Dear Church Family
We're in a 10-day season of concentrated prayer - named by the Archbishops as 'Thy Kingdom Come'. Having returned recently from a short period away for study and then holiday I spent two sessions in St Cuthbert's House of Prayer yesterday. Each time I was joined by a number of others, calling out to God for our city, region and nation. I'm so encouraged to see and hear that many are praying for the Lord to move in power in our day. That is good and important, for nothing of lasting significance happens without prayer.
So please join us this Sunday - Pentecost Sunday - in York Minster at 7.30pm for the regional Beacon Event at the end of 'Thy Kingdom Come'. We will worship, hear a short inspiring message and then spend time in prayer. We'll be praying for all sorts of things, including for Manchester as we continue to remember those who lost loved ones in last week's tragic bombing. It helps if you've signed up for the free Eventbright ticket, but if you haven't of course you're still welcome to come - just get there in good time! The Archbishop of York will be with us, and we'll be joining with thousands across our nation and beyond who'll be gathering in similar beacon events. Let's be praying that ancient prayer of the church - 'Come Holy Spirit.'
It's significant for our nation that this time of prayer is closely linked in timing to the recently-called General Election (taking place next Thursday - 8th June). As you cast your vote next week, do pray for our nation, that the new parliament will be filled with women and men of integrity, wisdom and love, serving the constituencies of the United Kingdom. When many don't have the opportunity to choose their government, let's not forget the privilege we have to live in a democracy and make sure we each prayerfully use our vote on Thursday.
Finally, on this Pentecost weekend, don't forget to pray for yourself! Some of us are tired. Weary. Low. Troubled. In need of hope, encouragement and renewal. The God of hope longs to pour out his Spirit afresh on you (as Paul makes clear in Ephesians 5:18) and for you to have fresh encounters with him. Why not find time to pray the wonderful blessing-prayer of Romans 15:13 over yourself this weekend? It's a wonderful prayer. A prayer not just for others. But for you. So why not pray it, replacing the 'you' with 'me' or 'I'? That way you can make this your prayer for Pentecost.
'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit' (Romans 15:13).