AYR ST COLUMBA PARISH CHURCH
Thursday 22 April
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it….” These words from Psalm 24 and a host of posts on Facebook today remind us that this is Earth Day – an annual event dedicated to supporting environmental protection – and what a superb day it is too as I settle down to compile this week’s suggestions for prayer! Our Moderator, Dr. Fair, in his post from his early morning walk urges us to read Psalm 8 and then rejoice in God’s creation, reflecting on our stewardship of it as we are out and about today.
However, there is another side to our rejoicing in creation – the harsh facts of climate change. Its impact falls most heavily on people in poor countries, like Malawi and Zambia who have done the least to cause global temperatures to rise. Today therefore, let us all pray for the forthcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow in November the main goal of which is to reduce global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Each country has to prepare a nationally determined plan to set out how greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced.
Friday 23 April
As part of a UK-wide and N. Ireland initiative, the Church of Scotland has called on all its congregations to hold a climate focused service on any Sunday before the COP26 Conference mentioned above. Pray that these will encourage congregations to think seriously about climate change and make a commitment to taking long term action to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.
Early last year the then Moderator, Colin Sinclair, visited a distribution centre in Zambia run by a Christian charity, supported by the Church of Scotland’s partner church in Zambia and said : “ When you are watching people having to stand in queues for food aid because their crop has been wiped out yet again by drought aggravated by climate change, you realise that this is not just about the inconvenience of more extreme weather. It’s about livelihood and life itself……..it is the poor in the world who pay the price for the abuse of the earth and its resources.”
Saturday 24 April
As our faithful teams prepare everything for worship tomorrow in the Sanctuary and online, pray again for them and especially for the Sunday Kids leaders preparing to welcome back our children and young people for this next term. Pray for all our young folk: that they will not only learn about the wonderful God we love and serve, but will want to become His young disciples for the rest of their lives and will commit to following Him.
Sunday 25 April
In a world where many are still persecuted for their faith and the practice of it, give thanks today for our freedom to worship again in our Sanctuaries and in other imaginative ways, while the pandemic continues. Pray that we may never take such freedoms for granted.
Monday 26 April
Today, special prayers are invited for the nation of India where the virus has caused such devastation to life, with hospitals running out of beds, oxygen and other vital supplies. The scenes there on our tv screens have been harrowing. Pray urgently for the exhausted, struggling doctors, other health workers and aid agencies striving to deal with the huge problems they are facing.
Tuesday 27 April
Many people in our own community and elsewhere have had to bear with their health concerns being laid aside during the peak of the pandemic in Scotland because of the pressures on our own hospitals. As these now work hard to overtake the backlog of cases requiring attention, pray for all affected by this and for our own health care providers struggling to catch up. Give thanks for the wonderful NHS that we have and all who work to provide its services.
Wednesday 28 April
Please continue to pray for that part of our work which is at Lochside church, most of which has had to be suspended during the lockdown and for those still staffing the food bank there. Pray for all normally involved in that congregation and community and for the caretaker, Michael, and others helping him look after the property during this long time of little regular activity which many will be missing.