It’s Ascension Day, and we are reminded of the parting words of Jesus, as he entrusted the mission of sharing the gospel to his timid small group of disciples.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.Acts 1:8
Today, we are entrusted with this same mission.
Thy Kingdom Come, now in its 4th year, has united over a million Christians from more than 65 different denominations and traditions, in more than 114 countries to pray for evangelisation. It takes place between Ascension to Pentecost which this year is May 30th-June 9th.
Commenting, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “We should never underestimate the power of prayer nor our need of the strength that God gives us through prayer. May this time of prayer at Pentecost, Thy Kingdom Come, strengthen our common life and mission.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “Unity in truth and faithfulness in witness are gifts to the Church from the heart of God. Each requires the other. Please join with us and other faithful servants of Christ as we pray for the Holy Spirit to work in us to fulfil God’s purpose (Philippians 2.13).”
Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said: “As I meet churches and leaders across Baptists Together it is very clear to me that God is at work stirring up a renewed passion for prayer and a fresh desire to work together because we long to see God’s Kingdom come in our communities and nations. Pray, deepen relationships and be part of what God is doing in these days!”
Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Archbishop of London, said: “As we experience significant challenges across our own nation and become more aware of the very real struggles experienced by Christian sisters and brothers in the Middle East and around the world, as well as so many others who struggle in a variety of ways, it is paramount that we come together and offer our prayers collectively. It is especially at times of apparent hopelessness and powerlessness that we call upon God’s grace and are reminded of the collective strength we have in prayer, being and offering light in darkness as the Body of Christ.”
Speaking about Thy Kingdom Come, the Revd Michaela Youngson, President of Methodist Conference, said: “Thy Kingdom Come is a fantastic example of Christian Churches working together, not for their own sake but for the sake of all God’s people. Prayer is at the heart of all we do, leading us to acts of love and care in response to the love of God that we see most clearly in Jesus Christ.”
Let us not leave this opportunity to other churches – let’s join in this tremendous initiative of prayer for our own communities. Do look at the Thy Kingdom Come website, pray individually or in groups and set aside the evening of Saturday 8th June to join us for prayer together in St Edmund’s church.
Julian Stedman, Lay Evangelist