For the sixth week running, 13 churches and Christian organisations across Scotland are calling on Christians to pray at the same time in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Already, thousands of people across Scotland – and further afield – have been answering the call to pray at 7pm on Sunday evening during this time of sacrifice, difficulty and bereavement, and we renew that call to join together once more in prayer.
Churches Together in England will also be praying each Sunday at 7pm and will be using the hashtag #prayersofhope to share the message on social media.
The Scottish churches have issued a letter with this week’s prayer that reads:
“In these challenging days: Is there anyone watching over us who really understands who we are and what we are experiencing at this time?
“The imagery of the Lord as Shepherd and of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd is woven into the heart of Scripture.
“The resonance of the ancient, yet immediately present, words of the Psalmist can be sensed, such that even now we can hear those words in the very depths of our being:
“‘The Lord is my Shepherd…Even though I walk through the darkest valley…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me’. (Psalm 23)
“The imagery is taken up in the Gospel of John where the Good Shepherd watches over us and calls us by our name.
“He does so because he knows us and knows what we are experiencing at this time. (John 10) Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd’ and so we pray:
Good Shepherd, watch over us today In all we face and experience. Never leave us or forsake us And journey with us always. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, you know us As no-one else knows us. Guard us and keep us, As you guard and keep those whom we love. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, we pray for the sick and the lonely; For the anxious and the bereaved; For those whose pain is beyond our comprehension. We stand with them and commend them to your care. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, we pray for the carers in hospitals and in homes And for all who serve the needs of others. May the example of living compassion Inspire us in our care for others. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, you know the depths of our heart And the fears which are ours. Speak into the depths of our heart And calm our fears. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, you know us by our name And our identity is not hidden from you. Gather us to yourself as a Shepherd gathers the sheep, That we might know your Name. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
The statement and prayer is signed by:
Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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)