Hundreds of thousands of Christians of all denominations are preparing to take part in the international prayer initiative “Thy Kingdom Come” which starts next week. What began as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England last year has quickly grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.
Between 25th May and 4th June, communities and churches around the world are gathering together to pray that their friends, families and neighbours come to know Jesus Christ. Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days, including 24-7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Cathedrals, churches and other venues will host Beacon Events, gathering people across towns and cities to worship and to pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness. The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a global challenge to Christian people to take the #Pledge2Pray for #ThyKingdomCome, an online prayer initiative.
Archbishop Justin said: “Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow him, might ‘be one that the world might believe.’ We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nations and in our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer. It’s not a Church of England thing, it’s not an Anglican thing, it’s a Christian thing.”
The Revd Canon Chris Russell, Adviser for Evangelism & Witness at Lambeth Palace, said: “Thy Kingdom Come is a wonderful opportunity to join with Christians around the world in praying that most ancient of prayers ‘Come, Holy Spirit,’ so we might rediscover our vocation to all be witnesses to Jesus Christ. “While there are ideas and resources and prayers and activities available for all, it is at the core about God's people praying for the empowering of the Spirit. And we can all do that.”
Archbishop John Sentamu said: “It is my prayer that we shall continue growing in confidence to share Christ; that we shall see the Holy Spirit bringing joy, healing, reconciliation, and hope to many, and bringing new life both to Church and community, to the glory of God the Father. Remember, whilst the big events are fantastic, Thy Kingdom Come is really about being part of a movement of prayer – so small is beautiful, for Jesus says ‘where two or three gather together in my name…’ ”
Emma Buchan, project leader for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Evangelism Taskforce, who heads up Thy Kingdom Come, said: “The global response to the campaign this year has been overwhelming. We’ve heard from churches across the world, including different denominations and traditions, who have all pledged to get involved from South Africa to Canada and from Brazil to Hong Kong. Each place is organising the time in their own way, for example in Hong Kong they are planning big celebrations in the cathedrals and establishing a network of ‘prayer warriors’. That’s the beauty of Thy Kingdom Come,” she said.
“Last year Thy Kingdom Come gave people time and space outside their normal worshipping patterns to come closer to God and we heard many stories of the deep impact it had on people’s lives. This year we have developed a wide range of resources for everyone which includes ideas on prayer stations, prayer walks, finding fun and creative ways of praying together as a family. We also have Novena prayer booklets and liturgy for a range of traditions.”
To take part simply register online. The resources and blog section of the website provides many ideas for prayer, including downloadable orders of service, liturgies and Novenas. Participants will receive a daily reflection email which will be sent to inboxes each morning during the eleven days. With a different daily prayer theme the email will include a video reflection from one of the international Christian leaders. It will also feature a bite-sized and youth-friendly film. People will be encouraged to “Pray It – Picture It – Post It” to the Thy Kingdom Come website prayer walls. These will draw together the daily prayer theme prayers of each day, such as #ToJesus, which will feature the Most Revd Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
The complete list of the 11 Prayers and the participating church leaders:
25 May #ToJesus: The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America
26 May #Praise: His Eminence Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna
27 May #Thanks: The Most Rev Paul Kwong, Archbishop of Hong Kong
28 May #Sorry: The Venerable Liz Adekunle, Archdeacon of Hackney, London
29 May #Offer: The Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, Bishop of Cuba
30 May #PrayFor: The Most. Rev. Fred Hiltz, Archbishop and Primate, the Anglican Church of Canada
31 May #Help: The Most Rev John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and Primate of England
1 June #Adore: The Rev. Roger Walton, President, British Methodist Conference
2 June #Celebrate: His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
3 June #Silence: Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE, the Society of St. John the Evangelist
4 June #ThyKingdomCome: The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England
Churches around the Communion requiring further information are invited to contact The Very Revd Robert Key: Email : firstname.lastname@example.org