Sunday prayers continue as we grapple with ‘uncertainty of the times’

This Sunday (11 July), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Cross standing out at sea at sunset

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 15 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 the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

“We should always be mindful for the wisdom handed down to us from past generations; much of it learned the hard way, from mistakes made and consequences suffered,” Lord Wallace said.

“So, too, we are grateful for the richness that comes to us from living alongside people of other traditions. In our day and generation we must surely allow our minds and hearts to be open so that we can risk getting to know them and learning from them.

“In this pandemic, our responsibility is to come together and offer our prayers for all the many diverse expressions of our Christian faith that enrich life, as we have done for many months now.

“A pattern has been set for us, lived out in Jesus Christ, made possible by the Spirit. May we follow in His way, and be guided by the one over-riding rule of love in all that we say and do.”

This week’s letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic (a copy of which will be available to read here soon), states:

“What is the future shape of the society in which we live? To ask the question is to invite any number of different answers and many of the answers will reflect the uncertainty of the times.

“In all of our lives, there is perhaps a greater element of uncertainty than there has been in previous years. Each of us will respond to the challenges of our times in different ways and many will ponder the question and ask: What does the future hold?

“The Apostle Paul lived within the society of his time and offers us a vision of our place within the world. That vision is shaped by an understanding of how we share in the purpose and plan of the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’. We share in that understanding as those who have received the ‘promised Holy Spirit’. Within this vision, we find that we are adopted as the children of God and discover our place according to the purpose and plan of God. (Ephesians 1: 3-14)

“If we cannot yet describe the future shape of our society, we know that, whatever the future holds, we live as those whose destiny is shaped by the purpose and plan of God.

We pray:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as Your children
And include us within Your purposes.
May we find our place in the world and purpose for our lives
As we respond to Your gracious initiative in Christ.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as Your children
And offer to us forgiveness.
May we know the healing power of forgiveness
And offer forgiveness according to the measure that we have been forgiven.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as Your children
And make known Your intention
To gather together all things in heaven and earth.
May our lives on earth reflect the life of the world that is to come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as Your children
And make known to us the word of truth.
May we always speak according to the truth
And may our words reflect the One who came to us full of grace and truth.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as Your children
And seal us with the promised Holy Spirit
May we rediscover our place in the world and renew the purpose of our lives
As we receive the gracious gift of Your Spirit.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

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