Churches unite in prayer (Sunday 13th September)

This Sunday (13 September), Christians across Scotland will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflection of bridge in pool

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.

“I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically,” Dr Fair said.

“But reading about what prayer is and how to do it is only the start of it. After that it’s time to actually pray.

“And what better than to join with brothers and sisters from across the nation at 7pm on Sunday to pray our way through this ongoing crisis. I commend it to you and look forward to being with you, in Spirit, on Sunday evening.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/zk5ezb4hPSg

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

“‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’. The language of forgiveness is integral to the Lord’s Prayer and to the rhythm of the Christian life. Forgiveness is integral to our relationship with the God who forgives and grants to us the possibility of a new beginning.

“In response, we are called to forgive others. Forgiveness speaks to us about the renewal of relationships that have been broken. In so doing, it takes us to a place where pain has been experienced and healing is necessary. The word of forgiveness offers the possibility of healing and renewal.”

We pray:

God of forgiveness,
We thank you that love abides in the depths of your heart
And that you will to forgive us through Jesus Christ.
Knowing this to be so, we cry out to you.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of forgiveness,
We thank you that you know our hearts
And that you accept us as we are.
We turn to you in the hope of forgiveness.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of forgiveness,
We thank you that your promise is sure
And that there is forgiveness with you.
We embrace you, knowing that you have already embraced us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of forgiveness,
Create in us a pure heart,
That we might love more deeply all who are made in your image.
As we have been embraced by you, we embrace the world of your creation.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of forgiveness,
May love abide in our hearts as it abides in the depths of your heart.
As we have been forgiven through Jesus Christ,
May we celebrate this gift in the company of all your people.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

A PRAYER FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11

O God, our hope and refuge,
in our distress we come quickly to you.
Shock and horror of that tragic day have subsided,
replaced now with an emptiness,
a longing for an innocence lost.

We come remembering those who lost their lives
in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.

We are mindful of the sacrifice of public servants
who demonstrated the greatest love of all
by laying down their lives for friends.
We commit their souls to your eternal care
and celebrate their gifts to a fallen humanity.

We come remembering
and we come in hope,
not in ourselves, but in you.

As foundations we once thought secure have been shaken,
we are reminded of the illusion of security.

In commemorating this tragedy,
we give you thanks for your presence
in our time of need
and we seek to worship you in Spirit and in truth,
our guide and our guardian. Amen.

Call to prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (6 September), Christians across Scotland will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A cross sitting on a rock surrounded by crashing waves at sunset

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.

“I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically,” Dr Fair said.

“But reading about what prayer is and how to do it is only the start of it. After that it’s time to actually pray.

“And what better than to join with brothers and sisters from across the nation at 7pm on Sunday to pray our way through this ongoing crisis. I commend it to you and look forward to being with you, in Spirit, on Sunday evening.”

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

“We live in a time in which we have had to adjust to restrictions in the manner in which we gather as the people of God. The restrictions, for good reasons, have necessarily limited the numbers of those who can gather together for prayer and worship. This has presented many challenges and the challenges are ongoing.

“The limitation on the numbers who are able to gather might, at times, give the sense that our gatherings, whether virtual or actual, are in some way diminished. If so, the words of the Gospel of Matthew encourage us to think along a different path. Jesus says: ‘For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them’ (Matthew 18: 20).

“Wherever we gather and however we gather; whether together or in our own company, Jesus is present and he will never leave us or forsake us. We are not alone.”

We pray:

Living God,
You gather us together
From across the face of the earth,
That we might worship your holy Name
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We gather together in strange times,
Whether virtually or actually,
And ask that you will accept our worship of your holy Name.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You gather us together
In the company of those who have gone before us.
Hold us safe in your keeping and watch over us as the people of God.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come in the assurance
That, where we gather in the name of Jesus,
He is there among us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whether we gather in twos or in threes,
Or whether we come to you in our own company,
Never leave us or forsake us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come, in the company of all your people,
And together we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
To the glory of God the Father.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

CALL TO PRAYER: SUNDAY 30th August 2020 Prayer @ 7pm

‘Here I am’.

In these simple words, we hear a presence revealed and an identity disclosed. When we hear these words spoken by someone that we know, we know that the intention behind them is that they will inform us that another human presence is with us. In saying these words, the speaker knows that we will recognise their identity because their identity is known to us. Nothing else needs to be said. There is, we might say, a communion shared between the person who speaks and the person who hears.

In the Book of Exodus, it is the living presence of the Lord who is revealed and whose identity is disclosed to Moses. The revelation and disclosure takes place on ‘holy ground’ as Lord speaks out of the bush that burns but which is not consumed. Moses does not yet recognise the identity of the One who speaks and the divine name of Lord is not yet fully disclosed. Moses asks that he might know the identity of the One who speaks to him. In response, the Lord says: ‘I AM WHO I AM’. (Exodus 3: 1-15) The presence of the Lord is revealed to us in the depths of the human heart as the Lord speaks to us. There is, we might say, a communion shared between the One who speaks and the person who hears.

We pray:

Living God, Speak to us that we might sense your presence And know your Name this day. Speak into the depths of our lives Out of the depth of your life divine. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, Reveal your Name to us As you revealed your Name in ages past. Reveal your Name to us For we long to know you that you are with us now.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us. Living God, You have made yourself known to us And invited us to share in your life. May we share our lives with others And know them as our family and our friends. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us. Living God, As we share in the life of the world May we better hear the voices of those around us. As we hear their voices May we better know the depths of who they are. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, You make known to us your identity In the communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May we hear you speak, in the place where we are, That we might share in living communion with you this day. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.