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Churches Pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’

by Gerry Lynch last modified 15 May, 2018 10:08 AM

Churches across diocese and world respond to Archbishop’s call to prayer as more than 1,000 book for Cathedral event

A major prayer initiative led by the Archbishop of Canterbury has begun today and is being supported by churches around the Diocese as well as around the world.

Thy Kingdom Come, which runs from Ascension Thursday until Pentecost Sunday, 20 May, is a global prayer movement, which invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. What started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

As well as Anglican churches, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist and Pentecostal congregations have all joined the initiative

Two major ‘beacon events’ will be held in the Diocese on the Evening of Pentecost Sunday. St Mary’s Longfleet in Poole will host a praise service at 6.30 pm: no booking is required.

Salisbury Cathedral will host an event at 7.30 pm with Brian Heasley, from the 24-7 Prayer movement. Brian now serves as the International Prayer Director after leading 24-7 Ibiza and has been part of the prayer movement since it began. Worship will be led by members of the regional New Wine Worship Team. Tickets are free but should be booked in advance from bit.ly/TKCSalisbury

But it isn’t all about big central events. Grassroots efforts are also a big part of the initiative. People can also join in on their own or as part of the church’s regular daily prayer. There are lots of resources available to help people at www.thykingdomcome.global.

St Mary’s in Ferndown is one of the churches in the Diocese making a big effort for Thy Kingdom Come.

The Revd Sarah Pix, Rector, said, “We’ve been supporting Thy Kingdom Come for several years. It is such a powerful prayer, asking for heaven to hold earth – this is audiacious and daring and exciting.

“We are trying to engage with as many people in our community as possible over the ten days. We have a prayer tree in our community café, located in our Beacon Centre attached to the church, which gets a lot of custom from the wider community. This means anyone from the community who comes in can leave a prayer request.

“Different groups in the parish are praying for different aspects of Ferndown life in a special way over the period. For example, there are groups praying for schools, retail outlets, health services, residential homes, and our council and councillors. We are trying to help people who don’t normally come to any small groups to join in during the week.

“We are also helping people explore new ways of creative prayer. A member of our congregation who is an artist is helping people try prayer through painting. We have a room set up with the Charlie Mackesy Prodigal Son painting to help people reflect on God as father. There are also some aids to physical prayer around the building.

“We are also helping people engage with confession and repentance.”

The Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne, said, “There is so much available to help people pray during this time. I would urge people to make the most of the resources available. This is for people of every tradition – I would especially urge those people and congregations which already have a regular pattern of saying the Daily Office or the Eucharist together to join in with this special time of intercession.

“This is a chance to pray for friends or family or people you care about to know the deep love that Christ has for them.”

There are simple resources available to engage all ages for all those deciding to take part at the eleventh hour online here.

The Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted on Thursday: "Today, Thy Kingdom Come begins. Join me in praying for people we know to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Come Holy Spirit!"

The hope for Thy Kingdom Come is that:

  • people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family - as a church, individually or as a family;

  • churches will hold prayer events, such as 24-7 prayer, prayer stations and prayer walks, across the UK and in other parts of the world;

  • people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit, finding new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

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