Call to prayer continues in response to the pandemic

This Sunday (24 October), Christians across the country – and further afield – will continue to join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Cup of tea and a book on a tray sitting outside on the autumn leaves

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:

"Today, there are many voices crying out to be heard. The voices are of those who suffer and who are broken, and of those who are isolated and alone. These voices are intermingled with many others that cry out, whether for good or ill, and seek to be heard. Truly, there are many voices crying out to be heard.

"The Gospel of Mark records an occasion when Jesus heard a particular voice crying out to be heard. The voice was that of Bartimaeus who was determined to be heard even in the face of the crowd.

"The voice of Bartimaeus was raised in spite of the rebuke of those who told him to be quiet. As he is told to be quiet, he shouts all the more: "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

"Jesus hears his voice and calls him into His presence: "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus hears his voice and responds to the depth of his need: "Go… your faith has healed you." (Mark 10: 46-52)

"From the depths of the crowd, Jesus hears our cry and wills to answer and to bring healing."

We pray:

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear our voice today,
Even from the depths of the crowd,
And answer our cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear the voice of those who suffer,
Even in their brokenness,
And answer their cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear the voice of the lonely,
Even from their place of isolation,
And draw them into the community of Your people.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear our voice today,
Even as You heard the cry of Bartimaeus,
And inspire in us faith and bring to us healing.
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)