Weekly prayers in response to the Covid-19 pandemic continue

This Sunday (3 October), Christians across the country – and further afield – will continue to join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Praying hands

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:

"What do we see? As we survey the day-to-day progress of life: What do we see? What we might prefer to see is a world that is coherent and ordered, with everything in its place and a place for everything.

"Equally, we might prefer to see a world subject to a guiding hand leading us on to a place of certainty. Whatever we might prefer to see, we may be certain that it is not yet the world as we see it today.

"The Letter to the Hebrews takes up the words of the Psalmist and pictures the ‘son of man' as the One who has all things subject to Him. Indeed, the Letter affirms that: ‘God left nothing that is not subject to Him.' Immediately thereafter, it states: ‘Yet at present we do not see everything subject to Him.'

"There is a vision of the world as it shall be and a realisation that the world in which we live is not yet aligned to that vision. What we see is the world as it is and not yet the world as it shall be in the providence of God.

"The place we inhabit is the point of tension between the world we see and the world as God intends it to be. In this place, and by the grace of God, ‘we see Jesus…now crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death' and we resolve to live out our faith as we follow the One who is the author and pioneer of our salvation. (Hebrews 2: 5-12/Psalm 8: 4-6)"

We pray:

Living God,
You give life to the world
And to all Creation,
And we seek Your guiding hand
In the days in which we live.
Grant that we might discern Your guidance
And live faithfully in accordance with Your will.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You give life to the world
And to all Creation,
And Your care for Creation
Overflows to all the earth.
Grant to us the resolve to care for Creation
In the place we inhabit and in the time You have given to us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You give life to the world
And to all Creation,
And You create us to reflect
The image of God.
Grant to us that we may see in our neighbour
A reflection of Your image and so value the lives of all.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You give life to the world
And to all Creation,
And we see the world as it is
And know that it is not yet the world as You will it to be.
Grant to us faith that we might see Jesus and follow the One
Who is the author and pioneer of our salvation.
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)