Sunday Prayers this evening

The Faith Impact Forum has been in touch with members of our partner church, the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, Ukraine (Egyházkerület Kárpátaljai Református). Like all of us they are watching with concern as armed forces mass at the Russian border and the threat of conflict grows.

Old Man of Storr, Skye

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, and Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, convener of the Faith Impact Forum are asking all of us to join them in praying for those who are frightened and at risk in Ukraine.

A prayer for Ukraine:

The news can be difficult to listen to and to read.
When that news relates to faces we know
And to voices familiar to us,
It becomes all the harder to hear.
Lord God,
We ask you to hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart.
Protect them, we pray;
From violence,
From political gamesmanship,
from being used and abused.
Give, we pray,
the nations of the world the courage
and the wisdom
to stand up for justice
and the courage too,
to dare to care – generously.
Lord in your mercy,
Take from us all,
The tendencies in us
That seek to lord it over others:
Take from us those traits
that see us pursuing our own needs and wants
before those of others.
Teach us how to live in love
And dignity
And respect – following your example.
In your name and for your sake,
Amen

Ahead of some restrictions easing across Scotland this week, Christians across the country – and further afield – join together in prayer and reflection in response to the pandemic.

“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.

“As we return to many restrictions being eased, we call to mind those for whom the restrictions of recent times have been profound and life-changing. We pray that those who are anxious and nervous about change will find reassurance. And in exercising our own personal choices, let us be mindful of the needs and concerns of our neighbours.

“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.”

“Where do we find ourselves today? Does the light of the day still shine and does the way ahead seem clear and certain? Or, does darkness fall and the way ahead seem uncertain and hidden in the shadows? In whatever situation we find ourselves, the Psalms speak to us and the Psalms speak for us. They speak to us, and for us, in every situation of life.

“Perhaps there is nowhere that this is more evident than in the 23rd Psalm. The resonance of the ancient, yet immediately present, words of the Psalmist can be sensed; such that even now we can hear those words speaking into the depths of who we are: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd… Even though I walk through the darkest valley… Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me.’ (Psalm 23)

“To read and to hear the words evokes a response in the very depths of our being. We are addressed by God and the Psalm offers to us words of response: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley… I fear no evil.’ ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me… and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord.’ Wherever we find ourselves today, the Lord speaks to us and graciously offers us words of response.”

We pray:

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place of Your presence
And speak to us Your word that brings life.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place of still waters
And restore our troubled souls.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us on the paths of righteousness
And deliver us from evil.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us through the valley of shadows
And bring us to the place of safety.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place where the table is renewed
And the cup overflows for all.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place where goodness and mercy abide
And to the house of the Lord forever.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

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