Thy Kingdom Come
Below are some simple examples from last year of what different churches did to participate in Thy Kingdom Come. We hope that these encourage churches to engage creatively in their particular context and tradition in 2017.
"We'd always kept the time between Ascension and Pentecost with the relevant prayers and readings but 'Thy kingdom come' inspired us to take much more seriously this time of waiting on and longing for the Holy Spirit. Each day at 5.30pm we kept a thirty minute vigil in front of the Eucharist, praying to Jesus in his Sacramental presence for the renewal of his church - and especially for an increase in vocations to the priesthood. I was never alone and often people from the congregation whom I would least expect took part.
We did this in the main body of the church so that visitors could see immediately as they came into church and stay as long or as short a time as they wished. It was a wonderful time of silence, scriptural reading and intense encounter and waiting on our Lord's promised gift."
(Father Rob Mackley, Little St Mary' s)
' Lordsbridge is a team of 11 village churches west of Cambridge. Before we heard about the Archbishop's Call to Pray in 2016 we had already planned to have the Lordsbridge Prayer Pilgrimage between Ascension and Pentecost, so it was easy to combine the two. Representatives from each church created one or two prayer stations in their church using the theme Thy Kingdom Come, and the churches were kept unlocked as far as possible over the ten days.
We produced a leaflet of suggested prayers to say on arrival and leaving a church. 'Pilgrims' were encouraged to visit all the churches, either singly or in groups. We also organised walks between churches so we could enjoy exercise, countryside and conversation as well as praying together. In addition, some of us walked up to high point from which almost all the villages could be seen to pray for the team as a whole. One person did a circuit of all the churches on foot to pray in every place in a single day: a challenge for more of us in 2017! It helped us get to know better other people and churches within the team, and being linked to the Call to Pray as well made us feel part of abigger picture' .
Prayer stations and daily reflective prayer
' At St Andrew' s Chesterton, we set up prayer stations in the church building and had a half-hour of led quiet prayer each day.
The stations were easy to create, with each one offering a reflection and a responsive action for each phrase of the Lord' s Prayer. The church remains open during the day, and so the stations were available for anyone who dropped in as well as those who came specifically to use them; and they were integrated into the Pentecost Sunday intercessions.
The half-hour of prayer was a different form of prayer every day, led by various church members, with the most popular being when we sang together, interspersed with silence.
In addition, a few people signed up to receive a daily prayer prompt by email, which suggested a topic and a way of praying that could be used in the midst of daily life.
Each of these approaches used a familiar form of prayer - the Lord' s Prayer - and combined it with some familiar and some new ways to listen to and speak with God: we ' re excited about being involved again in 2017, and learning more how to deepen our conversations with God' .
(Revd. Bridget Baguley)
Using ideas from the TKC website
' At St. Mary' s Ely we:
- Opened up the church between 10:00 and 15:00 each day to encourage people to come in and pray. A few people came in at a time - some from work - some as they passed - some specially from home. We had one representative available all the time from one home group and our prayer ministry team. We created a small number of prayer stations based on the Lord' s prayer - ideas taken directly from the TKC website.
- Offered an extended ' Open to God' prayer and worship gathering on the evening of Wednesday 11th May. This brought TKC into our regular schedule.
- Encouraged everyone in the congregations to undertake to pray for five other people on an ongoing basis, and to provide simple ideas (again from the TKC website) to provide reminders to pray throughout our daily and busy lives. We made available leather wrist straps which can have 5 knots tied in them and formed into a bracelet, as a method that can work for some people as an aide memoire for praying for five people. This widened the initiative to include those who weren' t able to attend one of the specific gatherings.'
(Revd. Chris Hill)
Join the global wave of prayer
25 May - 4 June 2017
An invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury
In 2016 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York invited parishes across England to join a great wave of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost.
The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of thousands joined the wave of prayer in churches of many traditions and denominations around England and around the world. What began as invitation in England started to look like the beginnings of a global wave of prayer for people to know Jesus Christ.
For 2017 the vision is even bigger. The Presidents of Churches Together in England are joining with the Archbishop of Canterbury and York to make the call to churches of all denominations in England, and Archbishop Justin Welby is sending out the call to every part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the World Methodist Council to Methodist Churches worldwide.
The three aims are:
- To join in prayer with the whole family of God the Father
- To pray for the empowering of God the Holy Spirit
- That we may be effective witnesses to God the Son, Jesus Christ.
Learn more at the Thy Kingdom Come website here.
[Note: Wording taken in full from the Thy Kingdom Come website]