Thy Kingdom Come Prayer movement - Born at Lambeth Palace grown around the world
Written by the Very Reverend Bob Key
Thy Kingdom Come, the evangelistic worldwide wave of prayer that runs from Ascension to Pentecost each year was born in 2016 as an invitation by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York to churches to pray towards Pentecost. “Come Holy Spirit” was and is the heartbeat of the wave of prayer, Come Holy Spirit so that people who are not yet following Jesus might be touched by his saving love and drawn into being his disciples, finding faith and forgiveness now and the glory of heaven for all eternity.
Thy Kingdom Come began to spread. The Bishop of Bermuda, Nick Dill asked if they could join in. Now it has grown to include Christians in 185 countries round the world.
Thy Kingdom Come isn’t confined to any one denomination. Christians in many churches, fellowships and networks across the world join in bringing the richness of their own traditions. Christian leaders from His Holiness, Pope Francis to many others from denominations and traditions, have welcomed and endorsed Thy Kingdom Come, finding in it the call of God to return to making evangelism the priority.
TKC is an evangelistic wave of prayer in which we pray that friends, family members, communities and countries may come to know the saving love of God in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray for 5 is central to Thy Kingdom Come and it’s this simplicity which has proved fruitful in it’s worldwide take-up and growth. In the words of one Australian Area Bishop: “Keep it simple, mate. I can remember pray for 5, my clergy can remember it, our people can remember it so stick with it.” It was a wonderfully refreshing, honest, formative conversation which has helped shape TKC around the world.
One of the great growth areas for TKC has been seeing some of the resources translated into other languages at the request of churches in countries around the world. Bishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, Bishop of South-West Brazil personally translates the Novena, an annual resource of TKC providing Bible reflections and prayer guides from Ascension to Pentecost, into Portuguese. He sends out a daily message as a podcast to his diocese.
In Rutana, Diocese, Burundi, church bells ring every evening of Thy Kingdom Come calling people to gather and pray. The wonderful times of prayer can go on for four hours. It is such an inspiration to see churches praying for their friends to become Christians in worship styles and gatherings that come from the church the Holy Spirit has made them.
From Hong Kong to the far north of Canada, from both Maori and English-speaking churches in New Zealand to Japan and South Korea, from Argentina to Finland, Ministers and congregations have made Thy Kingdom Come their own adapting and growing this great wave of prayer so that it becomes an natural part of their mission and ministry.
One of Thy Kingdom Come’s great resources for children is the Cheeky Pandas cartoon series and accompanying resources giving a new way of understanding great and timeless Scriptural truths for young children and families. The church in South Korea asked if they could translate some of the Cheeky Pandas prayers into Korean and, of course, the answer was a “Yes” …..perhaps even “Alleluia, yes of course.”
Praying Come Holy Spirit, praying for 5 and praying from Ascension to Pentecost are all at the heart of Thy Kingdom Come. The new daily themes this year are designed to zero-in our focus on the character of God rather than our response to God. There is so much to get excited about in the Lord who loves us, has saved us in Jesus and longs to give us more and more of his Holy Spirit.
In TKC 2023 we are praying that we will be so excited about the Lord that we can’t help but share God’s saving love in the power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus told us to be his witnesses “to the ends of the earth.” So, wherever we are we are encouraged and equipped to speak in the languages of today’s world, so that those around us understand the Good News of Jesus.
Thy Kingdom Come began in England but is taking route in many countries and it is wonderful to see how Christians adapt, grow and adopt with the dynamite of the Holy Spirit this move of God.
As churches find it so easy to get stuck in inward-looking issues, Thy Kingdom Come calls us back to the Gospel Christ entrusted to us. The Australian preacher, Christine Caine, said that Christ’s last command should be our first priority. Archbishop Rowan Williams was fond of saying “Find out what God is doing and join in.”
Thy Kingdom Come prayer movement is God’s work, so please do join in.