Millions of Christians to unite in prayer for revival

Millions of Christians across the church denominations will be urged to join the Archbishop of Canterbury's prayer initiative ahead of Pentecost next year.

Churches throughout the UK and around the world will unite to pray for more people to come to faith as the evangelism drive enters its second year. Millions could join in 2017 after the 'Thy Kingdom Come' enterprise saw more than 100,000 Christians gather in prayer in 2016.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby launched Thy Kingdom Come alongside the Archbishop of York John Sentamu last year.

Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Copts, Methodists, Orthodox Christians and members of free churches will unite under the Anglican umbrella after the presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE) announced on Monday they would accept the invitation to pray in the 10 days before Pentecost 2017.

"We want to encourage our brothers and sisters in churches of all traditions to partner in praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' in the days leading up to Pentecost 2017," the presidents said in a statement. "There is no prescription about how we should pray; we hope each church will participate in a way that is authentic to them and where possible to engage in this with their partner churches in their area."

They will write to their churches – which range from Seventh-Day Adventists churches to Coptic Orthodox churches – and encourage them to participate.

"We pray to the Father that his family, called to be one in Jesus Christ, may see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to transform many lives and communities in our land," they said.

Bishop Dr Eric Brown, the Pentecostal president for CTE, said: "What started off as a CofE event, is emerging as a global event."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, another of the six presidents of CTE, said the 2016 movement had been "profoundly moving" and added: "As we look ahead to 2017 there is growing desire, as beautiful as it is remarkable, among people of so many denominations and nations to pray together for more people to know Jesus Christ.

"I pray that Christians everywhere say yes to this movement of the Spirit, and come together as one in prayer. This is about asking God to fill us with fresh joy and confidence to be the witnesses to Jesus Christ that we are called to be – as individuals and as churches – so that we may share His life-transforming love with those around us."

Archbishop Welby has also extended the invitation to all the Anglican provinces around the world.

The other presidents of CTE are Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster; the Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, Free Churches Moderator; the Revd Canon Billy Kennedy,who represents the New Churches, Quakers and the Lutheran and German-speaking Churches and Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, the President for the Orthodox Churches.