And in an encouragement to all, he said:
‘Let us regain our confidence as we pray between Ascension and Pentecost this year, praying for the coming of the Spirit that all may know that Jesus Christ is risen, that Jesus Christ is Lord, And in His life and love, there is hope and peace, and call and purpose. May God bless you in your times of prayer, may you know His living presence in your home. Amen.’
On the importance of prayer at this time, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said:
“Prayer knows no boundaries or obstacles. Prayer cannot be ‘locked down’. Lord, send us your Holy Spirit and the freedom that is the Spirit’s gift.”
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who started the movement with Archbishop Justin, said:
‘As we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’– for the fifth year as a nationwide and now worldwide season of prayer for people to come to a living faith in Jesus Christ, again I am bringing my ‘five’ to God – the five for whom I am praying that they will know the abundant life that is in Jesus Christ. It has been a joy each year to see friends encountering Jesus Christ and beginning a new life.
‘This year because of COVID-19 so many people are searching for meaning and hope, as well as discovering afresh the importance of real, self-sacrificial love. May the Holy Spirit equip us all to share that love, and to speak of Jesus Christ, and of the love of God our Father. Come, Holy Spirit!’
Last year, the prayer movement culminated into a moment of celebration at Trafalgar Square where thousands of Christians gathered. The presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE), led prayers on the day including His Eminence, Archbishop Angaelos, CTE President of the Orthodox Churches. He said:
‘Since the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the women who ministered to our Lord, in the Upper Room, the Church has been built on a spirit of fellowship and prayerful collaboration. There is no stronger place for us to be than “in one place with one accord” (Acts 2:1), and so too, as we share in this Thy Kingdom Come initiative, we stand together waiting the continued inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and His empowerment to always preach the message of hope and Life to our world.’
CTE’s Pentecostal Churches President, Pastor Agu Irukwu, said: ‘At no time in living memory has the Church needed to pray as much as it does now, as we grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am particularly grateful for the role ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ prayer movement plays in mobilising the Church to prayer.’
Free Churches President of Churches Together in England, Dr Hugh Osgood, said:
‘Thy Kingdom Come is such a powerful movement for preparing the Church for its mission, and it's exciting to know that this year too, from Ascension to Pentecost, prayer will be stirred up right across the Church in all its diversity. I look forward to there being even wider participation in Thy Kingdom Come 2020.’
Methodist Youth President, Thelma Commey, who authored this year’s Methodist Prayer Journal, said: ’I am really looking forward to being a part of this ecumenical movement. Although it is virtual, and we can’t gather together as we might wish, I believe that the Holy Spirit will guide us all and empower us through this journey of prayer together.’
Churches across the UK and beyond, who would normally be gearing up to organise special services and events are now finding innovative ways of adapting.
Different denominations are also getting ready to be involved including the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the Catholic Church of England and Wales and the Church of Scotland.
Various countries worldwide are making preparation to take part in Thy Kingdom Come, in line with respective government guidance on social distancing. This includes South Africa, Canada, Australia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Korea, Argentina, Brazil and South Sudan to name a few.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For press enquiries, contact Kemi Bamgbose, Communications Manager, via email on [email protected] or call 07904 855571
About Thy Kingdom Come: Thy Kingdom Come is an ecumenical global prayer campaign which began in 2016 as invitation to pray for evangelisation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. It has since grown to have a presence in 172 countries worldwide and has the support of a number of influential Christians including His Holiness Pope Francis.
Re. new elements for this year’s Thy Kingdom Come including prayer and care and new resources for churches, families and individuals, visit www.Thykingdomcome.global
For more information on Thy Kingdom Come including key facts, stats and stories from around the world – here is the Thy Kingdom Come Impact 2019 report.