For ten days before Pentecost, many of us engaged with the Thy Kingdom Come annual campaign, which encourages us to pray for five friends every day, in the prayerful hope that they will come to know God’s love and salvation for themselves. We found it helpful to listen to the podcasts and watch the videos which were provided for us every day, not least because they helped to focus our minds on the task of praying very specifically for the people we felt God was calling us to bring before Him, and to ask that His Kingdom would come into their lives.
We were struck by the words of one participant in the videos, Teresa Carvalho, Home Mission Officer of the Catholic Bishops Conference. She said, ‘when we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, it’s a chance for us to come out of our own little bubbles, of looking at my world, my kingdom, my will, what I want to do, and to say to God, you know what, I think I can trust you more than I can trust myself, so let me pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.’ Roy Crowne from Hope International then went on to say, ‘It all flows out of Jesus … so when I pray ‘Your Kingdom Come’ for an individual, for a situation, I’mpraying Your Kingly rule, all of the great things that you bring, I want you to bring that into this situation.
’What does Jesus’ Kingly rule look like? He tells us Himself, in the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news
to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
So when we pray ‘Your Kingdom Come’, we are asking that God will proclaim
His good news of salvation and freedom to the people we are praying for; that they may be released from whatever holds them in chains, and that they will clearly see and experience the love and plans that God has for them. When we pray that they will know His favour, we are crying out to God for the whole of their lives, present and future, temporal as well as eternal, so that from this day forward they will live in trust and security, safe in the knowledge that He will never let them go.
The campaign may be over for another year, but the praying still goes on. And what we pray for others, we need to pray for ourselves, no matter how long we have been Christians, as the reality of Kingdom living can so often become overwhelmed by the difficulties of everyday life. God does not promise us an easy ride, but he does assure us that His never-ending Kingdom of freedom, good news and favour starts right here, right now, whatever situation we find ourselves in today, so that He is never far from us, and is easily found when we seek Him. Our prayer for all of us this week, this month, this year and beyond is ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, so that we may experience and trust His compassionate rule in every aspect of our lives.
With our love and prayers,
Matthew and Pauline