Pandemic prayers continue across the Church of Scotland

This Sunday (7 November), as the COP26 conference continues in Glasgow, Christians across the country – and further afield – will continue to join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Open Bible on table with a cup of coffee next to it and some pink flowers

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.

"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:

"The Gospel of Mark compares and contrasts the offering of a ‘poor widow' with that of those who give out of their riches. To the outward appearance, the ‘two small copper coins' barely register in the coffers of the treasury, especially when compared to the offerings of others.

"In so doing, the Gospel invites us to see beyond the outward appearance and to understand that the offering of the ‘poor widow' is the giving of ‘all she had'. Jesus sees beyond the outward appearance and sees the depth of the widow's self-giving. (Mark 12: 41-44)

"In the week past and in the week to come, we have an unprecedented opportunity to compare and contrast as the richest and the poorest nations gather together.

"The representatives of each nation bring to the table their respective contributions and, in due course, there will be much discussion on the achievements of the gathering. All that is discussed and agreed takes place in the presence of God.

"The One who sees beyond the outward appearance and looks on the heart is the One who knows the needs of all peoples and of all Creation. We turn to the One who gives life to all…"

We pray:

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we come into Your presence,
See our hearts and the depths of who we are
And accept us as those who are made in Your image.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we offer all that we are in Your service,
Sift our hearts that we might know You
As we are known by You.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we hear the cry of those who journey in our midst,
Still our hearts that we might listen to their voice
And understand their concerns.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we welcome the gifts that others offer,
Speak to our hearts of the potential embodied in each person
And of our shared desire to care for Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we consider how majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Strengthen our hearts and deepen our resolve
To address the challenges of our time and so bring glory to Your name.
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)