Can you share some corporate prayer moments and opportunities at TCC that have been significant for you over the past few months?
"TCC has always had a practical approach to prayer—prayer walks, prayer within ministries, prayer with others, prayer for the sick, prayer when someone is getting married, prayer at birthdays, and prayer for any whānau who just need it.
"The importance of prayer has always been embedded in me since I was a kid and as a youth, I was always encouraged to run to God and not from God.
"Over lockdown and throughout this year, TCC has continued praying with others and there have been many prayer walks around our community, especially with the increased crime in our area.
"Prayer is practically outworked when praying for our TCC whānau who are isolating. In partnership with Willow Park Christian Camp, we delivered kai when whānau were isolating. We were able to drop kai to whānau, laugh with them, encourage them, and pray with them—from a distance.
"We were able to shine Jesus’ light not only within our church whānau, but also our community of Tāmaki and we used this opportunity to pray over the homes, streets, and those we knew who were having trouble though those times.
"These moments were significant, because they gave us a better understanding of the struggles within our community and allowed TCC to be practical and prayerful through it all.
"Even running midweek ‘soul café’ sessions every fortnight on Google meets from our own homes; these meetings were filled with worship, and an opportunity to text through different prayer needs. People knew they were not alone during the pandemic
"We saw breakthroughs for many kids; where relationships within families were strengthened. As a faith community, we were then encouraged to continue prayer walking, and ‘drive-by praying’—getting to know our community made our prayer more authentic.
"Concerns for our neighbourhood such as shootings, crime rates, drug houses, and numerous other strongholds allow us as a church to be practical, take to the streets, pray, and do it together.
"It is quite often very uncomfortable, doing this but it flexes our faith and prayer muscles when we pray and provide practical ways to support our community, together".
Haare helping with food distribution in her local community.
What is one thing that you would say to other churches to encourage them to pray together?
"Where there is unity, God commands a blessing—being able to pray and watch our community come to life authentically—as well as a strong belief that God has got us. This is so rewarding.
"It’s also important to understand that we do this together and that we must get uncomfortable and get into our community—this is where the real work of Jesus is.
"If you want to see God moving and shifting in spaces other than inside the building, then it is outside, praying together, and having a vision for the bigger picture of what God intended us to be as Jesus’ hands and feet.
"So set goals, understand the needs of your community, your church community, pray together, and watch God transform and move in that space.
"Pray about everything, tell God your needs, and don't forget, 'For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them'. Matthew 18:20".
Thank you Haare, for sharing your heart for prayer and community.
What a wonderful example of weaving prayer throughout the life of church and community. How is your church weaving prayer throughout its daily, weekly, or monthly rhythms?