Are you familiar with that feeling of dread when it comes to talking to others about Jesus Christ? Do you strive to love Christ with your whole heart and follow Him with all your will, but wish you weren’t so weak when it comes to witnessing to Him in conversations with others? Do you know in your own life the very real places that Christ has healed you, comforted you, encouraged you and forgiven you, but feel you can’t find the courage to share His name and what He has done for you with friends and family?
If so, you are not alone! The Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior leader of the Church of England, supported by England and Wales’ Roman Catholic Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has recognised this struggle, and has instigated ten days of prayer during the run up to Pentecost- 25th May- 4th June- to very specifically pray for the Holy Spirit to build up Christians into good witnesses. It is not enough that people know we are people of faith, or people who do good, or even people who find comfort in faith. People need to know Jesus Christ Himself, and they will only know if we find the ways and words to introduce Him to them.
The website for this initiative, titled “Thy Kingdom Come” explains that:
“Between 25th May and 4th June, communities and churches around the world are gathering together to pray that their friends, families and neighbors come to know Jesus Christ.
“Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days, including 24-7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Cathedrals, churches and other venues will host Beacon Events, gathering people across towns and cities to worship and to pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness.
“We hope that churches, families and individuals will take part.”
The website provides plenty of information about the 10 days of prayer, including how to take part as a church, family or individual, and you can also pledge to pray in order to add your location to the world map. This is also a good opportunity to pray ecumenically with other Christian denominations. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, London, has also joined with this initiative, and published a very comprehensive list of Catholic resources which can be found here.
We hope that you will consider joining in this in whatever form you can. The world so desperately needs people alive in their faith and confident in the sharing the love of Christ and speaking His name. Times of collective and focused prayer, particularly globally, are so important and prayer with hopeful expectation of answers is very powerful.
“As we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we should expect that God will use us to help answer our prayer. He will give us opportunities to witness to Him with the people we have been praying for. He will use us to invite people to know and experience the goodness of His Kingdom and to join His family. But we also know that most of us find speaking of our faith daunting. We feel ill-equipped. We assume someone else, maybe anyone else, is better suited, or we think that sharing faith is someone else’s job. All Christians are appointed as God’s witnesses. It is not a choice. The only choice is whether we are good witnesses or bad ones.”