Stained glass window depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit, in the Adoration Chapel of the Parish of St StephenDeacon and Martyr, Tinley, Illinois.

The Church of England has begun a prayer initiative called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, which is summarised as ‘a global wave of prayer’ beginning on the feast of the Ascension and ending on the great feast of Pentecost. This short description is, I think, very accurate and expresses both the hope and the reality of the initiative.

And although begun by the Church of England, the invitation to take part has been extended to all Christian denominations. It is supported by the Catholic Church in England.

Part of this work is called Pledge2Pray, which began yesterday – this is an individual / family / group / Church commitment to pray as part of Thy Kingdom Come.

The official website for the initiative describes it in this way –

“Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement, which invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. What started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer. 

The hope is that people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family – as a church, individually or as a family;
 churches will hold prayer events, such as 24-7 prayer, prayer stations and prayer walks, across the UK and in other parts of the world;
 people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit, finding new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.”

The website supplies various excellent devotions and prayer resources for the novena period, together with a selection which are specifically Catholic in nature. All of this is supported by a mobile app, so that the resources are always to hand.

The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said that he clearly senses the work of the Holy Spirit in this endeavour, and I suspect he is right. I can’t help but feel that the Holy Spirit is very active at this particular moment in time, inspiring a great number of varied works – such as the very recent ‘Rosary On The Coast’. Of course, that then leads me to ponder of the reasons behind such a breadth of ventures in these days.

It is a beautiful thing to work toward encouraging many other souls to pray; prayer seems to be so greatly lacking in the world at large, and the effects of this void are clearly seen and felt, with the reverberations extending far beyond the individual. To pray that others might come to know the Lord is a holy work; the Lord greatly desires to know each and every one of us, and yet so many seem to have no time for Him, and – worse still – a great indifference toward Him.

I hope that this great ‘wave of prayer’ over these next nine days will achieve the desired result, by the grace of God; and I pray, too, that on the feast of Pentecost, there might be a vast outpouring of the Holy Spirit across the entire world.