Pray together tonight with Christians across Scotland

Whilst lockdown measures continue to ease in Scotland, this Sunday (12 July), Christians across Scotland will continue to join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hands praying

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, states:

“Our human experience is shaped, in part, by our past and by our present situation. Our identity is shaped, in part, by all that we have inherited and by how we affirm and are affirmed in our present situation.

“Over time, our experience and our identity are shaped by a multiplicity of influences.

“As the people of God, our experience and our identity are shaped by the community created by Jesus Christ and sustained and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

“Within that community, where the Spirit of God dwells, we find that our experience and our identity are shaped, not only by past and present, but by the future.

“As we face the future, we hear the words of Scripture within the community of the people of God: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ (Romans 8: 1 (NRSV).

“Whatever the past has been and whatever the challenges of the present are, we are liberated to face the future with the assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

We pray:

Living God, you are our Creator and our Maker.
You have made us in your image
And sustained us in past days.
Guard us and keep us as we remember those days.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, you are our Redeemer and our Deliverer.
You reconcile all things through Christ Jesus,
The image of the invisible God.
Hold our lives in your safe keeping at this present time.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, you are the giver of the gift of the Spirit.
You breathe into us the very breath of life
And renew us by your Holy Spirit.
Lead us into the future, through Christ and by your Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, as you have been with us in past days,
Be with us today and in all the days to come.
Grant that we may face the future
Assured that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Praying at home

Perhaps you find it hard to pray at home? You aren’t alone in this!

Being stuck at home can be boring, frustrating, or lonely, even if there are other people in the house with you! And if you are very unwell, or worried you might become so, it can be frightening, too. God is with us in these situations, whether we are conscious of his presence or not. Remembering this, and relying on him in prayer, can help you to keep going.

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

God wants us to turn to him in all our troubles and perplexities, even if we can’t always find the “right words”. And remember – the rest of the church is praying for you!

Our church building is still temporarily closed, for your safety and protection

Under the current guidelines we could now open the building for private prayer but our leaders have decided not to at the moment and here’s why we made this decision….

If you came for private prayer we would have to;

  • Ask you to wash your hands or sanitise them at the door
  • Ask you to wear a mask
  • Ask you if you had COVID 19 symptoms, underlying health problems (and turn you away if the answer to any of these was “Yes”)
  • Encourage you to sit at a particular seat (we know how much Church people love this!)
  • Ask you not to sing
  • Ensure you left by another door
  • Then clean and sanitise every surface people touched ….

Alternatively you could ….

  • Sit and pray in your favourite armchair in your house with a nice mug of tea or coffee ☕️
  • Go for a walk, short drive, cycle, run and pray (Yip praying with your eyes open is allowed)
  • Pop round to a Church friend and have a nice chat and wee prayer together in their garden

Talking to God is a conversation that requires no special place, objects, people or words. He loves you and He is listening when you pray, wherever you pray. So, just go for it 👍 🙏

The Church building is temporarily closed but God’s ears and heart are open wide.

We share prayers and prayer pointers each day via Facebook and Twitter. Join us. Pray long or short. Pray from the heart.

Join us in Prayer tonight at 7pm

Light a candle

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, states:

“We live in challenging times. In truth, the challenge of these times is one that continues.

“However, the nature of that challenge has changed. In this present moment, we reflect on where we are now and this allows us to begin to try to understand the past months. Equally, we have the opportunity to anticipate what is to come.

“In the Letter to the Romans (6: 1-11), the Apostle Paul reflects on the foundation of the Christian life which is our sharing in the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“As a consequence, the life we live now is one shaped by the present reality of sharing in the life of Christ.

“As we journey together in the gradual exit from lockdown, we do so in the sure knowledge that we share in the life of the Risen Christ. We pray:”

We pray:

Faithful God, we thank you
That you are present with us now
As we share in the life of the Risen Christ.
Continue to be present with us we ask.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who inspires faith, we thank you
That you have been with us
In times of anxiety and uncertainty.
Keep watch over our memories of the past.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we thank you
That you will be with us
In the days that are to come.
Journey with us in the days that lie before us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who inspires faith, we thank you
For the life of your Son
Who for our sakes embraced human form.
May his life shape our lives in these present times.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we thank you
For the reassurance that you are merciful and gracious
And that your love abounds.
In your compassion, remember us and those whom we love.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who inspires faith, we thank you
For the knowledge that you will be with us
In all that we now face.
Go before us and provide for us we ask.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

A gift of contemplative prayer

A gift of contemplative prayer: from St. Augustine’s Prayer for the Seven-Fold Gift (4th Centruy AD)

1st Fold: Wisdom

Oh Holy Spirit,
Grant me the gift of WISDOM
and supernatural light.
That I may not only know God,
His infinite goodness, power and beauty,
but also may have a heart to love thee,
and a will ready to follow
Thy gracious leading.

Amen