Sunday prayers continue in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

This Sunday (19 September), 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.

“Let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.

“And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists’ research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.

“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:

“‘Now, do you all understand what I have been saying?’ We might just recall these words, or similar, when in school, whether recently or a very long time ago.

“The teacher has led the class through a lesson and then turned to ask if everyone has understood. No one wants to admit that they did not follow the lesson and that they do not understand.

“In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus begins to teach His disciples about His forthcoming betrayal, death and resurrection. None of the disciples wishes to admit that they do not understand. Their response is one that we can identify with.

“Instead, the disciples turn to discussing something else: Who is the greatest among them? Jesus hears their discussion and, in response, declares: ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’

“Further, Jesus invites a child to stand amongst them and declares that whoever ‘welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me’. (Mark 9: 30-37)

“The response of the disciples is not recorded in the Gospel. Our response is to seek to follow the lesson in order that we might more fully understand the way of the Cross.”

We pray:

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We hear the call to take up the Cross
And to live in the light of the Resurrection.
Grant us faith to do so
And courage to confess when we do not understand.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We recognise that we turn too easily
To that which distracts and displaces.
Renew our focus that we might fix our eyes
On the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We hear the call to become servants,
As Christ Himself became on our behalf.
May we learn the lesson of servanthood
From the One who gave His life as a ransom for many.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We recognise the children in our midst
Whose lives are a gift from Your Hand.
May we receive them within the community of faith
And so receive Christ in our midst.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Christians join in prayer in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

This Sunday (12 September), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

A cross standing at the end of a bridge at golden hour before sunset.

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.

“Let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.

“And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists’ research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.

“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:

“Questions about identity are very much to the fore in our day and age. The asking of a question is, of course, very much easier than providing an answer and the result is that we have many more questions than we have agreed answers.

“At a pivotal moment in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks a question which might be said to be about identity: ‘Who do people say I am?’

“In response, the disciples harvest the many opinions that are in circulation: ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ There are many opinions, but no agreed answer.

“Jesus then asks the question directly to the disciples: ‘But what about you?…Who do you say I am?’ In response, Peter replies: ‘You are the Christ.’ Amidst all the opinions of the day, Peter provides an answer to the question of the identity of Jesus and he affirms that he is the Christ.

“In the midst of the many questions of our day, we affirm this answer for ourselves and resolve to follow in the way of the Cross. (Mark 8: 27-38)”

We pray:

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
We receive the gift of Your Son
As Your gift to Creation and to all peoples
And respond with gratitude and thanksgiving.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we receive Your Son,
May we hear the questions He asks of us
And be willing to respond in faith and trust.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we share the gift of Your Son,
May we listen to the voices of those beside us
That we might understand more fully the breadth of Your Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we listen to the many questions that are asked in our world
May we respond with grace and in truth,
And with shared silence to the questions that are hard to bear.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we hear Your Son speak to us
May we humbly confess
That He is the Christ, the anointed One of God.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Join the Church of Scotland in prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (5 September), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Two hands joining

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.

“Let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.

“And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists’ research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.

“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, states:

“‘If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbour as yourself”, you are doing right.’ (James 2: 8)

“Given all that we face today: How do we know we are doing the right thing? In our personal life and in our shared life, the challenge of doing the right thing is something that we continually face.

“As we reflect upon this, we recognise that knowing “the right thing to do” is not always easy. Nevertheless, throughout Scripture there runs an ancient thread that links the original call to love our neighbour to the summary of the Law given by Jesus. (Leviticus 19: 18; Mark 12: 31)

“The call to love our neighbour is described by James as the ‘royal law’ and is the surest guide we have as to knowing “the right thing to do”.

“As we face the challenge of renewing our society and, at the same time, continuing to face the ongoing pandemic, the need of a sure guide remains constant.

“The ‘royal law’ has been gifted to us by our Creator and renewed by the Lord Jesus Christ. We take it as our guide for these times.”

We pray:

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to You as our Creator
And ask for grace and strength
To live according to that law.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to those beside us as our neighbours
And ask for wisdom that we might do to others
As we would have them do to us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to face the challenges of the day
And seek to renew our society
That it might better reflect Your Kingdom which is to come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to the world before us
And seek to do right in Your eyes
That we might bring glory to You, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Pandemic prayers continue across Scotland this weekend

This Sunday (29 August), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Praying hands

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.

“Let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.

“And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists’ research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.

“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:

“It is sometimes said of a person: ‘They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?’

“When we hear it said, we know exactly what it means: Can that person translate their words into action? It is a question that could easily be asked on any number of occasions as we hear statements made by others. However, the challenge we face as those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ is to ask the question of ourselves, rather than of others: Can we walk the walk?

“The Letter of James sums this up when it urges us to ‘be doers of the word, and not merely hearers’. (James 1: 22)

“The translation into action of the word we hear proclaimed in the name of the living Word; the Lord Jesus Christ, is the challenge we face on a daily basis. We are all too conscious of the occasions when we have failed to translate our words into action. Equally, we are conscious of the One who embodies what is to ‘walk the walk’.

“As we walk with the living Word, we will better live out the call to ‘walk the walk’.”

We pray:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your living Word has come amongst us
And embodies what it is to walk in the light of Your presence:
Grant to us a renewed sense of the presence of Your living Word.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your living Word comes to us full of grace and truth
And speaks to us even in the shadows and the dark places:
Grant to us that we may hear the word spoken to us today.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your living Word comes to offer forgiveness to those who stumble
And who fall short of the glory of God:
Grant to us forgiveness and the opportunity to begin again.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your living Word is for us the way, the truth and the life
And the One who calls us to be followers of the Way:
Grant to us that may walk the walk to which we are called in our daily lives.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.