(this text has been taken from a letter to the Chairs of District and Superintendents of the Methodist Church in Britain. We hope it will serve as a “template” for other churches to become involved in this world-wide week of prayer)
Thy kingdom come: 25 May – 4 June 2017
Every day Christians all around the world offer the prayer that Jesus gave us; the prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer. Within it we pray for the coming of God’s kingdom and in doing so we express our longing for Christ’s transforming grace to bring hope and joy, love and peace, holiness and justice to all.
Earlier this year, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to every serving parish priest in the Church of England inviting them and their people to share in a week of prayer for the evangelisation of England in the week leading up to Pentecost. There was a very good response to the invitation, including ecumenical participation, and the week culminated in a number of ‘Beacon Events’.
In September last year, the Presidents of Churches Together in England joined together to invite all its member-churches to participate in this movement of prayer in 2017. The Archbishop of Canterbury has also invited all the churches of the Anglican Communion to share in this initiative, including the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Through ‘Priorities for the Methodist Church’, we are committed to developing confidence in evangelism and in the capacity to speak of God and faith in ways that make sense to all involved. ‘Thy kingdom come’ resonates strongly with this and so we encourage the whole connexion, in partnership with others wherever possible, to prepare for and engage in this work of prayer in the days from Ascension Day to Pentecost 2017.
We hope that we will be doing so with Methodists as well as others all around the world: the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to the World Methodist Council before its recent meeting in Houston, Texas, and the Council’s General Secretary, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, said in his report, ‘I encourage all Methodists to warmly receive and actively participate in the initiative.’