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Join us in prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (1 November), as new tiered restrictions have been announced across Scotland, Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hands holding 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.

“There are some things which make sense for a certain period of time but which come to a natural conclusion – such as clapping for carers during the spring lockdown. Prayer isn’t one of them,” Dr Fair said.

“The Apostle Paul encourages us to ‘pray without ceasing’ and Jesus himself offers parables where persistence in prayer is lauded.

“It can be hard to keep going when there’s no end in sight; much easier when the finishing line comes into view. In the case of the pandemic, it still feels as if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

“All the more reason then for God’s people to continue faithfully in prayer. And even better when we can pray across the whole of the Church, unrestricted by denominational divides.

“If Sunday at 7pm is in your diary, keep it there. Thank you. If it hadn’t been, it would be great to have you involved. It matters that we pray.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-vFcIdXNwuI

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

“As we enter into the season of Remembrance, we are especially conscious of those whose lives have shaped our lives, but who are no longer with us. In one sense, their absence serves to highlight the significance of all that they have given to us.

“Equally, we recall those who have shaped the life of our Church and of our community and the faith that they have passed on to our generation. The hymn writer captures well the thanksgiving of the Church at this time:

For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

“The vision unveiled in the Book of Revelation sees the ‘great multitude… from every nation’ gathered before the throne of God ‘and before the Lamb’. For those who have endured, the Lamb ‘will be their shepherd…and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’ (Revelation 7: 9-17).

“Our faith invites us to embrace that vision and, in turn, to share the vision with others. In this season of Remembrance, we share the promise of the enduring presence and healing of God.”

We pray:

Living God,
We come to your presence
And we are conscious that we do not come alone.
We come in the company of the saints of God
And the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come to your presence
And we remember those who have given life and nurture to us.
We remember those who are no longer with us
And we give thanks for their lives.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come to your presence
And we pray for those who have suffered loss at this time.
We ask that they will know the presence
Of the One who will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come to your presence
And hear again the promise of your enduring presence.
We ask for ourselves, and for others,
That we might know the promise of healing of God.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come to your presence
And we recall the hymns of faith that echo in our hearts.
We lift up our hearts and anticipate the praise of heaven;
Offered to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Amen


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