Tens of thousands of Christians in the UK and around the world have been taking part in a 10 day prayer initiative aimed at encouraging evangelism which comes to an end this Sunday.

The Thy Kingdom Come initiative, which runs between Ascension Day (25th May) and Pentecost Sunday (4th June), has been developed by the Church of England and championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

Last year more than 100,000 people joined in the initiative which Archbishop Welby said, speaking prior to the initiative, is not a "Church of England thing" or an "Anglican thing" but a "Christian thing". 

"Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow Him, might ‘be one that the world might believe’," he said. "We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nations and in our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer."

In a further statement made on 25th May, Archbishop Welby said prayer not only moves us closer to God but with each other. "It connects us with those whom we otherwise cannot see," he said. "Prayer breaks down division, in prayer we take each other’s hands and find our safe stronghold."

He added that Jesus Himself "put on our lips the prayer in which we say ‘Thy Kingdom Come’". "It’s a prayer which acknowledges things aren’t as they should be. It’s a prayer which we pray through tears as we hear stories of the devastation that humans can bring onto the world, as we see the pain of sorrow and suffering. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is a deep cry of longing for a different world."

Emma Buchan, project leader for the Archbishop’s Evangelism Taskforce, said that people from various denominations right across the world - from South Africa to Canada and from the Brazil to Hong Kong - had pledged to be involved in the 10 day prayer initiative.

Activities scheduled for the 10 day period include prayer walks, candlelit services, street parties, 'psalm drumming', fireworks and 'prayer tepees'. In the UK, there will be a live service on BBC1 at 10am on Pentecost Sunday featuring Archbishop Welby, singers Matt Redman and Tim Hughes and Anglican priest Liz Adekunle while 34 special 'beacon' services will be held in cathedrals.