There is a passage in the Bible that I love, specifically in The Message version. Jesus and His disciples have been interacting with individuals and crowds, healing, doing miracles, teaching, telling stories, bringing hope and freedom and causing the religious leaders great consternation.
Matthew 9:35 – 10:1 tells us:
‘Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.‘
I imagine Jesus and the disciples making their way up a steep hill towards a solitary place to rest and recover from days of intense ministry. They pause to catch their breath and Jesus turns to look out over the city, remembering the pain and suffering as well as the deep spiritual hunger he has encountered these past few days. His response? Prayer. And prayer together. He gets his friends to pray with him.
Watch this next part. ‘The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of His followers and sent them into the ripe fields.’
Those who prayed the prayer were sent as the answer to their prayer!
I think as Jesus looked out over these “ripe fields” he saw the potential for a great Homecoming. And just like the stories he had told, he sent his disciples out into the streets, the alleyways, the nooks and crannies to seek out the lost and the prodigals, the homeless and the wanderers, to bring them in to partake of the grand feast the Father had prepared.
This is what Thy Kingdom Come is all about this year. It’s about praying for the lost and the prodigals, the homeless and wanderers to find their Home. And for us as Jesus’ followers to be filled with His Spirit and courage to go out and bring them home.
Thy Kingdom Come is a Pentecost prayer initiative that began a number of years ago as a call to the British Church to prayer and to a Pentecost-like boldness in sharing the Hope we carry. It has since become global and ecumenical.
This year, we as 24-7 Prayer Scotland would like to invite you and your church/missional community/organisation to get involved!
Would you join us in praying 24/7 throughout the 10 days between Ascension and Pentecost, 13 – 23 May, for a great Homecoming in our nation of Scotland?
Here are some ideas as to how it could work:
• Like Jesus did, gather others to pray with you. What it could it look like for the churches across your city/town/village to come together for 10 days of unbroken, 24/7 prayer?
– Simply register your “virtual prayer room” on the 24-7 Prayer website and receive an online sign-up with your own URL to share out with all those involved.
– People can sign up as individuals, as families, groups, or even as a church
– Consider using a platform like Padlet to create an online interactive prayer room of sorts for everyone to take part in together.
– Initiate some prayer walks as part of it, in accordance with social distancing guidelines and current restrictions
– Maybe one or two evenings there could be a community-wide prayer meeting or worship time on zoom or another online platform
– Help children, young people and families engage with it through the fun and creative and simple to use Prayer Spaces at Home
• What could it look like to create an outdoor prayer space that is accessible to the local community for the purpose of reflection, where they feel welcomed to add their prayers and know they are being prayed for? In accordance with government regulations and guidance around social distancing, of course.
There are lots of helpful tips and ideas on the 24-7 Prayer website for running online prayer rooms and prayer events and more information around Thy Kingdom Come as well as free resources on the Thy Kingdom Come website. But we as 24-7 Prayer Scotland are also here for you and are happy to chat with you, discuss ideas, give you any support we possibly can. So do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com and we will be in touch.
Be watching for more information across all of our social media platforms for some Facebook and Instagram live prayer times that we will be hosting throughout the 10 days, as various voices from across Scotland lead us in prayer.
Let’s come together as the Church across Scotland and pray with Jesus for a great Homecoming in our nation, ready and willing to become the answers to that prayer by the power of Holy Spirit within us!
Crystal is the National Coordinator for 24-7 Prayer Scotland and loves being part of the wild, contagious and life-transforming movement that is 24-7 Prayer. She loves hospitality, cooking, talking about prayer, the history of Celtic Christianity, all things Nature, exploring new places and cultures, conversations over coffee (or a glass of red wine), reading and all things creative.