"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
Thy Kingdom Come (TKC) is a global ecumenical prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus. This year it’s taking place from 18th – 28th May and we’d love to encourage you to get involved!
Since it began in May 2016, God has grown TKC into a movement which unites more than a million Christians in prayer, in nearly 90% of countries worldwide, across 85 different denominations and traditions - so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Every person, household and church are encouraged to pray during the 11 days in their own way, and it is the hope and prayer that those who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and His love for the world, will hear it for themselves and respond and follow Him.
Specifically, TKC invites each and every Christian across the globe to pray that God’s Spirit might work in the lives of 5 people who have not responded with their ‘Yes’ to God’s call.
Archbishop Justin Welby writes;
“In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities."
So how can you get involved?
Well, there are lots of fantastic age appropriate resources available for free on the TKC website (www.thykingdomcome.global) that will help you to pray during these eleven days, so do check these out. Plus, we’d love to encourage you to think, ‘who are the 5 people I’m praying for to come to know Jesus?’ Could you make a list and commit to praying for these every day throughout Thy Kingdom Come?
Locally, Turret House of Prayer will helping to launch Thy Kingdom Come in Clitheroe with 24 hours of non-stop prayer between Friday 18th – Saturday 20th. There will be a mix of individual prayer slots available to sign up and pray in one of the prayer spaces in Turret House, as well as series of gathered events – see below for more info and the link to book your prayer slot: https://signup.24-7prayer.com/signup/169836/
Friday 19th May
5 – 7.30pm Turret Prayer Rooms open to book for prayer slots
7.30 – 9 Breathe 10
9 – 12 am Turret Prayer Rooms open for prayer slots
Saturday 20th May
12 – 9am Turret Prayer Rooms open for prayer slots
9 -10 Prayer Breakfast in main hall
10-12 Turret Prayer rooms open for prayer slots
12pm – 1 Corporate Prayer in main hall
1 - 3 Turret Prayer rooms open for prayer slots
3 – 5pm All age Prayer event for families
To book a prayer slot in one of the prayer spaces in Turret House, please visit https://signup.24-7prayer.com/signup/169836/ There are many different prayer spaces in Turret House so please don’t worry if someone has already booked the slot you were thinking of booking. Just go ahead and book in for the same time and there will be plenty of space for people to pray in Turret.
Let’s join together in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, and asking that our friends, families, and neighbours, would come to know the transforming love and power of Jesus Christ.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16)
This month’s prayer theme comes from Damian Buggy, recently ordained Deacon at the Parish of Our Lady of the Valley.
Throughout my studies for the diaconate, we were constantly told that the sermon should open the word of God for everyone and tease out the subtle hidden meanings in the text. In the Beatitudes, Jesus ’words are so direct, so challenging.
We are called, challenged to be salt and light to the world, to push against the false prophets of the world, to be heralds of the good news and fundamentally to be a visible witness of God’s love and compassion. His call strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Jesus has called his first followers, and with them at his side, he has travelled around Galilee teaching preaching and healing .Something about him has electrified the people and a larger and larger crowd have begun to follow him. So, he now sits on a mountainside where the people can see and hear him, and he simply teaches them. He sets out a program for the new kind of life, for a new way of relating to other people that he himself is modelling for them to follow. Jesus speaks to them the beatitudes, our Christian identity card. What Jesus is saying here is a program for a better and truer sort of life. If we try to live by the beatitudes then we will become salt for the earth and light for the world.
Why am I here, a newly ordained Deacon in the Diocese of Salford?
I am here because some 30 odd years ago as a lost and confused young man I stumbled into this Church and encountered the salt of the earth. Here for me was a place of welcome and acceptance, a place where everybody through their love and compassion shone a light that guided me in a new direction. They introduced me to the living God. They were a beacon of light in a time of darkness.
There is a church high in the mountains of Switzerland that has no electricity and everyone has to bring their own lamp, their own light. If a person does not make it one week, then the church is a little darker without their light, and those there will comment how much they missed, not just the person’s physical light, but the light of Christ that they brought, without which their own world too was a little darker.
We are drawn not just to be a light for one another but for the whole world, to radiate God’s love through the lives we lead, and to be Christ’s visible presence in the world.
Both salt and light exist not for themselves but for something else, light to illuminate, salt to add bite and flavour. In the same way, we exist not just for ourselves but also for others. We are called to be large in our loving and generous in our service
When Jesus describes us as salt of the earth, he is indicating how much he loves us. It is one of the highest complements in our language. Salt is the great enhancer. It coaxes and draws out the flavour of food. Perhaps, the challenge of today is for us to bring out the flavour of God in those around us. Adding salt makes a difference and we are called to make a difference. Salt in the ancient world was a valued commodity. It was most sought after as a preserver and that for me is a lovely image. We are called to preserve those around us, to protect them from being damaged, to keep them from harm, to hold them close and stand alongside them.
So, in Mathew’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to be salt and light, to reflect God’s love, mercy and compassion in our lives, in our family in our workplace, in the world.
Let us pray that:
We never underestimate what we can do, every act of charity, every word of encouragement, every time we walk with each other, both in times of joy and times of need
We may reach out and bring the light of Christ into the midst of the darkness
We remind ourselves that we have not received the gift of faith to keep it hidden, but rather to spread it so we can illuminate our brethren on their journey with Christ
We can be a source of light, with hands that can care, eyes that can see, ears that can hear, tongues that can speak, feet that can walk and above all a heart that can love, heal and care for others
More than 44,000 people are now known to have been killed by the huge earthquake which struck south-eastern Turkey, on February 6th. Millions are displaced and have lost their homes.
