Kirk continues weekly prayer initiative this Sunday

This Sunday (28 February), as Scotland's lockdown easing plan has been newly published, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once again join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Hands holding a candle

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.

"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:

"There are times in the Gospels when it is clear that the disciples of Jesus have real difficulty in understanding his teaching. On one such occasion, Jesus speaks openly about what lies before him and afterwards Peter ‘took him aside and began to rebuke him'. (Mark 8: 31-32) Peter is clear that death and resurrection are not part of that future and, as he speaks, it is equally clear that he has not yet understood the way that Jesus must take.

"There are times in the past months when all of us have had real difficulty in understanding the challenges faced within our society and across the globe. We have been unclear as to what the future holds and the path to be taken. In all of this, we have not been alone.

"As the Gospel account unfolds, Jesus gathers the crowd around him and invites them to ‘take up their cross and follow me'. (Mark 8: 34)

"As we journey into the future and follow the path taken by Jesus, we know that we are not alone. We journey in the way of the cross and in the hope of the resurrection."

We pray:

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with us through Your Son
Who has journeyed in the way of the Cross.
Grant to us grace and faith that we might follow Him.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
In all we face,
Be near to us, and all whom we love,
And guard us safe in Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with those who fear this day
And who struggle to see the future.
Lead us from the darkness into Your light.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with those who grieve this day
And who feel bereft of comfort.
In Your compassion, be near to them.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
In all that is faced by our society today,
Grant wisdom, insight and understanding
To those who are called to govern our nation and act on our behalf.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
Be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with us through Your Son
Whose journey in the way of the Cross
Yields the hope of the Resurrection.
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. 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)