Join in prayer this Sunday in response to the pandemic

This Sunday (22 August), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Praying hands over a Bible

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.

"As the statistics appear to move in a hopeful direction, 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:

"To whom do we turn to find the answers to the many difficult questions that now confront us? The questions of the day are many and there are seldom easy answers to be found. In part, the challenge we face is how to live with the difficult questions whilst continuing to seek honest answers.

"In the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as having been asked difficult questions to which He then gave honest answers. The consequence of these answers is that some of those who had previously followed Him began to turn back. In turn, Jesus asks His twelve closest disciples if they also wish ‘to go away'. With characteristic boldness, Peter answers: "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life?" (John 6: 68) In following Jesus, we soon discover that many of the difficult questions still remain.

"In continuing to follow Jesus, we recognise by faith that He is the One through whom God reconciles the difficult questions and continues to offer to us the gift of life."

We pray:

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
With the questions of the day.
We come that we might find One who will listen
And who will embrace our concerns.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
To seek answers to the questions of life
And we come in the company of others.
Grant that we may hear You speak amidst the clamour of the day.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
With the hard questions
And those that defy our attempts to resolve.
Grant us grace to live with the hard questions at this time.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
For You have the words of eternal life.
Grant us grace to believe
And to know that You are the Holy 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)