Please pray for the efforts of bringing relief to these desperate people:
• For comfort to those who have lost loved ones and for the Holy Spirit to be present with them.
• For relief for those injured and suffering from the terrible conditions they are in.
• For grace to those who have lost everything to rebuild their lives and families.
• That aid and relief will be sent speedily to areas like Syria where there are many warring factions and obstacles.
• Pray for the work of the Global Church and aid organisations as they seek to meet the needs of those who are suffering.
• Pray for God’s purposes for Turkey to be fulfilled amidst this crisis.
The modern country of Turkey is home to approximately 60% of the names of the places mentioned in the Bible. For over 1,000 years Christianity was strongly established in this region. The Turks who established the Ottoman Empire over a thousand years ago, sought to convert this region to Islam and many Christians were massacred or forced to flee. The Christian population declined from 22% in 1900 to 0.21% in 2010. Few of today’s 80 million Turkish Muslims have ever truly heard the gospel. The ancient Churches survived until the beginning of the 20th century, but massacres (Armenians), severe persecutions (Assyrians), and emigration (Greeks) removed most of them from the land. Turkish and Kurdish believers probably numbered around 10 in 1960. This number rose to around 4,000 by 2010. While growth is not as rapid as many hoped for or expected, a sense of consolidation and maturation distinguishes the Church today. Pray for a reviving work of the Holy Spirit among the 130,000 Christians from these ancient confessions who remain in Turkey of whom the majority are Orthodox, Roman Catholics.
• Let us pray God’s Kingdom will be established in Turkey and Syria.
• Pray for opening of doors for humanitarian work in areas and cities affected by the earthquake.
• Pray for restoration of vibrant Churches in the midst of the Cities of Turkey as God did in the first Century.
Are we sheep or goats?
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Many years ago as a young child, said to his mother, “I know how to end all war.” “How”, she asked. “Stop sinning” was the answer. The mother knew that what the child said was true.
Today this truth is abundantly clear. All the evils of conflict, exploitation, poverty, and environmental depredation are a direct result of our greed and our indifference to all things that don’t confront us directly. It isn’t easy, though, to accept personal responsibility. It is much easier to see the responsibility lying with big business, Government, rogue leaders, the rich and everybody else.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25, 31-46)
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better and the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. (Haile Selassie)
Jesus came to change the world. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus asked who was a neighbour to the man attacked and left to die and the answer was the man who did something. The sin of those who passed by was to do nothing – a sin of omission rather than commission, yet, in a sense, action rather than inaction. Another message in the parable of the Good Samaritan is the answer to the question a priest asked many years ago at the end of his homily: “Who is my neighbour?” The answer was “Everyone”.
And so the Gospels, as applied in today’s world, charge us with seeing everyone as our neighbour – people we don’t like, people we have never met, people near and people at the other end of the world. And the Gospels charge us to recognise that not doing anything about the exploitation, poverty, abuse or the wretchedness of our neighbour is an act. It is an act of omission.
This month let us pray that:
• We can come to understand what Jesus taught in the Gospel of Mathew and acknowledge the evil of doing nothing. That the Lord will show us any sin of omission.
• We can come to understand that everything is inter-connected and that, somehow, we share some responsibility for everything that is wrong in the world.
A Christian living in Ukraine writes:
By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,Z
when we remembered Zion.
This psalm was written when God's people were taken into Babylonian exile. They were remembering the lives they used to have and wept in the foreign land. According to the UNHCR, 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe. Also, about 2.8 million Ukrainians have been forcefully deported or pressured to move to Russia. In total, it makes up 25% of Ukraine's population. Add to this number almost 5 million internally displaced people and those who left their homes for safer regions but never registered for government support (like our family). Each of us left something dear behind, but as we weep, we also hold on to the hope of the bright, peaceful future that will definitely come.
Russia hoped to win this war in 3 days. 10 days at the most. We're well into the 10th month. This war turns into a test of endurance both for the civilians and the armies. Russia has many resources. We have a lot of support. They are motivated to kill. We want to live. This is such an obvious fight between evil and good that one couldn't make up a more contrasting story. We know that good will win in the end, but we can't help but ask God how much longer we must endure. So when it gets tough, I remind myself that the people living in the active combat zone and our defenders face much greater challenges, so now is not the time to complain.
Bakhmut is one of the cities with non-stop fighting. It is a true symbol of resilience and invincibility. share their brief insight as they see Bakhmut being turned into another Mariupol. An eyewitness shared: "A building was hit in front of our eyes. People ran outside. It's just the two of them and their dog living in the building's basement. The man runs back into the burning building to bring out gas bags to avoid an explosion. The woman says this is the sixth time the building has been hit in a week. We try to call the emergency services but explain to the woman, "You know, likely, they will not come. The whole city is being shelled now, so it's dangerous."
In a minute, a fire truck comes into the yard. The woman cries, "My beloved! Thank you!" More and more people - the military, the police - go into the yard to extinguish the fire. And all of it happens while the city is under heavy shelling. Bakhmut has an invincible will, yet it hurts to see someone's life go up in flames while there's nothing you can do to help.”
Please, pray for our people…