The Rev'd Alessandra Di Chiara writes:
As with many Christians around the world, here on the Isle of Man we have just celebrated the feast of the Ascension when we celebrated Jesus’ return to the Father.
The day marked the beginning of Thy Kingdom Come, a global prayer movement now in at least 114 countries with 65 different denominations praying intentionally for more people to come to know Jesus.
What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an ecumenical and international call to prayer, supported by all the Presidents of Churches Together in England.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has written the following message to encourage us: ‘During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:
- Deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ
- Pray for God’s spirit to work in the lives of those they know
- Come to realise that every aspect of their life is the stuff of prayer.
After the very first Ascension Day the disciples gathered with Mary, constantly devoting themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Like them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total – on our own we can do nothing.
Through the centuries Christians have gathered in the season of Pentecost to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Thy Kingdom Come picks up this tradition. Here in Douglas our churches are involved and will meet as the Churches Town Centre Partnership for a celebration prayer event that will share the vision for local evangelism together. We are praying that the Spirit would inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends and families, our communities and networks. It has been amazing how many varied ways there have been in which people from every tradition have taken up this challenge. The effects have been remarkable.
It is our 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, we again invite each and every Christian to pray that God’s Spirit might work in the lives of 5 friends who have not responded with their ‘Yes’ to God’s call.
Let’s pray together.
Rev'd Alessandra Di Chiara is Associate Vicar of the parish of St George and All Saints' Douglas.