Kirk continues weekly prayer initiative this Sunday (28th February)

This Sunday (28 February), as Scotland’s lockdown easing plan has been newly published, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once again join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Hands holding a candle

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 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.”

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

“There are times in the Gospels when it is clear that the disciples of Jesus have real difficulty in understanding his teaching. On one such occasion, Jesus speaks openly about what lies before him and afterwards Peter ‘took him aside and began to rebuke him’. (Mark 8: 31-32) Peter is clear that death and resurrection are not part of that future and, as he speaks, it is equally clear that he has not yet understood the way that Jesus must take.

“There are times in the past months when all of us have had real difficulty in understanding the challenges faced within our society and across the globe. We have been unclear as to what the future holds and the path to be taken. In all of this, we have not been alone.

“As the Gospel account unfolds, Jesus gathers the crowd around him and invites them to ‘take up their cross and follow me’. (Mark 8: 34)

“As we journey into the future and follow the path taken by Jesus, we know that we are not alone. We journey in the way of the cross and in the hope of the resurrection.”

We pray:

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with us through Your Son
Who has journeyed in the way of the Cross.
Grant to us grace and faith that we might follow Him.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
In all we face,
Be near to us, and all whom we love,
And guard us safe in Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with those who fear this day
And who struggle to see the future.
Lead us from the darkness into Your light.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with those who grieve this day
And who feel bereft of comfort.
In Your compassion, be near to them.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
In all that is faced by our society today,
Grant wisdom, insight and understanding
To those who are called to govern our nation and act on our behalf.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with us through Your Son
Whose journey in the way of the Cross
Yields the hope of the Resurrection.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore

Image

Loving God, we seek your presence in the silence beyond words looking to you for comfort, strength, protection and reassurance breathing with gratitude holding on to hope trusting with faith that you are still God in the midst of the turmoil and that your love reaches to the ends of the earth. Be present with us now. (Silence)

God of love and mercy, embrace all those whose hearts today overflow with grief, unanswered questions and such a sense of loss. Grant them space to express their tears. Hold them close through the coming days. Amen.

Call to Evening prayer in COVID-19 at 7pm

This Sunday (24 January), as lockdown restrictions continue in Scotland, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once again join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

praying hands

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 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.

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

“In the Gospel of John, Jesus prays for all those who have come to believe in him ‘that they may all be one…so that the world may believe’ that he has been sent by the Father. (John 17: 20-21)

“As we reflect upon this, we see Jesus Christ as the One who intercedes for us before the living God and who enables us to approach God through him. In the times in which we live this offers a profound reassurance: Jesus Christ is the One whose prayer sustains the life of the people of God.

“The times in which we live are ones in which discord and division are all too often to the fore. In times such as these, the people of God are called to bear witness to the reconciling work of Christ that breaks down the walls that divide us. As we reflect upon the words of John 17, we are called to live out our response to the prayer of Jesus that we ‘may all be one…that the world may believe’.”

We pray:

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we share in the life of Christ
And in the hope of the resurrection.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we know that we are members of the body of Christ
And that we share in the one Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we know that he is our peace
And that he has broken down the walls that divide us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we know that we have been reconciled to God
And that the task of reconciliation has been entrusted to us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May your people be one
That the world may believe.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Sunday prayers with Christians across the country

Sunday (20 December) marks the fourth Sunday of Advent. As Christmas Day draws ever closer to us, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once more join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 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.

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

“The words of the angel to Mary bring this assurance: ‘The Lord is with you’ (Luke 1: 28). The words are clear and unequivocal: ‘The Lord is with you.’

“Nevertheless, Mary is ‘perplexed’ and clearly fearful as she tries to comprehend the words spoken to her. The message of the angel that she is to become the bearer of the Christ-child leads her to ask: ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ In response, the angel speaks of the promise of the Spirit and Mary affirms and embraces the promise: ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word’ (Luke 1: 26-38). It is as if Mary hears and embraces the first words spoken to her: ‘The Lord is with you.’

“As we come near to the point where the promise of the Advent season is fulfilled in the birth of the Christ-child, we are conscious of the renewed challenges we face within the communities of which we are a part. In the face of this, each one of us longs to know the assurance of the promise: ‘The Lord is with you.’

“In the perplexities and challenges of the times, and to each one of us, the words of assurance are spoken. The Lord is with us and we are invited to embrace the promise of the Christ-child who is to come.”

We pray:

Lord, draw near to us
And to all who long to hear your Word.
We give thanks that the promise of the Advent season
Will soon be fulfilled in the birth of the Christ-child.
May we embrace the promise and share in the hope it brings.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, draw near to us
And to all who long to hear your Word.
We pray for the lonely and the perplexed;
For the anxious and the fearful.
Be near to them as you are to us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, draw near to us
And to all who long to hear your Word.
We pray for the families and communities of which we are a part
And for our Nation.
Sustain us in these times and renew us in times to come.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, draw near to us
And to all who long to hear your Word.
We give thanks that, in all things, you are with us
And we embrace once more the promise of the Christ-child.
May the light of Christ shine in the darkness and bring hope to the world.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.