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Join together in prayer with Scottish churches this Sunday

 

This Sunday (28 June), Christians across Scotland will once again join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 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.”

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

“The experience of these last three months is one that will remain with us for the rest of our days. We will look back and reflect on the significance of it and undoubtedly we shall ask many questions.

“Integral to that experience for many has been the physical separation between ourselves and our family and those whom we care for. This physical distancing has been necessary in the face of the risks posed by COVID-19. As we see the easing of the restrictions on lockdown, we begin to reconnect and rediscover what it is to welcome one another and to give and receive in a social context.

“Welcoming, giving and receiving are integral to human experience and reflect something of what it is to be made in the image of God.

“In Matthew’s Gospel (10: 40-42), Jesus reflects upon this and points to the truth that in welcoming one another we potentially welcome the presence of God.

“In our welcoming of one another, let us renew the relationships that shape our social community and our communion with the living presence of God.”

We pray:

Living God, the God who creates,
You have made us in your image
That, in our giving and receiving,
We might better reflect your image.
For this gift we praise and thank you.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who gives,
Your gift to the world
Is revealed in your Son,
The image of the invisible God.
For the renewing presence of your Son, we praise and thank you.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who renews,
You call us to renew our relationships with one another
That, in so doing,
We might renew our relationship with you.
For the welcome you offer in renewal, we praise and thank you.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who welcomes,
You welcome us when we return to you
Weary and heavy laden.
Receive us as we are and forgive us when we stumble.
For the love we experience as we are welcomed, we praise and thank you.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who loves,
You offer us good gifts
And invite us to receive them.
In response, we offer our lives and all that we are.
For the sure promise of your love, we praise and thank you.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Amen


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