Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that calls on Christians of all denominations to join together in prayer from Ascension to Pentecost.
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, has joined the Scottish Church Leaders Forum in encouraging everyone to take part in Thy Kingdom Come, which will run from 21-31 May 2020.
“I’m delighted to commend Thy Kingdom Come,” Dr Fair says. “I’m really looking forward to it on a personal level and I know in saying that I speak for many, both in the Church of Scotland and from all of the churches across Scotland.
“It gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our togetherness as Christians and, as the movement has become more global, to celebrate that we are part of a worldwide family.”
This year, the global prayer movement will be launched on 21 May with a specially made video featuring a wide range of church leaders including the Moderator, who will deliver the closing blessing.
Since the call to prayer and evangelism was initiated by Church of England Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu four years ago, it has grown to include more than two million Christians from 65 different denominations and traditions in 90% of countries worldwide.
For 2020 Thy Kingdom Come has been radically reshaped to ensure we can all take part no matter what restrictions each of us faces due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
New resources have been specially created to enable churches, families and individuals to pray and worship in their homes, while following social distancing guidelines.
And for the first time, Christians are not only encouraged to pray for others to know the love of Christ, but to also practically demonstrate their love and care during the 11 days by taking action through the ‘Prayer and Care initiative.’
The map is full of activities based on the daily themes of Thy Kingdom Come and comes to life through an augmented reality app with bonus digital content.
This includes Bible story animations and video reflections from well-known Christians including Archbishop Justin Welby; CBeebies’ presenter Gemma Hunt; Guvna B; Eye Can Talk author Jonathan Bryan; author of the Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd Jones; and storyteller Philip Glassborow.
You can learn more about how to get involved through “Thy Kingdom Come – five ways to get involved,” which is easily adapted for congregations in lockdown.
The campaign will also relaunch its award-winning app, which will enable anyone with a smartphone to access the content and journey through the 11 days of prayer. The app has been translated into eight languages and last year was downloaded in almost 100 countries worldwide.
In a video message, Archbishop Justin Welby reflected on this year’s changes due to COVID-19. He said:
‘It seems we are having to reinvent everything this year. Thy Kingdom Come, which is normally a time of gathering and of being together, is now to be done at home. Well, praise God. That’s where the church began – in people’s homes, in people’s houses and where in many parts of the world it still happens.
‘Let us regain our confidence as we pray between Ascension and Pentecost this year, praying for the coming of the Spirit that all may know that Jesus Christ is risen, that Jesus Christ is Lord, and in His life and love, there is hope and peace, and call and purpose. May God bless you in your times of prayer, may you know His living presence in your home. Amen.’
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who started the movement with Archbishop Justin, said:
‘As we pray “Thy Kingdom Come”– for the fifth year as a nationwide and now worldwide season of prayer for people to come to a living faith in Jesus Christ, again I am bringing my “five” to God – the five for whom I am praying that they will know the abundant life that is in Jesus Christ. It has been a joy each year to see friends encountering Jesus Christ and beginning a new life.
‘This year, because of COVID-19, so many people are searching for meaning and hope, as well as discovering afresh the importance of real, self-sacrificial love. May the Holy Spirit equip us all to share that love, and to speak of Jesus Christ, and of the love of God our Father. Come, Holy Spirit!’
Churches across the UK and beyond, which would normally be gearing up to organise special services and events are now finding innovative ways of adapting.
Various countries worldwide are making preparations to take part in Thy Kingdom Come, in line with respective government guidance on social distancing. This includes South Africa, Canada, Australia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Korea, Argentina, Brazil and South Sudan.