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Anglican archbishops relaunch global prayer initiative for third year

Lambeth Palace launch

The launch of the initiative at Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this week. PICTURE: Via Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury and York have relaunched a global campaign to encourage Christians to pray “for more people to come to know Jesus Christ”, making 2018 the third year in which it will be run.

Known as Thy Kingdom Come, the global prayer initiative, which runs between Ascension and Pentecost, was first launched in 2016 when some 100,000 Christians pledged to pray. In 2017, more than 500,000 people were involved from every UK Anglican diocese as well as more than 85 countries including Ghana, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Cuba, South Africa, Australia, Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

The event has grown ecumenically as well to include, last year, Christians from more than 50 denominations and traditions. As well as the Church of England, these included representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, Methodist Church and Redeemed Christian Church of God.

In a statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the “business of being witnesses to Jesus Christ and of praying to be witnesses compels us to look into the world around us”.

“It compels us to seek, to experience the compassion of God for a world caught up in lostness, in sin, but also in suffering and pain, in oppression of the poor, in cruelty, in abuse, in outrageous inequality, in all the things that go against the Kingdom of God,” he said. 

“There is no limit to what the Kingdom of God does, and so the moment we start praying Thy Kingdom Come we look outwards. The Kingdom of God when we pray for the Kingdom to come, the Kingdom will transform individuals, the Kingdom transforms society, the Kingdom transforms the globe and the Kingdom transforms the cosmos.”

Emma Buchan, project manager of Thy Kingdom Come, said the team were amazed by the level of involvement in the initiative last year.

“We have received a number of powerful testimonies – including stories of answered prayer as well as many people and churches committing, even more so, to pray for loved ones to come to know Christ,” she said. “We are so excited to see what happens next.”

Among those stories is one from a couple who had not seen their son for 22 years. “We pray every day obviously for him but during Thy Kingdom Come he was one of the people we prayed for as a group,” they said. “We put his name on the altar before God and…yesterday he came home.”

This year’s event will run from 10th to 20th May. People are encouraged to make a pledge to pray at the website where a range of resources to aid individuals and churches can be found. A new devotional app is also being created to support the initiative by Christian publishers SPCK. It will be launched by Easter.



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