Join the Church of Scotland in prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (2 May), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Man praying 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 Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, has been taking part alongside them.

"Too often, different parts of the Christian Church have allowed themselves to become distant from one another. They've looked at certain doctrinal or liturgical matters in different ways and have allowed those differences to become divisive," Dr Fair said.

"But we can, and should, all pray together. And when we do, we find that some of these differences that seemed important begin to diminish in significance.

"Through the pandemic we have prayed each Sunday evening at 7pm and we've done it together. We've been united in praying for the country and in praying for the life and mission of the whole Church.

"Jesus' final prayer when with his disciples was, ‘My prayer for all those who believe in me is that they shall be one.'

"We've demonstrated that by our shared prayer. Let it continue to be so."

This week's letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic, states:

"We live in a world in which questions of identity are much to the fore. The questions range from that of personal identity to those of communal identity. Such questions are important and from our understanding of who we are there will follow, in large measure, the pattern of how we engage with others.

"In similar fashion, the way in which we understand the nature of God will enable us to better understand the pattern of how God engages with us.

"Scripture speaks of the identity of God when it affirms: ‘God is love'. We understand this to be the case because: ‘God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His only Son into the world that we might live through Him.' (1 John 4: 7-21)

"We see something of the identity of God revealed in the self-giving of God. In the self-giving of God, we see revealed the truth that: ‘God is love'. In the light of our understanding of this truth, there will follow, in large measure, the pattern of how we engage with others."

We pray:

God whose name is Love,
We see your love revealed
In the giving of your Son.
May we embrace the offer of your love
And live in response to your generosity.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose name is Love,
We see your love revealed
In the One who shares in our humanity and who suffers on our behalf.
May we live as those who share a common humanity
And in the suffering of the world.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose name is Love,
We see your love revealed
In the community of your people and in all who are made in your image.
May we share in the life of your people
And recognise your image in the life of others.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose name is Love,
We see your love revealed among us
In the places where love is known and fear is cast out.
May fear be cast out and love be known
In the community we share and in the spaces we shape.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose name is Love,
We see your love revealed among us
In the resurrection of your Son and in the promise of your Spirit.
May we live as those who share in the hope of the resurrection
And in the life of your Spirit.
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. Donnie G. MacDonald, 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. 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)