Join us in prayer, tonight at 7pm

This Sunday (15 November), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cross on a rock in the sea

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.

“There are some things which make sense for a certain period of time but which come to a natural conclusion – such as clapping for carers during the spring lockdown. Prayer isn’t one of them,” Dr Fair said.

“The Apostle Paul encourages us to ‘pray without ceasing’ and Jesus himself offers parables where persistence in prayer is lauded.

“It can be hard to keep going when there’s no end in sight; much easier when the finishing line comes into view. In the case of the pandemic, it still feels as if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

“All the more reason then for God’s people to continue faithfully in prayer. And even better when we can pray across the whole of the Church, unrestricted by denominational divides.

“If Sunday at 7pm is in your diary, keep it there. Thank you. If it hadn’t been, it would be great to have you involved. It matters that we pray.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-LxIfgJMD8Y

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

“‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ In the Gospel of Matthew, these words are spoken to the servants who have wisely used the talents entrusted to them.

“In our reading of the Parable of the Talents, we remember that the meaning of the word ‘talent’ has subtly changed. Originally, the reference is to a measure of weight and we learn from this that the weight of money entrusted to the servants is considerable indeed. In our contemporary reading, we are more apt to think of ‘talent’ in terms of gift and ability, and we read and mark this subtle distinction carefully. (Matthew 25: 14-30)

“In these unprecedented times, we are conscious of the very considerable investment that has been made in sustaining the community and society of which we are a part. In facing the challenges that are before us, we are again conscious of the work of those who seek, on a daily basis, to renew the health and well-being of our community and society.

“We act with them and pray for them. Indeed, we are all called to use that which has been entrusted to us to serve and bear witness to the love, grace and mercy of God. We do so trusting that, at the last, we shall hear the words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’”

We pray:

Faithful God
And giver of all good gifts,
We thank you for the gift of life entrusted to us
And for the knowledge that we are made in your image.
In these times, may we bear witness to the gift you have given to us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God
And giver of all good gifts,
We thank you for the gift of family and of friendship
And for the companions who join us on the way.
In the community in which we share, renew the ties that bind us together.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God
And giver of all good gifts,
We thank you for those who serve within our community and society
And who, by their work, sustain our common life.
In these times, strengthen and renew them in all they do,
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God
And giver of all good gifts,
We thank you that you call us to serve and to bear witness
To your love, grace and mercy.
In the community of the faithful, may we never forget this calling.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God
And giver of all good gifts,
We thank you for all those who through their talent,
And by their research, give hope to the world.
In these times, may we share generously the fruit of that hope.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Faithful God

And giver of all good gifts,
We thank you that you reveal your life to us
In the community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the life to come, may we hear: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

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