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  • Thy Kingdom Come
    Thy Kingdom Come
    Thy Kingdom Come: Episode 8

    Day 8 – Suffering

    Today is Thursday the 2nd of June, and this week we are joining with millions of Christians around the world who are participating in the global prayer movement, Thy Kingdom Come.

    In particular, we are including insights from the Most Revd Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Pause

    As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

    Pause and pray

    Prayer of Approach

    Creator God, who formed humanity from dust, breathe in me again. Revive me and sanctify me by the power of Your Spirit. Set my heart on fire with the good news of Your gospel.

    Rejoice and Reflect

    I choose to rejoice in God’s deliverance today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 116…

    O LORD, I have come to you for protection;
        don’t let me be disgraced.
    Save me and rescue me,
        for you do what is right.
    Turn your ear to listen to me,
        and set me free.
    Be my rock of safety
        where I can always hide.

    Psalm 71:1-3a (NLT)
    Pause and pray

    I am continuing to reflect on the Apostle Peter’s first letter, which was written to believers living across the region of Asia Minor, who were suffering persecution because of their faith in Jesus.

    For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

    1 Peter 3:17-18 (NIVUK)

    ‘In this passage, Peter places suffering on a whole new, cosmic axis. What God has done for us reverberates around the whole universe, and yet is centred on one beaten, broken man. Later, Peter writes: “You are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed”. Our sufferings are not trivial to the God who intimately knows suffering. But they are not final either. On the other side of suffering is victory. For what took place in Jesus takes place in us – death in the body but being made alive in the Spirit.’*

    Ask

    In what ways am I suffering right now?

    Father God, I bring my suffering – my struggling, my pain – to You. Where it is ongoing, I ask You for the grace and strength to endure. And help me to remember that suffering is not final, that there is victory on the other side.

    Pause and pray

    Peter’s letter was written to believers in the region of Asia Minor, which is roughly what we now know as Turkey. Today, only 0.2% of the population there are Christians, and it isn’t easy for them to practise their faith.**

    Lord Jesus, I pray for my sisters and brothers in Turkey – protect them, and give them strength and courage to share their faith with others.

    Pause and pray

    Yield

    As I return to the passage, I open my ears to hear Your word, and my heart to yield to Your will once again.

    For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

    1 Peter 3:17-18 (NIVUK)

    Being a Christian doesn’t give me a free pass to avoid suffering, or an instant solution to it. It doesn’t stop bad things happening to me. I will feel pain. I will grieve the loss of those I love. I may experience hostility and even violence because of my faith. But I will do none of this alone, says Peter. Christ brings me to the God who suffers, who comforts me, and ultimately delivers me.

    Pause and pray

    Yielding Prayer

    Lord Jesus, I surrender my suffering and my struggling to You. I’d much prefer an easier life, but I trust You in the times and the places where things aren’t easy. Let Your will be done, and Your kingdom come, in me and through me.

    Yielding Promise

    And now, as I prepare to take this time of prayer into the coming day, the Lord who loves me says in John’s gospel:

    Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

    John 16:20 (NIVUK)

    Closing Prayer

    Father, help me to live this day to the full, 
     being true to You, in every way.
    Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, 
     being kind to everyone I meet. 
    Spirit, help me to love the lost,
    proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. 
    Amen.

    * Archbishop Justin Welby, Thy Kingdom Come: Novena, Reflections on 1 Peter, (London: Church House Publishing 2022), Day 7, p. 18.

    ** https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/world-watch-list/turkey/

    Inspired by this podcast?

    More episodes in this series

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    Day 9 – Life to the Dead
    Episode 9
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    Day 10 – Come, Holy Spirit
    Episode 10
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    Day 11 – Pentecost Sunday
    Episode 11