Kirk joins together in continued Sunday prayer

This Sunday (16 May), Christians across the country – and further afield – will 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.

"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:

"Jesus prays for those who follow Him. It can be put no more simply or profoundly: Jesus prays for those who follow Him. In the Gospel of John, we see that Jesus prays for those who have been His followers and disciples and He does so as He comes to the end of His earthly ministry.

"Jesus has given to His followers all that He has received from the Father and now He must leave them to live in the world as witnesses to the truth.

"In the light of this, Jesus prays for them and asks for their protection: ‘And now I am no longer in the world… Holy Father, protect them in Your name that You have given me, so that they may be one, as We are one.' (John 17: 6-19)

"We pray, in the light of the Ascension of our Lord and in anticipation of the gift of the Holy Spirit, with the assurance that as we do so; Jesus prays for us. As we come nearer, we trust, to the end of the restrictions that have characterised these past months, we pray in the knowledge that Jesus continues to pray for those who follow Him in this world."

We pray:

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We thank You for all that we have received from Your Hand.
We thank You for the life You have given to us
And Your presence with us in all we face.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We thank You for all that we have received from Your Son.
We thank You that He has prayed for us
And that He continues to uphold us in all we face.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We thank You that You watch over us and protect us.
Watch over us as we continue the journey we have taken in past months
And protect us in days to come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We thank You that You watch over and protect this world.
Watch over us as we give thanks for the gift of Creation
And enable us to better care for the world You have entrusted to us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We thank You that Your Son is Risen and Ascended.
We join with the community of all Your people
And anticipate the outpouring of Your Holy Spirit.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We thank You that Your Risen and Ascended Son prays for us once more.
We join with all Your people in every place
And ask that You might renew us by Your Holy 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)