Thy Kingdom Come 2017 is less than two months away. What started out as an invitation from the Archbishop’s of Canterbury and York in 2016 to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.
Christians across the globe are invited to pray between Ascension and Pentecost (25th May – 4th June) for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. This invitation is for every tradition and expression of church, chaplaincy and praying community, every family, home group or young people’s group, every Christian to join our brothers and sisters to pray ‘your way.’
There is no single style or method for Thy Kingdom Come. You may choose to pray alone; perhaps by setting aside half an hour each day and finding a quiet place in your home where you can spend some uninterrupted time with God, or you may choose to pray whilst going for a run or walk around your neighbourhood. The Novena Pocket Prayer Booklet is a brilliant resource to springboard your prayer throughout Thy Kingdom Come.
Alternatively you may decide to pray as a family. This year Thy Kingdom Come is taking place over the May half term holiday which provides the perfect opportunity for children and young people to get involved. The Thy Kingdom Come website has many resources and prayer ideas for families including Melting crayon prayers, Skittles painting prayers and a Prayer Bear picnic!
Many people may want to pray as part of a small group or home group. On the website there is an outline for a small group meeting based around the Lord’s Prayer.
Whichever way you pray, the team at Thy Kingdom Come would love to know you are praying. When you sign up to ‘Pledge2Pray’ on the website a light will appear on the map in your area. You will also receive updates and resources by email.
Churches are encouraged to host their own prayer events across the ten days. A number of churches across our diocese held prayer events last year and even more are planning events for this year.
Last year, St Paul’s in Leamington Spa held a number of prayer meetings using creative prayer stations set up around the church building. One of the prayer stations involved people praying for someone to come to know Jesus whilst planting a seed in a little pot of soil. Participants took their pots home and prayed the same prayer each time they watered the seed. Over a few weeks the plant grew and flourished.
Also, St Paul’s decorated the whole church with prayeroplanes hanging from the ceiling. On the Sunday before Ascension, each member of the congregation was given a piece of coloured paper and was told to write on it the names of people known to them who do not yet know Jesus. Then they were instructed in how to fold the paper into a paper aeroplane. The paper aeroplanes were collected and hung up around the church to symbolise Jesus going ‘up’ at his Ascension and the Holy Spirit coming ‘down’ on the disciples at Pentecost.
Stockton Church had a day of prayer last year. They had prayer stations based around each line of the Lord’s Prayer. For the line “Hallowed be your name,” participants were invited to kneel in front of a throne, pray this line and reflect on what it means to acknowledge God as our holy King.
As we approach Thy Kingdom Come 2017, plans are underway for events in churches around the diocese. Churches Together in Kenilworth and District have allocated each of their churches a line of the Lord’s Prayer and a day between Ascension and Pentecost with the plan that each church will hold an event based around their line on their day. St Martin’s Church in Finham will have prayer stations in the church during the week and a Prayer and Praise time on the Thursday evening led by the music group. Lawford Lighthouse will be praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ in Long Lawford Methodist Church every evening at 7pm from Ascension to Pentecost and are encouraging others in the area to join them. St Paul’s in Leamington will be having prayer meetings again this year and churches in Leamington will be meeting together at 11am in Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens on Pentecost Sunday (4th June) for ‘Praise in the Park.’
There is still plenty of time to join in and host an event at your church. Check out the resources on the Thy Kingdom Come website for ideas about holding an event and don’t forget to register your event on the website so people can easily find out about it!
There will be services at Coventry Cathedral at the beginning and end of Thy Kingdom Come which everyone is welcome to attend.
At 7.30pm on Ascension Day (25th May) there will be an ecumenical service at 7.30pm in the Cathedral with His Grace, Archbishop Bernard Longley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. This will be an important occasion as the service will also commemorate the 55th anniversary of the consecration of Coventry Cathedral and the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.
Thy Kingdom Come will culminate in Beacon Events – celebration services on the day of Pentecost – in Cathedrals and other venues in this country and beyond, including at Coventry Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday, 4th June. There will be a service of Baptism and Confirmation, informal in style in the Cathedral ruins beginning at 4pm and preceded by a festival of events around the Cathedral during the afternoon.
Do come along and get involved with Thy Kingdom Come!
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