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London Christian Day of Prayer
CURRENT COMMUNITY STORIES
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Light the Fire Again

By Mike Toth


In his remarks opening the London Christian Day of Prayer on May 14, Pastor Mike Wilkins (West London Alliance Church) expressed his desire for unity in the body of Christ in London, and his longstanding commitment to that end through his involvement with and leadership in the Christian Church Network of London. "We will do more good when we work together," asserted Pastor Mike. Looking around the room it appeared that London was taking a step in the right direction.

More than 500 people, including pastors, ministry leaders, politicians, and people looking to pray for our city, met at the Lamplighter Inn to renew old acquaintances, make new ones, be inspired by speakers, and to petition God on behalf of London and it's citizens. Mayor Matt Brown welcomed and encouraged the gathering, and Jay Calder led the morning deeper with his beautiful solo acoustic guitar.

The keynote speaker of the morning was Richard Magnussen, of Magnussen Home, an international builder, distributer, and retailer of quality furniture. Richard’s father, Ingwer, started the company in 1931 in Kitchener, Ontario. Joining the company in 1970 Magnussen set out to expand what was a small and tightly run business at the time.

His lack of business training and education led to his being quite frustrated with the amount of time he had to dedicate to building the business. "I prayed in my factory one day, got down on my knees, and said, 'Lord, if this is going to be a successful business, I need help. I need you as a Partner,'" Magnussen related. "So I gotta tell you, be careful what you pray for in simple faith, because I got a lot more than I bargained for."

The first thing his new Partner required was to give, specifically, he was to give away the money he and his wife Marilyn had been saving up to buy furniture for their first home. In faith they did just that, and found that a year later they had three times as much saved for furniture as they had given originally.

"He required me to reset my priorities on finances," said Magnussen. "The lesson is, my priorities need to line up with God's. We need to pray that our will is His will. I thank God that He didn't give me the desires of my heart until they were the desires of His heart."

Another lesson he received came when the business began to gain a global perspective, and he needed wisdom that he didn’t possess at the time. A friend suggested he read Proverbs every day, one chapter a day. "The wisdom I garnered from it was incredible. Things I was dealing with daily had solutions I found in Proverbs. I learned God uses His Word, teaches us humility through it, His way of handling issues, and how to manage people."

The recession in the early 2000's dealt a great blow to the furniture industry, and Magnussen’s business was no exception. Sales fell by 30-40%, banks cancelled lines of credit to get out of the furniture business, and the company was forced to accept devastating interest rates to keep the doors open while they reengineered the business. On top of it all the banks involved required him to put up $2 million dollars to keep the money flowing. What appeared to be an insurmountable situation proved simply to be an opportunity for his Partner to demonstrate His sovereignty. "Lots of prayer was going on but I maintained a firm peace because I had lived through this much of business, seeing how God had worked over the years," said Magnussen.

"Thirteen years earlier we had filed a lawsuit where a Canadian supplier had really misrepresented themselves...and our company was severely damaged. The lawsuit had gone on for thirteen years but it’s not like we were in court all the time; they changed their lawyers four times, the judge fell off his bicycle and court had to be postponed, and over thirteen years I kept saying, 'Why are we doing this?' But we did it, and you know that thirteen years later when the bank was demanding $2 million dollars, to the week, we won in that case and were awarded $2 million dollars. The Lord went before us thirteen years earlier and set up this fund for us."

Richard Magnussen’s testimony shows that God is not some disinterested party waiting on the end of time. It shows that His principles matter to Him, His Word matters to Him, and that our lives, professions, and concerns matter to Him.

This is the crux of the London Christian Day of Prayer, that our prayers will matter to God and will have an effect, both on the world around us, and on us as individuals. For those who wish to participate the Day of Prayer Guide can be found by clicking HERE.