Scottish Christians issue weekly call to prayer

This Sunday (25 October), as restrictions continue across Scotland, Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Man's hands holding a Bible

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 question asked of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew is simple: ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ (22: 36).

“It is a part of a series of questions asked of Jesus and the purpose of the questions is to ‘entrap him’ (22: 15). At this point we might ask: How many commandments are there in the Law of Moses? In an ancient tradition, the answer is 613 and in the 12th Century a great Rabbi of the time set out the 613 commandments in detail.

“In other words: Answering the question that Jesus is asked is potentially difficult and complex. How do we make sense of so many laws and regulations? The answer that Jesus gives takes us to the heart of the commandments: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind... You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (22: 37-39). In his summary, Jesus says: ‘Everything hangs on these two commandments’ (22: 40).

“In a society necessarily shaped by law and regulation, the answering of questions in relation to them can at times seem potentially difficult and complex. In the midst of the complexity, we hear again the commandments to love God and neighbour and affirm that everything hangs on these two as our indispensable guide.”

We pray:

Lord our God,
We turn to you,
As the One who has spoken in times past,
And ask that that you would speak to us in times present.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
In our response,
We listen for your Word
And the call to love you with heart and soul and mind.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
In the living out of our response,
We offer all that we are,
Knowing you have given all through Christ our Lord.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to you,
As the One who has made us in your image,
And who makes our neighbour in that same image.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
In our response,
We journey with our neighbour
And seek to love them as you command.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
In the living out of our response,
We stand together with our neighbour,
Knowing you stand together with us through Christ our Lord.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Lindsey Sanderson, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Claire Fender, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)