Prayer walking remains one of the most popular ways churches are getting involved, with many groups - such as Churches Together in Greater Manchester, praying for the needs of the local community using key buildings as a proxy for key social issues such as schools (education system); hospitals (healthcare); shops (the economy) etc, with a number of churches using the Oikos Prayer Walking App by Hope Together.
In addition to praying for friends, family members and neighbours to come to faith in Jesus Christ, many churches are also praying for the needs of their local community and the wider world. For example, this year Southwark Diocese will use this time to pray for five and for the Persecuted Church, and others still, are using this time of prayer, to pray for nations devasted by the COVID-19 Pandemic such as India and Brazil.
A number of Cathedrals are also planning to take part including Wakefield Cathedral, Derby Cathedral will be open to the public for morning and evening prayer over the 11 days, Chelmsford Cathedral – turning the inside of the Cathedral into a map of the diocese for people to pray over the the area.
With a presence in more than 170 countries worldwide, Thy Kingdom Come continues to grow internationally, in terms of depth of engagement, with resources being translated in-country into languages such as Finnish (Finland); Maori (New Zealand) Korean (Korea.), Tamil and Sinhala (Sri Lanka) and Cantonese (Hong Kong). Key resources continue to be translated centrally (in the UK) into French, Spanish and Portuguese.
This year, Christians in countries as diverse as Sudan, Greece, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, Canada, Trinidad, America, South Africa, Brazil and Burundi will be involved.
The campaign continues to be supported by senior church figures including His Holiness, Pope Francis and the leaders of the main denominations in the UK, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Justin Welby, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Archbishop Angaelos and Dr Hugh Osgood and the Church of Scotland Moderator.
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London said: ‘Thy Kingdom Come has become a platform for Churches across the breadth of the Christian family to stand and pray together, remembering the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit entered the Upper Room, empowering and enabling those present to become the Church. In that way we pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide, inspire, empower and embolden us to speak into the world with the loving, prophetic, and hopeful voice that makes manifest the presence of God in our midst.’
Bishop of Dover, Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said: ‘Thy Kingdom Come unites the global church in prayer – praying for friends family and neighbours to know the love of Christ. It is a time we remember the birth of the Church and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives. My hope and prayer is that during these 11 days, all who participate are themselves refreshed and reinvigorated, as they hear afresh, God’s call to be witnesses in this world. And that many more people will encounter the life-changing love of Christ and in turn, become witnesses too.’
Phoebe Parkin – Methodist Youth president – who features in one of the youth reflections and main video, said: I love that through participating in Thy Kingdom Come, I know I am praying with people of all ages, of all backgrounds, all over the world. Especially as a young person, it is really reaffirming to know that in all things, whether it is praying for social justice, for peace or for others to know Jesus, that we can turn to God and find hope that God hears.’
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, a long-time supporter of the campaign said: ‘The Feast of Pentecost, celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Church, is a great moment for our prayer for the spreading of the Gospel of joy in our Lord Jesus Christ. The days of prayer of “Thy Kingdom Come” are a powerful invitation to that prayer. We may also remember the power of the Holy Spirit in the work of Creation, and so include in our prayers the responsibilities we bear for the created world at this significant time.