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'PRAY FOR FIVE' - Novena 2023

by Revd Dr Jeremy Worthen


'Pray for five.’

That’s the tagline for Thy Kingdom Come, the ‘global wave of prayer’ initiated and supported by our two Archbishops in the Church of England. We’re joining in as a parish again this year. For the first time, we’re holding short daily services of around 15–25 minutes at noon on Zoom each day between Ascension and Pentecost. As in previous years, copies of the two beautiful booklets produced for international distribution have been made available in our churches.

If you haven’t already picked up the booklets, please look out for any that are still around on Sunday and make sure they get taken home and used. One of them is a ‘Prayer Journal’, with space for you to write down your own thoughts and prayers as you respond to the material that’s been provided for us. The other is reflections for this year’s ‘Novena’, a term which refers to the nine-day period between Ascension and Pentecost as a special time for seeking renewal through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

We’ll be using the ‘Novena’ reflections as part of our short daily services at noon each day. Do please consider joining us if you can. But if you can’t, try to set aside some time each day to read the reflections by yourself and prayerfully respond, so that this can be something we’re doing together as a family of churches across the parish.

If you prefer screen to paper, or your church has run out of booklets, you can find everything that’s in them and a whole lot more online. There’s a website and also an excellent Thy Kingdom Come App, which includes a brief video to watch each day. I’ve just been listening to Archbishop Justin getting us started – powerful stuff.

There are lots of ways to take part. But at the heart of it is the call to seek God’s Kingdom through the coming of the Holy Spirit, and to seek this in the lives of those around us as well as in our own, for those who don’t know Christ as well as for our church.

‘Pray for five’: in the words of the Archbishops, we’re asked to bring ‘five people before God – friends, family, neighbours or colleagues who are not yet following the Lord Jesus.’ Who will you be praying for between now and Pentecost Sunday?


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