Join the Church of Scotland in prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (5 September), Christians across the country - and further afield - will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Two hands joining

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, states:

"'If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbour as yourself", you are doing right.' (James 2: 8)

"Given all that we face today: How do we know we are doing the right thing? In our personal life and in our shared life, the challenge of doing the right thing is something that we continually face.

"As we reflect upon this, we recognise that knowing "the right thing to do" is not always easy. Nevertheless, throughout Scripture there runs an ancient thread that links the original call to love our neighbour to the summary of the Law given by Jesus. (Leviticus 19: 18; Mark 12: 31)

"The call to love our neighbour is described by James as the 'royal law' and is the surest guide we have as to knowing "the right thing to do".

"As we face the challenge of renewing our society and, at the same time, continuing to face the ongoing pandemic, the need of a sure guide remains constant.

"The 'royal law' has been gifted to us by our Creator and renewed by the Lord Jesus Christ. We take it as our guide for these times."

We pray:

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to You as our Creator
And ask for grace and strength
To live according to that law.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to those beside us as our neighbours
And ask for wisdom that we might do to others
As we would have them do to us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to face the challenges of the day
And seek to renew our society
That it might better reflect Your Kingdom which is to come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
In the times in which we live
You reveal Your way to us through the royal law.
We turn to the world before us
And seek to do right in Your eyes
That we might bring glory to You, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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)