Christians around the world are pledging to mark the time between Ascension Day and Pentecost with a single prayer: Thy Kingdom Come. Next week marks the third observance of Thy Kingdom Come, an invitation to Anglicans and Christians across the globe to join in prayer. The initiative grew out of a call that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York made to the Church of England in 2016 to pray that God’s Kingdom would come. Since then, it has grown into an international movement with Christians praying that people everywhere would come to know Jesus Christ.
Prayer plays a crucial role in Christian life according to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. “Prayer rests on the conviction that the strongest power in the world is unseen,” he said. “Thy Kingdom Come is built on this conviction given to us from Jesus.”
People in more than 85 countries are expected to take part in this year’s Thy Kingdom Come. Each one has prepared in their own way for the 10 days between 10 to 20 May. For some communities, that could mean 24 hour prayer rooms, worship services, themed Bible studies, or regional events.
In South East Asia, the Diocese of West Malaysia created a 10-day Thy Kingdom Come prayer booklet to be handed out throughout the diocese. It is also planning various prayer activities including a Bible Reading Marathon. Dioceses in the Democratic Republic of Congo and north Fiji are planning Thy Kingdom Come events and services. The Church of Pakistan printed 2,000 copies of Thy Kingdom Come resources for its churches and people.
A number of “beacon events” – regional worship services – will take place across the world in places including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Bermuda. The Church of Ireland will be hosting simultaneous beacon events in both Dublin and Belfast. The Mothers’ Union is hosting a global beacon event with a live-streamed service at Coventry Cathedral.
The Primate of Southern Africa, Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, is a major proponent of the programme. In a video, Archbishop Thabo shared with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby how praying to the words Thy Kingdom Come impacts him. “I feel liberated, I feel energised, I feel that my struggles pale in comparison to praying that God’s kingdom should envelope this situation,” he said. “It takes me outside the Church. It is an enormous responsibility but a joy to participate [in Thy Kingdom Come].”
People taking part in Thy Kingdom Come are being invited to register their participation on the website, thykingdomcome.global, which is displaying an interactive global map with a light for every participant.