I’ve never met a Christian who thought they were good at praying. Even among those who in my eyes have been spiritual giants, prayer has been a daily challenge, punctuated by glimpses of grace. Perhaps that’s why many, including myself, find prayer hard work. But we should not be surprised. If we believe, as Jesus clearly did, that prayer changes things then prayer is rightly seen as work. That’s not to say that there can’t be joy and purpose and fulfilment, but discipline and commitment will always be there as part of prayer.

I’ve been really encouraged by the shared focus on prayer which has been a thread running through the days approaching Pentecost this year. Thy Kingdom Come has captured the imagination of many. I’ve been blessed as others have prayed for me and I have been moved by the privilege of praying for other people.

So as we reach the end of this period of prayerful engagement let us decide not to stop, but to persevere, to keep going. Not because it will be easy, not because we think this is something we are good at, but because it is important.

The people, the families, the communities and the countries for which we pray are still in need of God’s gracious rule even if they don’t yet know this. Let us continue to pray “Thy Kingdom come” until it does.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers for me personally. As I tell people whenever I can, during the three months at the start of the year when Bishop Tim was on sabbatical, I felt wonderfully ‘upheld’ by prayer. I have never felt as conscious of the prayers of others as I did then. Thank you for praying for me. There will shortly be another period of transition after Bishop Tim moves to Lambeth so please may I ask you once again to support me in this way. May I be for you the Bishop you need me to be.