What went up on Ascension Day? Prayer!

Remember what I wrote before Ascension Day?

I wrote recently about plans for prayer and walking in Warrington on Ascension Day. Here’s how it went.

What was all this prayer about?

On Thursday, 10th May, groups of Christians walked around West Warrington praying in the streets and in several churches. It was Ascension Day, the day Christians remember the time when they believe Jesus went back up to Heaven. This was also an international day of prayer: the start of ten days of prayer ending on Pentecost Sunday, the 20th of May. Events are taking place all over the country and in many others. It’s called Thy Kingdom Come.

For more, go to the website www.thykingdomcome.global/events

Here’s an extract.

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement, which invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. What started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

What was the purpose?

The website goes on to say: The hope is that:

  • people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family – as a church, individually or as a family;

  • churches will hold prayer events, such as 24-7 prayer, prayer stations and prayer walks, across the UK and in other parts of the world;

  • people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit, finding new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.
What was my impression of the day? And others?

I found it was a bit like a pilgrimage, only we were not going off somewhere. We were praying in our own area for our own area and for people around us.

Rev . Jeremy Tear, Pioneer Team Rector for the Church of England in West Warrington, said: “It was great to join with fellow Christians from across the area to begin these ten days of prayer. We look forward to seeing God at work in us and through us in the lives of those in our community in the days, weeks and years ahead.”

What did we do?

The day began at 9 am at St James’s Church, Great Sankey. People walked to St Philip’s, Westbrook, to St Joseph’s, Penketh and to St Mary’s, Great Sankey, where they held a short service. There was also a service at St Philip’s at 7.30 pm.

Some people took part in the whole day’s activities, but many chose to walk a particular section or just attend one or more of the prayer times in churches.

There were clergy and other representatives from Church of England, Roman Catholic and independent churches.

How did people pray? What sort of prayer?

They prayed in the streets and in the churches. Standing and sitting. Long prayers and short ones. Nobody knelt. Hardly anybody used set prayers and nobody said “Thou” or “Thee” or used any special language. They just talked to God. People prayed for people they knew, for the area, for the schools, for children starting and those leaving and they prayed for old people. They prayed for the prosperity of the town, and someone quoted Warrington’s motto “Deus dat incrementum” which means “God gives the increase”. There were times when people prayed silently, or rested in God’s peace.

They will keep praying until Pentecost, Sunday 20th – and beyond.

So what?

Someone asked, “Will this make any difference to our town?” We can only wait and see.

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