Scottish churches issue joint call for Sunday prayer

This Sunday (30 August), Christians across Scotland will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woman reading Bible

As with previous weeks during lockdown and the phased easing of restrictions, 14 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.

"I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically,” Dr Fair said.

"But reading about what prayer is and how to do it is only the start of it. After that it’s time to actually pray.

"And what better than to join with brothers and sisters from across the nation at 7pm on Sunday to pray our way through this ongoing crisis. I commend it to you and look forward to being with you, in Spirit, on Sunday evening."

This week's letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic, states:

“‘Here I am’. In these simple words, we hear a presence revealed and an identity disclosed. When we hear these words spoken by someone that we know, we know that the intention behind them is that they will inform us that another human presence is with us.

“In saying these words, the speaker knows that we will recognise their identity because their identity is known to us. Nothing else needs to be said. There is, we might say, a communion shared between the person who speaks and the person who hears.

“In the Book of Exodus, it is the living presence of the Lord who is revealed and whose identity is disclosed to Moses. The revelation and disclosure takes place on ‘holy ground’ as the Lord speaks out of the bush that burns but which is not consumed.

“Moses does not yet recognise the identity of the One who speaks and the divine name of the Lord is not yet fully disclosed. Moses asks that he might know the identity of the One who speaks to him. In response, the Lord says: ‘I AM WHO I AM’ (Exodus 3: 1-15). The presence of the Lord is revealed to us in the depths of the human heart as the Lord speaks to us. There is, we might say, a communion shared between the One who speaks and the person who hears.”

We pray:

Living God,
Speak to us that we might sense your presence
And know your Name this day.
Speak into the depths of our lives
Out of the depth of your life divine.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God,
Reveal your Name to us
As you revealed your Name in ages past.
Reveal your Name to us
For we long to know you that you are with us now.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God,
You have made yourself known to us
And invited us to share in your life.
May we share our lives with others
And know them as our family and our friends.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God,
As we share in the life of the world
May we better hear the voices of those around us.
As we hear their voices
May we better know the depths of who they are.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God,
You make known to us your identity
In the communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May we hear you speak, in the place where we are,
That we might share in living communion with you this day.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

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. Dr David Pickering, 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. Jim Ritchie, 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)