Baptists and Thy Kingdom Come
Many Baptists across the country were involved in Thy Kingdom Come events this year. 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
Burlington Baptist Church in Ipswich joined in by having a 24/7 prayer room. Members prayed non-stop for 64 hours (day and night) by taking hour slots, said Claire Earl, a minister at the church.
The hour slots were filled by individuals, families, missional communities and other groups.
‘We’ve seen a wonderful sense of God’s presence in the space and many beautiful prayers prayed for ourselves, one another and our world,’ said Claire.
An ecumenical service took place in Worcester Cathedral, which featured an ‘inspiring preach’ from Pete Greig (24/7 Prayer), said Amy Wearing of St Peter’s Baptist Church. There was worship from the Salvation Army alongside contemporary worship, and more than 1200 people present from all flavours of churches.
As part of the service each person was given two puzzles pieces: one to represent them and one to represent those five people whom people had pledged to pray for to come to know Jesus. The puzzle was an image of the county of Worcestershire.
‘It showed that while there are many many people who love Jesus, there is always space for more,’ said Amy (pictured below), ‘and we are trusting God that through our continued prayers those we pray for will come to faith.'
In Somerset, two little congregations - Montacute Baptist Church and St Catherine’s Anglican Church gathered to pray Thy Kingdom Come on Pentecost Sunday.
Nailsea Baptist Church in Bristol set up an interactive prayer space for people to drop in; organised prayer meetings throughout the week, and encouraged its congregation to participate in 48 hours of prayer from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 May.
Rushmere Baptist Church, also in Ipswich, offered at least one activity per day during Ascension-Pentecost period. The activities ranged from a teddy bears picnic, community trail around the village, Celtic prayers, prayer corners and a wedding cake and bubbly to coincide with the royal wedding.
On Sunday evening, around 100 people from churches in the West of England Baptist Association gathered at Cambray Baptist Church in Cheltenham to pray for their local communities. They were encouraged to imagine leaving their own house, walk down their own street and into town, picturing the people they might pass and looking into their eyes, praying for each one as they came to mind.
This was just one of three prayer activities that provided the focus of WEBA’s first Network Gathering for 2018. Those gathered also prayed in small groups, for all the ‘disciple making’ places and opportunities they have, for our world and areas of conflict, and for individuals.
There will be three more opportunities to pray with others in the WEBA network of churches during the remainder of the year: while the global Thy Kingdom Come initiative was focused on the week leading up to Pentecost, WEBA has made it a focus for the whole of 2018.
Baptist minister Hayley Young of Panshanger Church, Welwyn Garden City, was invited to preach at a Thy Kingdom Come beacon event in St Albans alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Bishop Michael Curry and others. In this reflection she shares a little of her message from Saturday night.