Lancashire is once again embracing the local, regional, national and international ecumenical prayer event ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, which is back again for 2019.
For the fourth year running, Christians across the County will set aside time, from Ascension Day to Pentecost, to pray specifically for people they know to come to know Jesus Christ, alongside fellow Christians in 114 countries across 65 different denominations.
‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is now truly ecumenical – this means other Christian denominations will be involved – and runs this year from May 30 – June 9.
Today, all three Bishops for the Diocese joined forces to urge Christians across Lancashire to get involved.
In Lancashire, the 10 days of prayer with be bookended with an ecumenical launch service, on Wednesday May 29, at Crossgate Church in Preston at 7.30pm; with a concluding ‘Beacon Service’ on June 9, Pentecost Sunday, at 7.30pm at Blackburn Cathedral.
There will be a whole host of prayer events happening across the County of Lancashire which you can attend and be a part of. Plans for many events are already at an advanced stage, including provision of 24/7 Prayer rooms and a new Thy Kingdom Come ‘Family Prayer Adventure Map’ which has been distributed to 330,000 children in years 4, 5 and 6 attending Church of England and Methodist Church schools.
There is also a national website www.thykingdomcome.global with an interactive map under the ‘Events’ tab and useful resources that can be downloaded to support ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, including ‘prayer pledge’ links; videos and much more.
There is also be activity on social media using #TKC2019 @cofelancs and @churchofengland
Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, recently encouraged people across Lancashire to get involved: “God is on the move in our County. Prayer is a vital element of our ‘Vision 2026 Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’ so, as a diocese, we are fully behind the 10 days of prayer for Thy Kingdom Come. It is a fantastic ecumenical initiative led by the Archbishops that is going from strength to strength with each passing year.”
Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, added: “We are calling on all our parishes – as well as our fellow Christians from other denominations – to make time to pray for people they know. Jesus set the example for us. He prayed for His disciples and for every generation to come that would follow Him. His prayer was that God would protect and strengthen them for as long as they were in this world. Jesus also prayed for those who would come to believe in Him through the Gospel message.”
Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster commented: “I commend this fantastic initiative to you. Jesus said, ‘Ask and you will receive’. My experience is that he does not disappoint. Pray in your own way. You could set up prayer stations, offer times of Benediction, run a 24/7 Prayer Room, distribute leather bands with five knots to remind you to pray for five friends to know Jesus.
“And, since Lancashire has been a county of beacons, on Pentecost Sunday why not light a beacon symbolising our prayers for men, women and children across Lancashire to be on fire with the Spirit of God, so people can hear the gospel in their own languages?”
Ron Farrington, Pastor of Crossgate Church in Preston, added: “We are delighted to be hosting the launch service this year here in Preston. It is an important moment for our church and clearly demonstrates that, while this may have started as an Anglican initiative, with God’s grace it has become truly ecumenical. Lancashire is really embracing the power of prayer and we are excited to see what God will do during this year’s Thy Kingdom Come events.”
Meanwhile Rev Anton Muller, Vicar of All Saints, Barnacre; St. John’s, Calder Vale and St. Peter’s, Scorton, who is also Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Lancashire, commented: “Thy Kingdom Come is going from strength to strength and one of the great joys for me has been seeing how it has been embraced by our ecumenical partners.
“To have people from so many Christian denominations joining together like this in focussed prayer over 10 days each year is a powerful symbol of Christian unity and will undoubtedly lead to many people coming to know Jesus for the first time.”