Join us in prayer tonight at 7pm

This Sunday (11 October), as restrictions continue across Scotland, Christians across the country will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hands holding a candle

As with previous weeks during lockdown and the phased easing of restrictions, 14 Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, have co-signed the letter calling for prayer.

Scottish Christians have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, has been taking part alongside them.

“I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically,” Dr Fair said.

“But reading about what prayer is and how to do it is only the start of it. After that it’s time to actually pray.

“And what better than to join with brothers and sisters from across the nation at 7pm on Sunday to pray our way through this ongoing crisis. I commend it to you and look forward to being with you, in Spirit, on Sunday evening.”

This week’s letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic, states:

“Among the many challenges our society faces at this time is that of finding the appropriate words to describe and express that which needs to be described and expressed. As we have discovered, that is a far more difficult challenge than might have been anticipated.

“In seeking to describe and express the spiritual challenges of this time, we turn to Scripture and discover that Scripture speaks to us and for us. This is especially so of the Book of Psalms. Augustine, a Christian writer who lived in North Africa in the 5th Century writes: ‘If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.’

“At this time, the 23rd Psalm ‘is a mirror for us’: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ The imagery speaks to us and for us. It evokes a memory embedded in our spiritual consciousness that resonates with every part of who we are.

“Whatever paths we take, even to the ‘darkest valley’, the Lord leads us so that we ‘fear no evil’. In our journey, personally and collectively, the Psalm speaks to us and for us.”

We pray:

Good shepherd,
Speak to us and for us.
Speak to us in the midst of us these times
And, in the words of the Psalmist, speak for us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Speak to us at the break of day
And in the evening.
Speak to us the words that resonate in the depths of our hearts
Even as human words fall silent.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Journey with us,
Even to dark valleys.
Go before us
And lead us safe home.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
We confess that we fear the times
And that our souls are troubled.
Lead us to still waters
And restore our souls.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Surely you are with us
And your presence there to comfort.
Comfort us when we are anxious
And strengthen us when we are weak.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
In these present times,
May your goodness and mercy be with us.
In times to come,
May we recall that goodness and mercy has surely followed us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Lindsey Sanderson, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

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