Plans are underway for the 8th annual Thy Kingdom Come – a global ecumenical prayer for evangelisation, initiated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, which unites more than a million Christians worldwide during the period from Ascension to Pentecost.
This year, the prayer movement will host an online launch event on 27th February at 11am GMT- unveiling resources and plans for this year, which will take place from the 18th-28th May.
The movement have introduced several new changes for this year to bring new life.
For this year, they have introduced a sub theme called ‘Living the Kingdom’. Whilst Thy Kingdom Come will always focus on prayer for evangelisation, they are inviting participants to go one step further – to go the extra mile - and to practically ‘love and serve thy neighbour’ or those being prayed for, as an intentional part of their involvement. This will also be reflected in the additional ways churches, families and individuals are invited to pray this year.
As in previous years of the movement, characterised by large gatherings and events, there is also a renewed call to encourage churches to gather (in-person) and collaborate ecumenically, where possible.
Another new development is that the daily themes for resources across the 11 days of prayer have been updated - focusing on the character of God –‘Our Father in Heaven’ - the One to whom we are petitioning and inviting people to know, to love and to serve. Themes will include the ‘God who walks with us’ and the ‘God who creates’.
The online launch event on 27th February will unveil more details about the brand-new resources for this year, including resources for adults, children & families and youth.
For adults, the main resources this year are the Novena and the Prayer Journal – which will include contributions from different voices across different traditions and denominations.
For children & families, there will be a brand-new series of Cheeky Pandas animations packed with fun, music, and biblical truths. Each episode will have an accompanying activity pack and assembly plan, which can be used at church, at home, or school.
For youth, there will be a brand-new video series produced by a leading Christian youth ministry - The Way UK.
New videos for this year’s movement, will also be revealed which have, in the past, included contributions from His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop Rose-Hudson Wilkin and Pete Greig.
The global prayer movement has been supported by a range of high-profile ecumenical leaders in the UK including all the presidents of Churches Together in England, all the major denominations and various parachurch organisations. TKC has also been endorsed by His Holiness Pope Francis in previous years and widely celebrated across the Anglican Communion.
Since its inception, more than a million Christians, from more than 85 different denomination and traditions, across nearly 90% countries worldwide have united in this time of prayer– from Australia to Austria, Burundi to Brazil, Scotland to the Solomon Islands and beyond.
Speaking of this year’s plans, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “Each year I sense a fresh urgency for ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. Each year I am more aware of my personal and our corporate need for a fresh empowering of the Holy Spirit. The urgency, necessity and priority of Christians across the world joining together praying, ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ is essential. We need God’s renewing work that we may live the calling of Christ to be His witnesses – which necessitates our words and actions. I commend the resources the TKC team have produced for this year and pray they would enable our prayers, which are confidently reliant upon the promise that the Father gives the Spirit without measure to those who ask.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said: “In prayer, we listen. We listen to the word of Jesus that will be given to us, whispered into our consciousness as long as our focus is on Him, so do make this [Thy Kingdom Come] a week of listening.”
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox of London, Papal Legate to the United Kingdom said: “’The ten days between Ascension and Pentecost provide a window into the Church and its need. They give us an opportunity to focus on our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens and awaiting us, and then prepare us for the Feast of Pentecost when the Church was empowered to go into the world and spread that same invitation and message of hope to all. I look forward to this year’s Thy Kingdom Come, and pray that we are able to be encouraged by our Lord’s invitation, and empowered to receive and act on it for our flourishing and that of His world.”
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, who wrote last year’s Prayer Journal, said: “It’s what we are called to; to pray Thy Kingdom Come, but also to demonstrate that in our lives by the spirit, that Kingdom is already coming among us and is shown by the works of service, the kindness, the love, the generosity, the mercy we show to others. So please commit yourself again this year to the Thy Kingdom Come initiative.”
James Carver, this year’s Youth President for the Methodist Church of Great Britain – who is featured in one of this year’s films, said: "Working with Thy Kingdom Come was an amazing experience, it really helped me to understand my own faith and the ways in which I personally worship God. Doing all the filming was also fantastic, from seeing the different cameras, lights, drones, and locations. I cannot wait to see the final video."
Kemi Bamgbose, TKC Project Lead said: “The need across the world for the transforming power and mercy of God is more stark than ever. That’s why this year we are inviting people not only to pray, but to also consider how they may demonstrate love and intentionally serve those they are praying for, or those in their wider community- as part of their involvement in this year’s movement. As ever, our heart is always to resource, equip and inspire the church in the work of prayer for evangelisation and so we will be giving away 10,000s of free resources for this year’s movement which we hope will be of great encouragement too many.”