Thy Kingdom Come
Prayer Reflections for 21-31 May 2020
Every single day hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters around the world say the prayer Jesus put on our lips, praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. In the past few years, the focus of our prayers in these days between Ascension and Pentecost has been for the coming of the God’s Kingdom in the lives of family and friends, neighbours and colleagues that they might come to faith.
From the 21st to 31st of May, from Ascension to Pentecost, the Church of England is especially celebrating the Lord’s Prayer and using it to pray for renewal in Church and Nation.
The Bishop of Norwich is inviting everyone to join him at 9pm each evening between Ascension Day and Pentecost in a Zoom Compline service. Details available here.
We normally set up prayer stations around the church but due to the pandemic we have gone virtual and have suggestions for you to do at home.
There are 2 sections to this page: Prayer Spaces for Families and Prayer Spaces for All Ages
Prayer Spaces for Families
Thanks to Prayer Spaces In Schools for these ideas.
Be Still - Ourselves
Pillows, cushions, bed sheets, bean bags etc.
Build a den in your home, make it comfy and peaceful
The word ‘holy’ simply means, ‘set apart’.
For hundreds of years, people have discovered that being set apart from other people helps them to be more aware of themselves and also of God.
This den is a place to be still. To breathe slowly.
To be still and listen.
To be with God.
Calm Jar - Ourselves
Jar - an acrylic jar is best, with a well fitting lid
To prepare the jars: half fill the jar with glycerine, top it up with water to within 10mm of the top. Add some glitter and a tiny amount of food colouring. At this point put the lid on and give it a shake. Add more glitter or colouring if need be, but try not to add too much colour as will obscure the effect. Finally add a tiny drop of washing up liquid; this breaks the surface tension so that the glitter doesn’t cling to the surface of the water, but don’t add too much or it will be frothy. Top up with water or glycerine to about 5mm from the top of the jar.
Mix the ingredients together to create a calming jar of glitter. Do this before the activity.
What are the things on your mind at the moment? Pick up the jar and shake it. Watch the glitter swirl around and settle at the bottom.
Imagine the things on your mind slowly settling down. Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God’.
Gratitude Jar - Ourselves
Empty Jar, paper or post-it notes, pens
It’s good to be grateful - to say thank you.
What are you thankful for today?
Each day write or draw something that you are thankful for and put it into the jar. At the end of the week, open the jar with your household, maybe at a meal time, and read what you’ve all been thankful for together.
Keep Me Safe - Ourselves
Using soap and water, thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. As you wash your hands, think about how you feel about the coronavirus disease.
If you want to, you can say a hope or a prayer for safety.
Psalm 46:1 ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’
Kindness Postcards - Our Community
Elderly people in care homes sometimes feel lonely because they miss family and friends.
Brighten someone’s day by drawing a picture or writing an encouraging message on a postcard and send it to a care home in your area.
Ask an adult to address it to ‘The Residents’ and put it in the post. Pray that those who read it will feel loved and valued.
Jumping for Joy - Our Community
Think of something or someone that makes you feel joyful ... or something or someone that you are thankful for.
Jump for joy!
If you want to, say (or shout!) them out as you jump up and down.
Keep Others Safe - Our Community
Tissues/ toilet roll, pens
Tissues are fragile. They tear easily. Think about someone you know, or groups of people (e.g. those who are elderly or homeless) who may feel ‘fragile’ or vulnerable.
If you want to, you can write or draw a hope or prayer for them onto one of the tissues. Keep the tissues in your pocket or put it beside your bed to remind you to keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.
Get Well Soon - Our Community
Plasters and pens
Do you know someone – maybe a friend or someone in
your family – who isn’t well?
If you want to, you can write their name onto one of the fabric plasters as a hope or a prayer that they get better soon.
Stick the plaster somewhere visible (e.g. on the fridge, on your bedroom door, etc) where you’ll see it every day.
Love > Fear - Our World
Paper, pens, love heart shapes or love heart post-it notes
Fear can feel HUGE and overwhelming. If you want to, you can write your fears about the coronavirus disease onto a piece of paper.
But then, you can stick love-heart shapes on top of those fears, completely covering them, as a hope or a prayer to be set free from fear.
1 John 4:18 ‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.’
Thankful Board - Our World
A pin board/ memo board, pins, magazines and pictures
The Bible says ‘give thanks in all circumstances’. Thankfulness begins with recognising goodness and beauty in people and in the world around us. Think of 5 things that you are thankful for today.
Try to find images in the magazines or online to represent those 5 things, cut them out and pin them to your Thankful Board. Take a moment to thank God for them.
Pray For The World - Our World
A map or globe, stickers or different post-it notes shapes. (Covid-19 map from last email)
Look at the map or globe.
Who do you know who lives in a different place or community?
Can you find a place or country that you have heard about on the news recently? Which country would you like to pray for today?
Place a sticker or a Post-it onto the globe or map and pray for God’s peace and healing.
Climate Change Windmill - Our World
Climate change is becoming a more urgent issue as we learn about the impact of human actions on creation.
What is your reaction? What are your hopes for our amazing world? What could we do?
Write your thoughts and prayers on a piece of paper and create your windmill, think about what you could do to make your prayers or hopes a reality.
Download a template to make a climate change windmill here.
Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Journal - download here.
Prayer Spaces for All Ages
The following are suggestions to be able to spend a few minutes each day praying and reflecting about this challenge to pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, and for the lives of 5 people we know, to come to understand and respond to God’s grace in Christ Jesus. Please use them as you wish- perhaps building a prayer corner over the 11 days with the resources from the activities suggested. If you are planning to do this, a read through first will help you gather the resources you need. Of course, there are other ideas to be found at www.thykingdomcome.global/prayer-resources
You can download a pdf of these prayer reflections here.
You can also download a booklet " Praying the Lord’s Prayer with the Sonnets of Malcolm Guite
" (or in booklet format
) or listen to the audio version on his website here
Thursday 21 May – Ascension Day
Acts 1 v8,9. Jesus said ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Who can you be a witness to of God’s love? Prayer for the Holy Spirit to empower you to be a good witness wherever you are. Consider 5 people of your friends and family to pray for over this time of Thy Kingdom Come. Name them in a prayer journal or on a piece of paper for this time and over the coming days keep a note of what you feel God is saying to you as you pray
Friday 22 May
Genesis 22 v17,18 (God speaking to Abraham) I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
God’s purpose has always been to redeem his world and make all peoples his own. Like Abraham offering his son Isaac for sacrifice – pray for your own obedience to do God’s will. Colour in a map of the world and as you proceed with this pray that God’s love and mercy may be known in all places of his creation. Include a prayer for your 5 people.
Saturday 23 May
2 Corinthians 5 v17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Pray for a newness in your spirit to reflect the new life the Holy Spirit has given you. Pray for your named people that they too may know new life in Christ. Plant a few seeds (fast growing seeds – perhaps cress on moist cotton wool) and keep in your prayer corner. As they develop and grow, let it remind you to continue to pray for this new life in you and your family/friends.
Sunday 24 May
John 3 v16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Jesus is our personal saviour through his death on the cross and his resurrection. Remember he did that for you personally just as if you were the only person. Give prayers of thanksgiving for your salvation and also that your 5 named people may come to know this for themselves too. Cut out a cross from paper, make it rainbow coloured to represent everyone and lay it across your world map
to remind you of being personally saved as you pray. (Alternatively, if you are adventurous, you may like to try this ‘palm cross’ design https://youtu.be/k_vSW60NPmc
Monday 25 May
Psalm 51 v6 ,7 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Pray for honesty within your self and for your named people; that you may see truthfully your own character and motivation. Take a stone or pebble from your garden and with some moist cotton wool or tissue, clean away the soil and mud. Keep the clean pebble for tomorrow but place the soiled tissue with your prayer corner items and pray to confess your wrong-attitudes and motivations, and for yourself and your named 5 to receive God’s cleansing touch.
Tuesday 26 May
Psalm 46 v1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Taking the cleaned pebble from yesterday, try and buff its surface to give a shine – use polish if you wish. As you rub the hard stone, remember that God is our rock, a sure help in all circumstances. Hand over issues of doubt and uncertainty to God in prayer for yourself and ask that your named 5 will come to know God and Jesus as someone to trust wholeheartedly.
Wednesday 27 May
John 8 v12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’
This is a well known ‘I am’ saying from John’s Gospel. Light a candle to leave with your prayer corner and ponder what this means to you. For us all we perhaps feel darkness crowding in on our lives from time to time so pray for it to be banished by the Light of Jesus. Pray for your 5 that the Light of Christ may be revealed to them even in the darkness of their lives and our world.
Thursday 28 May
1 Corinthians 13 v8-13 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Frustrations get to all of us – wanting things to change and get better but they don’t seem to. Why is a word frequently on our lips but we should be asking for greater clarity in each and every difficult situation about what we should do. Take some tin foil and lightly scrunch it. Then unwrap it and cover a piece of card (from an old cereal box, or perhaps a greetings card) making sure the shiny side is facing outward. As you look into the distorted and unclear image of this improvised mirror, pray for greater clarity to live out your life as God wants. Focus on the what you and your named 5 should be doing rather than the why of the things happening in yours and their lives.
Friday 29 May
Proverbs 7 v1,2 My child, keep my words and store up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye.
The apple of your eye can be considered as the glint of light seen reflecting off someone’s eye as you look into it. The expression conjures up keeping the Lord’s commandments as central to our focus. Pray for a renewed understanding of God’s commandments; to live with them central to your life. Pray also for your 5 to come to prioritise God’s commandments for their lives too. Take a shiny apple and place it with your prayer corner as you pray, focus on the glint of light reflecting off its surface as you pray.
Saturday 30 May
Galatians 5 v22-25 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
If we are filled with the Holy Spirit then our lives should exude all the good fruits of the Spirit. Pray for an abundance of good fruit to be yielded in your life and in the lives of your 5; that they particularly may know the origin of this blessing in their life. Place a piece of your favourite fruit (or a picture of it) with your prayer corner as you pray.
Sunday 31 May Pentecost
John 7 v 37-39 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit that has been given by our ascended saviour to equip us to live out a life of faith for him. Pray for streams of his living water to flow through you to equip you as a faithful disciple and pray that the thirst for life in your named 5 people may be quenched by knowledge and understanding of our risen Lord.