Kirk joins in prayer in response to the pandemic

This Sunday (1 August), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Hands praying on a table outside on a sunny day

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:

"‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'

"The words of the Gospel resonate in the hearts of all who have searched for spiritual sustenance in a dry land. They are words spoken to those who searched for Jesus and could not, at first, find Him. They are words spoken to those who are ‘looking for Jesus'. On finding Him, Jesus speaks to them of the ‘bread from heaven' and in turn they ask: ‘Sir, give us this bread always.' In response, Jesus says: ‘I am the bread of life.' (John 6: 24-35)

"It is to those who continue to seek the presence of Jesus in a dry land that He offers Himself as the ‘bread from heaven'. We stand with those who sing:

‘Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till my want is o'er.'"

We pray:

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear us when we hunger
And cry out to the One who is the bread of life.
Renew us by Your gift and restore us by Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear the cry of all who hunger this day
And who long for the gifts that renew and restore life.
Renew our concern for Your Creation and for all who inhabit the earth.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear us when we thirst
And long for living water.
May all who thirst drink deep from the rivers of living water.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear the cries of those who long for clean water
And who live in parched lands.
May all who thirst find living water for daily life.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear our cry to the One
Who is the bread of life:
Give us this bread always.
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)