Eline de Boo from IZB, a missional organisation equipping churches and their leaders in mission, describes the journey of enculturation that is enabling Thy Kingdom Come to grow effectively in the Netherlands.

Shortly after it was initiated in the United Kingdom, Thy Kingdom Come was blown across the Channel by the Holy Spirit like the seeds from a dandelion clock. A few landed in mission-minded churches and took root in the Netherlands. Even though secularism and later the pandemic seemed to paralyze the already rapidly shrinking Dutch church, prayer for revival did not cease.

Thy Kingdom Come offers a ready-to-use prayer guide for a set time frame and integrating this into personal and church life couldn’t be easier. That is, if you are well-versed in English. A handful of international churches and fresh expressions attended by bilingual people gratefully put it to good use, but the language threshold was too high for the average Dutch Christian. What could be done?

Initially, a high school teacher translated it for her local congregation, and that worked to an extent. However, we needed something that was rather more attuned to cultural sensitivities. Most Dutch people are reasonably, or even extremely, fluent in English, but Dutch is the universal language, and the one of prayer and intimacy with God. Our fellow believers needed a communication style that was from the heart. A direct translation of a resource like the Thy Kingdom Come prayer journal, could not quite meet that need.

IZB with Chris Russell
Eline (far right) with IZB colleagues meeting with Revd Canon Chris Russell.

So, as a domestic mission agency, always open to learn from fellow missions, churches and parachurch organisations abroad, we at IZB took notice of Thy Kingdom Come, seeing it as a wonderful addition to the goldmine of resources that come from our Anglican brothers and sisters. We have a history of helping to 'incubate' Christian initiatives in our nation and grow them until they become standalone initiatives. For example In the late nineties IZB introduced the Alpha Course in the Netherlands and again in 2016 we started our so-called ‘Focus’ programme, a contextualized church renewal movement based on resources produced by John Stott’s LICC (London Institute for Contemporary Christianity).

With our pioneering church plants always hunting for new openings for the gospel, some wondered about using Thy Kingdom Come to rekindle missionary prayer in their sending churches.

So, while seeking partnerships with likeminded organisations in the Netherlands like Alpha, 24-7 Prayer, numerous mission agencies and denominations, we started working at re-translating the English materials into Dutch. Then we gathered many interested parties for an orientation conference to introduce the concept to a broad coalition of potential partners. Best practices were shared from the fresh expressions that had experimented with Thy Kingdom Come.

We offered to continue to take care of the translation and contextualization of the Prayer Journal and Novena, we created a website with information and free downloadable materials, and we shared ready-to-use daily social media posts for the ten days from Ascencion Day to Pentecost, capturing prayer inspiration.

We stayed as true to the original text, layout and illustrations as possible – but in a way that was accessible and relatable for Dutch believers. In this process we experienced some pressure from more liberal churches to tone down slightly on the gospel-centred content, but we stayed faithful to the original intent of the material. And as Dutch people are very pragmatic, we combined the prayer journal and novena into one booklet.

We also added one more element to the booklet, a contextualized bonus to Thy Kingdom Come, that was picked up by a Christian national newspaper. A leading theologian in our country, who happens to work for our mission, wrote a ‘Prayer for Contemporaries’ for churches to use in the worship service on the Sunday in between Ascension Day and Pentecost.

IZB colleagues with Kemi
Eline and IZB colleagues meeting with Kemi Bamgbose hearing about TKC in London.

In the Dutch church calendar this Sunday is traditionally called ‘Orphan Sunday’, referring to Jesus’ comforting words at his ascension that he will not leave his disciples behind as orphans. Creating space for this prayer in the liturgy and connecting it to Thy Kingdom Come encourages churches to use these ten days for missional prayer. The prayer is printed in the booklet and can also be used for individual prayers, family devotions or in small group settings. (See below for the prayer.)

We challenged our partners to think of creative ways that fit their expertise and audience to promote Thy Kingdom Come and all sorts of initiatives started happening:

· An organisation which creates children’s resources made children’s prayer worksheets and a prayer countdown calendar for use at home, Sunday school or the class room.

· A media company sponsored us by creating a powerful videoclip promoting Thy Kingdom Come.

· The most popular daily devotional podcast that IZB produces together with a Christian Media powerhouse aligned their devotionals with the daily reading of Thy Kingdom Come.

· We got free publicity in Christian media 

· Alpha organized a kick off of the campaign at a special event on Ascencion Day.

And most importantly, all the partners used their network to get the message of Thy Kingdom Come out in the Netherlands. The response was overwhelming and the booklets were distributed to churches and individual believers in no time, making a second print necessary.

For 2024 we strive towards an even broader coalition of partners, not only in the Netherlands but also in Belgium. We long for Thy Kingdom Come’s ten days of missional prayer to become part of the Dutch churches’ and believers’ DNA.

May a wave of prayer fuelled by the Holy Spirit and love for our neighbours wash over our country.


Almighty and merciful God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we adore you. To know you is our life, to love you is our joy, and to worship you is a privilege. Every time we focus on you, you expand our hearts and touch our lives.

We worship you for what you have done in Jesus Christ: You make atonement and break the power of death, you are faithful to your promises: to creation, to Israel, to us. You continue to call people and send them out with this Gospel in their hearts.

Every day, we are surrounded by countless people who don’t acknowledge you, whether consciously or unconsciously. We know how easily this sometimes happens to us as well. But with you there is life. Under your sovereignty we are free.

While pleading upon your mercy and your love for people, we pray today to you, our Lord God: make us intercessors for the people around us, put their specific names on our hearts, so that we might commit them to you to watch over them, pray for them and be a blessing in their lives.

We pray for the orphaned people in our time – colleagues and friends, children and parents, for those who struggle to find meaning or hope, comfort or forgiveness in life.

We sincerely confess to you as the church and as followers of your Son - that we remain silent and passive too often; that we judge too quickly and speak too poorly; that we prevent people from reaching you by being an obstacle instead of a signpost; by us not being open, by our complacency and silence; and that we grieve your Spirit by our attitude. That is why we urgently pray today and in the days to come for a breakthrough in prayer and a renewal of spiritual vitality, in us and especially in those for whom we earnestly pray.

LORD, compassionate Father, have mercy on ……………………… Christ, reveal yourself in ………………………………………. Spirit of God, draw them into the force field of your Gospel.

We pray for the people we love, but also we pray for our society, that the powers that manifest themselves: those of money, squandering and disbelief, the powers of alienation, hardening and idolatry, that you expose, judge and break those powers again and again, that you show us the emptiness of these powers, so that we will break with them and learn to live differently.

Without your Spirit, our faith dissolves, your Gospel appears to lose relevance and your church fades away, but through your Spirit, our faith is born again, your Gospel becomes powerful and your church turns into a community of living, praying people. Make us, loving God, what others have been to us: a praying people, preachers, moved by your Spirit.

So, bless us and hear us that you may be loved and adored and that your people may reach their destination in you.

So we pray with reverence, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.