The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are inviting churches to pray for the evangelisation of the nation during the week before Pentecost Sunday.
The Archbishops have written to every serving parish priest in the Church of England expressing their longing “to see a great wave of prayer across our land, throughout the Church of England and many other Churches” from 8th-15th May.
The week of prayer will culminate in ‘Beacon events’ around the country over Pentecost weekend, where people will pray for the renewal of the Holy Spirit and the confidence to share their faith.
In their letter the Archbishops said: “At the heart of our prayers will be words that Jesus himself taught us – ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is impossible to overstate the life-transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorised by small children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory.”
The Archbishops are suggesting various ways churches can engage with the week of prayer. These include holding a day or week of continuous ‘24/7’ prayer as parishes, teams or deaneries; saying special prayers in Sunday worship; prayer walking; or handing out a novena prayer card to every congregation member.
The Beacon events will take place in the following places:
- St Paul’s Cathedral (Saturday 14th May) – hosted by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, and Pete Greig, founder of 24/7 prayer, with sung worship led by Tim Hughes and Jake Isaac.
- Durham Cathedral (Sunday 15th May) – with sung worship led by Lou Fellingham.
- Coventry Cathedral (Sunday 15th May) – with sung worship led by Noel Richards.
- Winchester Cathedral (Sunday 15th May) – with sung worship led by Matt Redman.
- St Michael le Belfrey, York (Sunday 15th May) – hosted by Matthew Porter & Miriam Swaffield with sung worship led by Tom Holmes
- Canterbury Cathedral (Sunday 15th May) – hosted by Archbishop Justin Welby and Pete Greig, with sung worship led by Tim Hughes.
Archbishop Justin will send a message via live video link to other Beacon events taking place at the same time as the Canterbury event.
Partners in the week of prayer initiative include 24-7 Prayer, HOPE, the World Prayer Centre, the Neighbourhood Prayer, Network, and the National Day of Prayer and Worship.
For more information, visit: www.thykingdom.co.uk
Read the Archbishops’ letter here.