In many parts of the world - after years of the pandemic, many clergy and church leaders are feeling exhausted from doing so much, additionally burdened by the pressures of bureaucracy and administration. They are so aware of all the possibilities for mission…..what the Lord Jesus in Revelation calls “The open door that no man can shut” (Revelation 3:8) and yet feel wonder at how they can take advantage of the opportunities when there are too many other things on their desks.
Thy Kingdom Come isn’t a demand it’s a provision: it’s not a problem, it’s a solution. We long, in the words of the Australian preacher Christine Caine, to “Make Jesus’ last command our first priority.” So the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call to evangelistic prayer between Ascension and Pentecost each year (That’s 9th - 19th May 2024) has found an echo in the hearts and minds of Christian people around the world. It has been supported by His Holiness Pope Francis and Christian leaders across the denominations and across the world.
“Pray for 5” is the simplest way to join in this worldwide wave of prayer so that our friends, families, communities and countries may come to know the saving love of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Like so many Provinces and Dioceses, the central staff have so much work on their desks they felt they needed help if the potential of Thy Kingdom Come was to be realised. They were determined to make the most of the vision and mission of Thy Kingdom Come so four talented younger people were called together and given the responsibility and freedom to spearhead Thy Kingdom Come in Korea.
I met up with them last month when they visited London. We met in Church House Westminster in a room overlooking Dean’s Yard and Westminster Abbey. We were surrounded by the evidence of centuries of Christian history, mission and witness. Within a few minutes they had connected their laptop to the Church House screen and showed me a presentation of how Thy Kingdom Come had developed since my visit, just before Covid, in February 2020.
They had made TKC their own. They really showed that this wave of prayer can be used to blend with the mission programme of any church anywhere in the world. This year I had the privilege of writing our Novena resource and it was such a joy to see it translated into Korean, as they have done with other resources including prayer booklets for children from the Cheeky Pandas!
The way they prayed and planned together showed what could be done with a small team of enthusiasts keeping touch with their leaders and Bishops but not weighed down by an unwieldy network of committees and meetings. They told me that they meet at the beginning of January and then press on in a dedicated and concentrated way until the week of TKC five or six months later. Nothing ever goes stale as each year they try to build on something new. They worked on through Covid when everything was online and this year, had as wonderful Beacon event at which Bishop John Holbrook from the Diocese of Peterborough in England was a guest speaker. It was wonderful to have that personal reminder of the international family of Thy Kingdom Come.
One of the great joys of my international role with Thy Kingdom Come is discovering new brothers and sisters in Christ who share a love for the Lord Jesus and who have so much to teach me about how to communicate Christ’s gospel enthusiastically and effectively.
I love the two verses on possibilities that always seem to go together. Jesus said “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). And “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)