Kirk joins in prayer with Christian partners

This Sunday (20 June), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Stormy seas

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.

"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:

"‘We're all in this together!' When we hear such a statement, it implies that we share together in the difficulty being faced. No one is exempt and we all have to face up to the challenge that confronts us. There are times, of course, when we wonder if this is entirely true.

"Nevertheless, the last months have brought home to us the fact that, in facing up to the challenge of the pandemic, no one is exempt.

"In the Gospel of Mark, the disciples find themselves in a boat one evening with Jesus. They have left the crowds behind and are in a situation in which they might have said: ‘We're all in this together!' Except, Jesus is asleep even as a storm arises ‘and the waves beat into the boat' and the boat seems set to be overwhelmed.

"The disciples are all in this together, but what about Jesus? The disciples ask him: "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" In response, Jesus rebukes the wind and calls to the sea: "Peace! Be still!" He then asks the disciples: "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" It is as if he is asking them: ‘Did you think that I was not in this together with you?' (4: 35-41)

"The challenges of these last months have left us with many questions. However, we may be sure of this: In all we face, Jesus is with us in the boat in the midst of the storm and we can say: ‘We're all in this together!'"

We pray:

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we turn to You and listen for Your voice.
Whether in the midst of quiet or of storm,
Speak to the depths of who we are.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we leave behind that which is past
And face the challenges of this day:
Speak Your word to us in this present moment.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we sense the depth of the challenges we face
And fear that we shall soon be o'erwhlemed:
Speak to us in the still, small voice of calm.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As You have been with us
In all the days that the storm has raged:
Speak the words that calm the storm and cease the rage.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord of the winds and of the sea,
Be with us today
As we hear the words You have spoken
And know the peace of Your presence renewed:
Speak the words that inspire faith and reassure us of Your abiding presence.
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)