Kirk joins together in prayer with Christian partners

This Sunday (14 March), following the Scottish Government’s announcement that churches can re-open for restricted communal worship later this month, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once again join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Praying hands standing beside white curtained windows

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:

“We have endured much during these past months. Personally and communally, we have endured challenges which we could not have anticipated, or imagined, even a year ago. We have endured much and undoubtedly there have been times when the limits of our endurance have been tested.

“Woven into this has been the recollection of that which has also endured, the steadfast love of God. The Psalmist recalls the people of God to a remembrance of the ‘steadfast love’ of the Lord which ‘endures for ever’. (Psalm 107: 1)

“As we remember and recall, we bear witness to the truth that the love of God spans the whole breadth of our lives and embraces all that we experience and endure. This is given supreme expression in the self-giving of God in Jesus Christ: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son’. (John 3: 16)

“In all we have endured and will endure, the ‘steadfast love’ of the Lord ‘endures for ever’ in the God whose love is revealed in Jesus Christ.”

We pray:

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
May we hear the words of the Psalmist
Who calls us to remember:
The steadfast love of the Lord endures for ever.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
Be with us in all we endure at this time.
Grant that we may know Your love
In days of light and in days of shadow.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
Be with all who find themselves
At the limit of their endurance
And embrace them in the depths of Your enduring love.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
As a mother comforts her child
May You comfort all who call upon You.
Hear us, as we give thanks for all who have nurtured us in this life.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
Grant to us a vision of a community and society
That will endure in times to come
And hear us as we pray: Thy Kingdom Come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
May we live our lives
In response to the gift of the life of Your Son
In whose life is love embodied.
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)