Rosemary Beattie describes herself as a “serious introvert” who often has difficulty stating her opinions at meetings. But she has a simple solution for that: prayer.
“I’ve found that praying ahead of time actually frees me and I can speak quite honestly and forthrightly,” she says.
Ms. Beattie, a member of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto, is part of a large group of people in the diocese who plan to put the power of prayer to work during Thy Kingdom Come, a worldwide prayer movement held from Ascension Day to Pentecost, May 30 to June 9.
Thy Kingdom Come was started by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in the Church of England in 2016, and it has spread to more than 65 denominations in 114 countries around the world. “In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come,’ we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities,” says Archbishop Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Through the centuries, Christians have gathered during the 11 days from Ascension Day to Pentecost to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Thy Kingdom Come picks up this tradition.
Thy Kingdom Come encourages Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. It is hoped that everyone who takes part will deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and come to realize that every aspect of their life is the stuff of prayer.
Anglicans in the diocese can participate in a number of ways, from simply saying a prayer each day to organizing and taking part in events in their parishes. Thy Kingdom Come’s website, www.thykingdomcome.global, provides plenty of resources, including videos, podcasts, daily readings and prayers.
Near the end of Thy Kingdom Come, a “Beacon” event will be held on June 7 at 7 p.m. at Christ the King, 475 Rathburn Rd., Toronto. All are invited. Youth and youth groups from across the diocese are especially encouraged to attend. The event will include worship, prayer and a fun reception. Bishop Jenny Andison, the area bishop of York-Credit Valley, will preach.
Grace Terrett, a member of St. Bride, Clarkson and the leader of York-Credit Valley’s Evangelism Taskforce, is helping to promote Thy Kingdom Come in her episcopal area and is excited by the possibilities. “It’s so simple yet profound,” she says. “What would it look like if we all prayed for somebody in our lives to come to know Christ, and what impact would it have on the world around us if we did?”
Ms. Terrett believes that prayer not only helps those who are being prayed for but the person who is doing the praying. “When I pray for people, it changes me. It transforms my spirit and my heart and mind.”
She says prayer is the “bedrock” of her spiritual life. “It’s my anchor and place to go to when things get crazy. I need to settle down and be in a receptive place where I can hear from God and know that God is helping me and is concerned for me as a person. It’s because of that that I can be merciful and try to be more loving, caring and grateful.”
Ms. Beattie echoes her words. “I feel that I receive guidance when I pray,” she says. “I find it very strengthening.”
Ms. Beattie participated in Thy Kingdom Come for the first time last year and found the videos, podcasts and other prayer resources very helpful. “I think people often need guidance in prayer – guidance that isn’t intimidating,” she says. “It’s helpful to have a guide, and I think Thy Kingdom Come was very successful at that.”