This Sunday (23 August), Christians across Scotland will once again join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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."
“How well do we respond to a challenge? The answer we give will, no doubt, depend on many different factors. Whatever our answer, we know that our response is strengthened when it is made in the company of others.
“Our response to the challenge of living out our calling as a member of the body of Christ is one that depends, in principle, on our response being a shared one.
“Living out our calling, in response to the mercy of God, lies at the heart of what it is to worship. Within the body of Christ, we have shared gifts and a shared identity. (Romans 12: 1-8) At the same time, living out that calling in these strange and challenging times is by no means easy. We do so in the assurance that we are not alone and acknowledging our continuing dependence on the mercy of God.”
Living God, whose name is mercy, We acknowledge that we live in dependence on your mercy. Hold us, and all whom you call, In your gentle keeping. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, through whom we receive mercy, We respond to your gracious gift And offer our lives into your service and the service of others. Accept us as we are and embrace us in your love. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, as the one who inspires mercy, Make us ever merciful to others. As we respond to the challenge of these times, May we live out our calling ever conscious of the body of Christ. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, who wills to be merciful to all, Renew our calling to worship you. In the place where we are, whether in shared company or in our own company, Receive our worship through Jesus Christ our Lord. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Living God, whose name is mercy, May your name be known throughout the world. As those who have received mercy, May your name be known in the place where we are. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
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)