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.

Scottish Christians join in prayer on third Sunday of Advent

As the season of Advent continues, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once more join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Third Sunday of Advent candles

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.”

Scottish Christians join in prayer on third Sunday of Advent

Published on10 December 2020

This Sunday (13 December), as the season of Advent continues, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once more join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Third Sunday of Advent candles

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.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/B7cZ3dvFjNE

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

“At this time, we find ourselves deeply conscious of the challenges that we still face and yet also of the hope that lies on the horizon. It is as if we have journeyed through a time of darkness and deep uncertainty with no seeming end in sight. Then, even as darkness seemed set to engulf us once more, a light has dawned and has brought hope to the world and to the community of all peoples.

“In the past we have prayed:

Lord, we pray for scientists and researchers;
For those seeking to understand the challenge we face;
For those creating potential vaccines;
For those advising decision-makers.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

“Notwithstanding the challenges we still face, we give thanks to God for those who have created the vaccines that have the potential to restore life to the communities of which we are all a part.

“As we continue on in our Advent journey, we hear of a witness who has come ‘to testify to the light’. The light is not yet with us but the messenger comes to bear witness to the ‘true light’ of God that will soon break into our world (John 1: 6-9). Even now, the light breaks on the horizon for the light of God is coming into our world once more.”

We pray:

Lord, we are your people who have journeyed in darkness
And who long to see your light once more.
We are those who have journeyed through hard times
And who long to see life and community renewed.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we give thanks for scientists and researchers
And for those who have created the vaccines that give hope to the world.
We pray for the just sharing of these precious gifts
And for the renewal of life in every nation.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we are those who journey on
Towards the horizon where light shall surely break.
We journey in times where we are distanced
And trust that in time the distance shall be overcome.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for those who care for the living
And for the dying.
We pray for the bereaved and for the bereft
And ask that you would draw near to them in your compassion.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we are those who have heard
Of the true light that is coming into the world.
We ask that we might become your messengers
And bear witness to Jesus Christ, the light of God that is to come.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.