Kirk co-signs letter calling Christians to join in prayer

This Sunday (24 January), as lockdown restrictions continue in Scotland, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once again join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

praying hands

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 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.

"There are some things which make sense for a certain period of time but which come to a natural conclusion - such as clapping for carers during the spring lockdown. Prayer isn't one of them," Dr Fair said.

"The Apostle Paul encourages us to ‘pray without ceasing' and Jesus himself offers parables where persistence in prayer is lauded.

"It can be hard to keep going when there's no end in sight; much easier when the finishing line comes into view. In the case of the pandemic, it still feels as if there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

"All the more reason then for God's people to continue faithfully in prayer. And even better when we can pray across the whole of the Church, unrestricted by denominational divides.

"If Sunday at 7pm is in your diary, keep it there. Thank you. If it hadn't been, it would be great to have you involved. It matters that we pray."

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

"In the Gospel of John, Jesus prays for all those who have come to believe in him ‘that they may all be one…so that the world may believe' that he has been sent by the Father. (John 17: 20-21)

"As we reflect upon this, we see Jesus Christ as the One who intercedes for us before the living God and who enables us to approach God through him. In the times in which we live this offers a profound reassurance: Jesus Christ is the One whose prayer sustains the life of the people of God.

"The times in which we live are ones in which discord and division are all too often to the fore. In times such as these, the people of God are called to bear witness to the reconciling work of Christ that breaks down the walls that divide us. As we reflect upon the words of John 17, we are called to live out our response to the prayer of Jesus that we ‘may all be one…that the world may believe'."

We pray:

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we share in the life of Christ
And in the hope of the resurrection.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we know that we are members of the body of Christ
And that we share in the one Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we know that he is our peace
And that he has broken down the walls that divide us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May we know that we have been reconciled to God
And that the task of reconciliation has been entrusted to us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God, You are One
And your Son prays that your people may be one.
As your Son prays for us,
May your people be one
That the world may believe.
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. 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. 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)