Scottish Christians join together in prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (14 February), as more than one million people in Scotland have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, Christians across the country – and further afield – will once again join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Cross in the snow in the foreground with trees and berries in the background.

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:

“In the Gospel of Mark, we find the disciples of Jesus journeying with him and experiencing something which they struggle to comprehend and express. Jesus takes Peter, James and John to ‘a high mountain’ and there he is ‘transfigured before them’ in the company of Elijah and Moses. How do the disciples respond? Peter, as ever, makes an attempt to respond but truly he ‘did not know what to say, for they were terrified’. (Mark 9: 2-9)

“In the midst of all we face at this time, we are confronted by that for which nothing has truly prepared us as a society. As the experience of lockdown continues, we are learning a great deal about the strengths and weaknesses of our society. As we do so, we are coming to understand that the future will not simply be a reversion to the ‘normal’ of the past.

“As the disciples struggle to comprehend what they see before their eyes, they are overshadowed by the presence of God and hear the words of affirmation: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him!’ Then, in an instant: ‘when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus’.

“As we journey into the future, we do so in the company of the One who transforms our present and who invites us to share in the promise of the coming Kingdom of God.”

We pray:

Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today
And make your presence known.
Speak to us the words of affirmation
That we may know that we are loved by you.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today;
Even in the face of darkness.
Speak into the uncertainty of our times
And reassure us that you hold the future.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today
And bring hope for days to come.
Speak words of comfort and of healing
And words of compassion for those who mourn.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today,
That we might speak a word for our times.
Speak into the future that lies before us
And grant us grace as we seek to live out that future.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today,
That we might hear again your voice.
Speak to us on the highest heights, and in the deepest depths,
And may we know, and be known by, the One whom you love.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
And who ask that your promise will be fulfilled.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
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)