Kirk joins in prayer with Christian partners

This Sunday (20 June), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Stormy seas

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 the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

“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.

“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.

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

“‘We’re all in this together!’ When we hear such a statement, it implies that we share together in the difficulty being faced. No one is exempt and we all have to face up to the challenge that confronts us. There are times, of course, when we wonder if this is entirely true.

“Nevertheless, the last months have brought home to us the fact that, in facing up to the challenge of the pandemic, no one is exempt.

“In the Gospel of Mark, the disciples find themselves in a boat one evening with Jesus. They have left the crowds behind and are in a situation in which they might have said: ‘We’re all in this together!’ Except, Jesus is asleep even as a storm arises ‘and the waves beat into the boat’ and the boat seems set to be overwhelmed.

“The disciples are all in this together, but what about Jesus? The disciples ask him: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” In response, Jesus rebukes the wind and calls to the sea: “Peace! Be still!” He then asks the disciples: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” It is as if he is asking them: ‘Did you think that I was not in this together with you?’ (4: 35-41)

“The challenges of these last months have left us with many questions. However, we may be sure of this: In all we face, Jesus is with us in the boat in the midst of the storm and we can say: ‘We’re all in this together!’”

We pray:

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we turn to You and listen for Your voice.
Whether in the midst of quiet or of storm,
Speak to the depths of who we are.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we leave behind that which is past
And face the challenges of this day:
Speak Your word to us in this present moment.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we sense the depth of the challenges we face
And fear that we shall soon be o’erwhlemed:
Speak to us in the still, small voice of calm.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As You have been with us
In all the days that the storm has raged:
Speak the words that calm the storm and cease the rage.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we hear the words You have spoken
And know the peace of Your presence renewed:
Speak the words that inspire faith and reassure us of Your abiding presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Join the Church in prayer at 7pm

This Sunday (13 June), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Man's hands praying

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 the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

“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.

“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.

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

“‘Seeing is believing!’ The saying is one that we are all familiar with and it finds expression in music, film and everyday speech. In essence it means: To see is to believe.

“However, the reality of life is that we see so much that it becomes increasingly difficult to say we believe simply on the basis of what is before our eyes. The multiplicity of images and information that are presented to us threaten at times to overload the senses.

“The Apostle Paul offers us a way of seeing things differently. Instead of saying: ‘Seeing is believing!’, it is almost as if he reverses this and says: ‘Believing is seeing!’

“Paul was very conscious of the challenges he faced and of the passing nature of what he saw around him. In facing the reality of this in his daily life, he is confident that he has found a way to live that is not dependent solely on what he sees. Rather, he affirms: ‘we walk by faith, not by sight’. (2 Corinthians 5: 7)

“Paul looks ‘not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen’, and by faith he ‘sees’, beyond the temporary, the way that God has marked out. (2 Corinthians 4: 18) In our daily lives, we seek to see the world through eyes of faith.”

We pray:

Everlasting God,
Whose way is known to those who live by faith,
Grant us that we might walk by faith
And so live for you
That our lives reflect the glory of God.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Whose way is known to those who live by faith,
Grant us the assurance that, as we walk by faith,
We are not alone
And that we walk in the company of your Son.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Whose way is known to those who live by faith,
Grant us the knowledge
That we walk in the company of your people
And in the community of your Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Whose way is known to those who live by faith,
Grant us that we might see
The complexity of this world
Through eyes enlightened by faith.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Whose way is known to those who live by faith,
Grant us to see, by faith,
The image of God
In each life shaped by your hand.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Whose way is known to those who live by faith,
Grant us that, at the last,
We will come into your presence
And share in the life everlasting.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Call to prayer tonight at 7pm

This Sunday (6 June), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Praying hands on a Bible

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 the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

“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.

“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.

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

“‘Are we there yet?’ We can easily picture a small child enquiring plaintively from the back of the car as to whether, or not, the destination has been reached? Indeed, even as we mature, we can all readily identify with the sentiment as we enquire as to whether, or not, our desired destination has been reached?

“Over the past months, we might perhaps have been tempted to succumb to the frustration of a journey’s end delayed and to rather lose heart.

“As one who had journeyed and who continued to journey, the Apostle Paul was not unfamiliar with the challenges of doing so. In response to those whom he sensed were ready to succumb to frustration, Paul affirms the basis on which we should continue to journey and concludes: ‘Therefore we do not lose heart.’

“What is that basis? It is the assurance that the One who ‘raised the Lord Jesus from the dead’ will also raise us with Him and bring us into God’s presence. We share in the life of the risen Lord Jesus and the challenges we face on the journey are to be set in the light of this. We might not be there yet but, as we share in the life of the risen Lord Jesus, we are those who ‘do not lose heart’. (2 Corinthians 4: 13-5: 1)”

We pray:

Living God,
Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead,
Be with us on the journey before us.
Be with us when the path is smooth
And the horizon is clear.
Lead us on to the place of Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead,
Be with us on the journey before us.
Be with us when the path is broken
And the way obscured.
Still lead us on to the place of Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead,
Be with us on the journey before us.
Be with us as we face the challenges seen
And those as yet unseen.
In all we face, may Your abiding presence remain.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead,
Be with us on the journey.
Be with those who grow frustrated
And who feel disheartened.
Renew us that we may discover Your presence once more.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead,
Be with us on the journey.
Be with us that we might share
In the life of the Risen Lord
And the life everlasting in Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Prayers continue this Sunday in response to the pandemic

On Trinity Sunday (30 May), following the Kirk’s annual General Assembly, Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

A cross sitting on a hill at sunset

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 the incoming Moderator, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

“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.

“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.”

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

“The vision of the Lord offered by the prophet Isaiah is one in which the presence of the living God fills the Temple and we hear resounding from every corner the cry:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

The whole earth is full of His glory.’

“The Temple itself is shaken as the fullness of God’s presence is revealed. The prophet Isaiah can do no more than acknowledge who he is before God. Yet, even as he senses his own weakness, he hears the voice of the Lord calling: ‘Whom shall I send?’ In response, Isaiah says: ‘Here am I. Send me!’

“Today, in the midst of all we face, the fullness of the living God is made known to us in Creation and revealed through Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and by the Holy Spirit as our Sustainer. In our weakness, we also may hear the voice of the Lord calling: ‘Whom shall I send?’ In response, we also may say: ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

We pray:

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord Almighty;
Living God, may Your presence be known to us
Even in our weakness.
May we know You as Your presence is revealed
And as Your calling is renewed.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord Almighty;
Living God, may Your presence be known to us
In all the gifts of Creation.
May we receive these gifts as a sacred trust
And treasure all that You have given to us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord Almighty;
Living God, may Your presence be known to us
In the One whom You have sent to redeem us.
May we share in the life of Christ
And in the life of the body of Christ.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord Almighty;
Living God, may Your presence be known to us
In the One whom You have poured out upon us.
May we be renewed by the Spirit
And share in the life the Spirit gives to us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord Almighty;
Living God, may Your presence be known to us
In our worship in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
May You receive us as we are
And accept us in our weakness.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.