Dear Heavenly Father, many parents today find themselves having to home-school their children, who have never had proper teaching experience and have no teaching qualification. They will feel rather unsure of what they ought to do and how to go about it. This frightening time of darkness in our world causes friends to be separated, routines simply brushed away and new ways of working for us all.
Give them the courage and the wisdom to set about the task of preparing my home-school environment, and guide them in what they should teach their children. Lord, we pray that they may have an aptitude for teaching them and that You would give the children willing, receptive minds and the ability to learn as well and understand what is being taught. Amen.
This Sunday (10 January), as restrictions continue across Scotland, Christians across the country will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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.”
As we journey into the year to come, we find ourselves once more in a desert place and in that place there are many who are deeply uncertain as to what the year will bring.
“At this time, there are many who feel locked out of the pattern that has previously shaped their lives and the absence of that pattern can be profoundly unsettling.
“Yet even in the most uncertain of times, there are moments of discovery, and rediscovery, where we are shaped by a new pattern.
“As this takes place, we are renewed and affirmed as those who are made in the image of God.
“The Gospel of Mark opens by taking us to a desert place and in that desert place there takes place a renewal signified in baptism which marks the beginning of new life.
“Indeed, Jesus Christ himself comes to the waters of the River Jordan to be baptised.
“As he does so, he hears the words of affirmation: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ (Mark 1: 4-11) In our own desert place, may we find renewal, affirmation and the living presence of God.”
Living God, Be with us in the desert place And renew us as those who are made in your image. Hear us as we call to you And answer our cry. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, Be with us in the desert place And meet us in the place of suffering. Hear us as we call to you And bring healing to the broken. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, Be with us in the desert place And come beside those who are sorrowing. Hear us as we call to you And have compassion upon us. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, Be with us in the desert place And lead us to the places of discovery and rediscovery. Hear us as we call to you And reshape the pattern of our lives. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, Be with us in the desert place And may we know that Christ is with us. Hear us as we call to you And lead us to the place where we hear your word of affirmation. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Father in heaven, I stand before You today in Your omnipotent presence to ask that You grant me strength. I want You to give me the strength to power through all of the tasks today — whether little or big. It is by Your will that I live oh Lord. And I know it is also by Your will I will not go weak today. I will not go lazy nor will I will fail to do all things set before me because You strengthen me. Thank You for Your everlasting presence Lord and in Jesus’ name, I pray.Amen.
Thirsty for you, O Christ, let us drink of the Living Water. Hungry for you, let us taste the Bread of Life. Lost without you, let us hear the Shepherd’s voice. Amen. Anselm of Canterbury (c.1033-1109)
O Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens but we have sullied your handiwork. Out of the mouths of the young come dire warnings. When we look at the heavens, the work of your ﬁngers, we ignore our reckless conduct. What are human beings that you are mindful of them? We have made ourselves a little higher than the angels, lording it over creation with scant forethought. You have given us dominion over the works of your hands, which we have trampled underfoot. O Lord, our Sovereign, invite us back to Eden, to be proper stewards, so that we might be better with that which you called good. Amen.