For the last two weeks, thousands of people across Scotland have answered the call to pray at the same time in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Thirteen Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, are taking part in the joint prayer.
Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said:
“Many people have commented how helpful it is to have this time of prayer when we can join together with Christiansfromall round the country and from different denominations and share similar words expressing our concerns at this time”
Churches Together in England will also be praying each Sunday at 7pm and will be using the #prayersofhope to share the message on social media.
The churches have issued a letter with this week’s prayer that reads:
“As we continue to live through this time of trial, we sense an ever-renewed Call to Prayer.
“We are not alone in hearing this call. Rather, it is a Call being heard and responded to across the nations of our island and across the nations of our world. This being so, we invite you to pray in solidarity with others at 7pm on Sunday 5th April, which is Palm Sunday.
A Gaelic version of the statement and the prayer can be found here
A prayer for this time
Living God, for the precious gift of life that you have given to us,
We give you thanks.
For the enduring presence of your love in this world,
We give you thanks.
For the knowledge that you are with us at the close of the day,
We give you thanks.
On this day, we hear the Gospel words that speak of hope,
We hear the cry: Hosanna!
We hear the Gospel words that speak of promise,
We hear the cry: Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
On this day, we journey in hope as we trust in your promise.
Lord, as we journey into the Holy Week to come,
We are conscious that we share in the life of the world.
We are conscious of the presence of those who are near to us,
And of those from whom we are apart.
Whether near, or far, embrace us all in your love.
Lord, we are conscious of others,
Whose life and work is woven into the fabric of our society,
And upon whom we now depend.
We pray for them:
For delivery drivers and posties,
For refuse collectors and cleaners,
For police officers and care workers,
Protect them and keep them safe.
For nurses and doctors,
For scientists and surgeons,
For midwives and ambulance drivers,
Protect them and watch over them.
For those who govern on our behalf,
For those who make decisions that impact upon us all,
For all who shape our common life,
Protect them and increase their wisdom and understanding.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
And grant us faith to journey into the week to come,
Assured of the presence of the crucified and risen Lord,
Jesus Christ. Amen.”
There are some interesting resources available to you when you get bored of Boxsets!
The Goodbook is offering a free kindle book of the Month: Alistair Begg: Pray Big: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/free-ebook
Please consider those members of the congregation who do not have internet to follow our online service. Perhaps you could phone them and place your phone alongside your device whilst you replay sections of the service. That way they may be able to participate in our service.
Church groups across Scotland are asking Christians to join in prayer at 7pm on Sunday evenings.
Last Sunday, thousands of Christians across Scotland answered the call to pray at the same time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following positive feedback from last week’s prayer initiative, a further letter has been signed by 13 Christian organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland.
The letter states: “We pray in solidarity with those across Britain and Ireland and in solidarity with those across the world who face the challenge that the Covid-19 pandemic brings.”
A version in Gaelic is also available.
Joint prayer from Christians in Scotland:
We turn to you, our Father, for we need your help.
Lord Jesus, as you have promised, be with us, whatever lies ahead,
Strengthen us, Holy Spirit, as we face this together.
We pray for our world and our country,
as coronavirus threatens our lives and our livelihood, leaving many in lockdown,
while key workers continue, despite the risk.
We pray for government leaders at Westminster and Holyrood,
responding to medical and scientific advice,
making tough decisions for the wellbeing of all.
We pray for all who serve on the frontline in the NHS and in social care;
facing increasing numbers, overstretched resources
and distressing human need.
Bless those who are ill, those who are alone and afraid,
those exhausted looking after their family, those worried for the vulnerable,
those fearful for their finances, those shut in to their fears.
Thank you for those who have returned from retirement to help,
or joined the volunteer army.
Thank you for those working:
to manufacture needed resources,
to find a vaccine,
to keep in contact with the isolated,
to encourage others at this time.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Give us faith, hope and love and hear our prayers,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government, said the unprecedented directive will save lives during the Coronavirus crisis.
Prof Leitch is a committed Christian and urged people to seek solace and strength in their faith.
He said they should come together and worship God online.
The public health expert is encouraging people to do what they can to help the most vulnerable in society, while taking sensible precautions to avoid contracting or spreading Covid19.
The Church of Scotland is encouraging Kirk members to join Christians around the world in saying the Lord’s Prayer at 11am* on Wednesday.
More information can be found on the Church of Scotland website.
This is being supported by All Churches in Scotland as well as England.
National call to prayer
Presidents of Churches Together in England have issued a call to prayer in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is for all churches and people of prayer to join on Sunday 22nd March, Mothering Sunday. They write….
This Mothering Sunday, 22nd March, we are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds.
At 7pm this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
Whether you are continuing to worship as congregations or not, we have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon God, wherever we are, individually and corporately, for healing in our nation. We would pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the COVID-19 virus, for those working in health and social care, and especially for the most vulnerable, whether elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
There are already stories being told of wonderful acts of kindness across neighbourhoods. Alongside your prayers, take the opportunity to telephone or email someone who is isolated, buy some additional food for your local foodbank, or offer to deliver shopping for an elderly neighbour. We may not be able to touch physically, but we can make connections in so many other ways.
In the meantime, do please attend to all the government health advice that will be issued, and look out for resources from your specific church governing bodies. At least for those of us in the global North, we do seem to be in unusual times, and wisdom and flexibility about worship gatherings are a key part of our Christian discipleship during this period.
We note that this call to prayer and action comes on Mothering Sunday: a time of thankfulness, remembering especially mothers who have served us, often in very costly ways. It is also a very mixed day for many. For some the remembrance is painful, and for others Mothering Sunday is a reminder of disappointment or loss. In many ways, this period under the shadow of the coronavirus will be prompting similarly diverse reactions and so it seems especially appropriate that the call to prayer is made this Sunday. At this time of uncertainty join in with the National Day of Prayer and Action, lighting a candle of hope.
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7
Presidents of Churches Together in England
Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator
Archbishop Angaelos of London, CTE President for the Orthodox Churches Pastor Agu Irukwu, CTE Pentecostal President
On behalf of the churches that we serve across Scotland, we warmly commend the Call to a National Day of Prayer*, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and invite people of faith across our nation, to join in prayerful solidarity with this witness.
The invitation is to light a candle** at 7pm this Sunday, 22nd March, in the window of our homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life.
We offer a prayer to use when lighting your candle:
For all that is good in life, thank you,
For the love of family and friends, thank you,
For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.
May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support, May those who are sick, know healing,
May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.
Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,
Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being, Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.
And may the light shining from our windows, across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle, be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
**Safety Note: Please take all necessary fire precautions when using a lit candle. Ensure you remain with the lit candle at all times, and do not leave it to burn if you leave the room. Ensure there are no fabrics or materials such as curtains near the candle. If you are able to use a small electric ‘candle’ instead, that will be safe to leave unattended.