Pentecost Prayers for the Coming of the Holy Spirit

by Gerry Lynch last modified 22 May, 2018 11:14 AM

Churches across the Diocese join #ThyKingdomCome including two major beacon events

Several thousand people right across the Diocese have taken part in events as part of Thy Kingdom Come, Archbishop Justin Welby's invitation for Christians worldwide to pray for people to know Jesus Christ.

Events in the diocese reached their climax on the evening of Pentecost day. A ‘beacon event’ was held in Salisbury Cathedral where around 1500 people from eighty churches came together to praise the Father, in the name of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

See photos from the Salisbury Cathedral Beacon event on Flickr (no log-in required) and Facebook.

Those attending came from the full spectrum of traditions from Roman Catholic to Pentecostal to Quaker, and from across Wiltshire and into Dorset. The event was organised by Churches Together in Salisbury with a particularly strong contribution made to the organisation by St Paul’s Church in the city.

TKC5.jpgThe special guest speaker was Brian Heasley, Director of 24-7 Prayer International who urged worshippers to entrust the future of the Church to God and to approach Him in faith to supply what they might lack. He quoted evangelist W S Bowd – “Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence.”

Brian shared his own journey, from a devoutly Christian home to losing his faith, eventually to prison, and then back to God and running a night time prayer ministry for clubbers in Ibiza. A key part of his journey was that people didn’t give up on him, they kept praying for him. In the midst of our culture of instant gratification, Christians needed to be persistent in prayer and much else.

The story of Brian’s prayer ministry in Ibiza, Gatecrashing, is available from the Sarum College Bookshop.

TKC Eustace Tackie-Otoo.jpgBishop Nicholas said that although the beacon event might look on the surface to be different from a typical service at the Cathedral, it was actually in great continuity with the eight hundred year tradition of daily prayer in the Cathedral: indeed the prayer would continue at seven thirty the following morning, as every morning.

Among those sharing their journey of faith was Eustace Tackie-Otoo, a member of Grace Church, an independent Pentecostal church in the city. Eustace moved to the UK from his native Ghana in search of career opportunities; his relationship with Christ transformed his priorities, and he and his wife were planning to return to their West African homeland in 2019 to start a church there.

TKC4.jpgThe worship was led by Paul Kingsley-Smith, Worship Pastor at St Paul’s with other musicians from the city, and included brand new songs from his recently released album [Join With] Heaven.

If you liked the music at the beacon event, find out how to order [Join With] Heaven here.

Canon Tom Clammer, Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral, said, “

To see the cathedral filled with people from all across the diocese, and of all ages, was cause for great celebration. Vibrant worship, heartfelt prayer, and a confident and challenging address reminding us that prayer should be as integral to our lives as breathing combined to form a very special act of worship. The rendition of Be Thou my Vision which closed the service raised the roof!

At the same time, several hundred people had gathered for a second beacon event thirty miles away in Poole. Canon Andy Perry, the Vicar of St Mary, Longfleet, hosted the East Dorset beacon event saying, “There was a lot of vitality – it was a vibrant evening. We welcomed people from a wide variety of churches in the area.

Julie-Ann Scott - A New Day is Dawning.JPG“Our prayer took many different forms – it was a creative evening. We had a professional artist painting throughout – Julie-Ann Scott, who depicted a piece called A New Day Is Dawning. We had an extended time of worship and a time of quietness and listening and praying within our own hearts, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

“We offered prayer for any form of healing – emotional, relational, physical – a lot of people responded to that time of quiet pastoral listening.

“We had four main areas for intercessory prayer – the churches’ engagement with the younger generation; about church growth and unity; about wider issues of justice and mercy in our world; and about Christian witness in the workplace.

“For this part of the service, we used a model of prayer where half the congregation was worshipping at any given point, while the other half were and others praying out loud.”

Thy Kingdom Come wasn’t just about big beacon events, though. Dozens of churches held events throughout the period between Ascension and Pentecost while hundreds of local Christians incorporated the initiative into their existing daily rhythm of prayer.

Nor was participation limited to churches of any given tradition. Weymouth and Portland Deanery, for example, continued to have a very active programme of events and services, and one participating church in the borough was Holy Trinity in Weymouth town centre.

The Revd Andrew Gough, Vicar of Holy Trinity, said, “We had holy hour in front of the blessed sacrament on the Sunday after Ascension.

“There was a lot going on across our Deanery for Thy Kingdom Come and it was good to be part of that. This was our second year participating; we want to be part of a movement through prayer to try to get more people to understand the Gospel.

“We prayed for the Holy Spirit to empower the Church, both nationally and locally, so that God’s kingdom would come, and that we would be given a new vision for the future.

“In terms of our local plans, that our current plans for reordering Holy Trinity and possibly seeking a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

“I’m a strong believer in the fact that God may not be bring people to us in the ways we have expected. It may be a case of bringing people into the building and then who knows what the Holy Spirit will do.”

It’s not too early to plan for Thy Kingdom Come 2019, which will run from 30 May (Ascension) until 9 June (Pentecost). Find out more at www.thykingdomcome.global.

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