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

This Sunday (31 October), Christians across the country – and further afield – will continue to join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Cross on a rock in the sea at dusk

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, states:

"As the people of God embark on a journey that will take them to the threshold of the promised land, they hear proclaimed the commandment: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.'

"These ancient words take us to the very heart of what it is to live in the presence of God, where life will flourish, in ‘a land flowing with milk and honey', as the people of God hear and fulfil the commandment of God. In turn, successive generations will flourish as the commandment is received and embraced. (Deuteronomy 6: 1-9)

"The generation of which we are a part has the responsibility of passing to those who come after us the commandment to love God with heart and soul and strength.

"In similar fashion, we have a responsibility entrusted to us to pass on a land that will sustain the flourishing of human life.

"As those so entrusted, we pray to the One God, who is ‘the Maker of heaven and earth'…"

We pray:

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear us as we seek to love You
With heart and soul and strength.
Hear us and our prayer for all Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear us as we behold the beauty of the gift of Creation
And give thanks to You for Your many blessings.
Hear us as we sense the fragility of Your gift at this time.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear the voices of those from North and South,
And East and West, who cry out on behalf of a fragile creation.
Hear the voice of all Your people and answer their cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear the voices of those who journey as pilgrims
And long to know a land flourishing with good gifts.
Hear our voices as we share the pilgrim way.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear our prayer that the creation may be set free
And no longer bound to the bondage of decay.
Hear the voices of those who rejoice in anticipation of that day.
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)