Christians join in prayer in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

This Sunday (12 September), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

A cross standing at the end of a bridge at golden hour before sunset.

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 15 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 the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

"We should always be mindful for the wisdom handed down to us from past generations; much of it learned the hard way, from mistakes made and consequences suffered," Lord Wallace said.

"So, too, we are grateful for the richness that comes to us from living alongside people of other traditions. In our day and generation we must surely allow our minds and hearts to be open so that we can risk getting to know them and learning from them.

"In this pandemic, our responsibility is to come together and offer our prayers for all the many diverse expressions of our Christian faith that enrich life, as we have done for many months now.

"Let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.

"And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists' research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.

"A pattern has been set for us, lived out in Jesus Christ, made possible by the Spirit. May we follow in His way, and be guided by the one over-riding rule of love in all that we say and do."

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

"Questions about identity are very much to the fore in our day and age. The asking of a question is, of course, very much easier than providing an answer and the result is that we have many more questions than we have agreed answers.

"At a pivotal moment in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks a question which might be said to be about identity: ‘Who do people say I am?'

"In response, the disciples harvest the many opinions that are in circulation: ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.' There are many opinions, but no agreed answer.

"Jesus then asks the question directly to the disciples: ‘But what about you?...Who do you say I am?' In response, Peter replies: ‘You are the Christ.' Amidst all the opinions of the day, Peter provides an answer to the question of the identity of Jesus and he affirms that he is the Christ.

"In the midst of the many questions of our day, we affirm this answer for ourselves and resolve to follow in the way of the Cross. (Mark 8: 27-38)"

We pray:

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
We receive the gift of Your Son
As Your gift to Creation and to all peoples
And respond with gratitude and thanksgiving.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we receive Your Son,
May we hear the questions He asks of us
And be willing to respond in faith and trust.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we share the gift of Your Son,
May we listen to the voices of those beside us
That we might understand more fully the breadth of Your Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we listen to the many questions that are asked in our world
May we respond with grace and in truth,
And with shared silence to the questions that are hard to bear.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we hear Your Son speak to us
May we humbly confess
That He is the Christ, the anointed One of God.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, 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. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, 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)