Thursday 6 August

On Tuesday senior school pupils received their virtual national exam results bringing delight to some, disappointment to others and controversy about how the results were calculated in the current circumstances where normal exams could not take place. The Moderator had this message for all involved: Today I’m thinking about Scotland’s great national resource – our young people – and in particular those receiving results for exams they didn’t get to sit…….Christians believe that God loves us as we are; ……His love for us isn’t dependent on performance. Today we rejoice with our young people and want them to know that we love them and value them first and foremost for who they are and that ‘pass’ or ’fail’ will not affect that in any way.

Pray for any you know who have received results: that, no matter their performance, they may be encouraged, and guided in to the best possible future for them

Friday 7 August

On Tuesday afternoon, the Lebanese city of Beirut was plunged into unimaginable devastation following the huge explosion at the docks. At least 135 people have been killed and thousands more injured and displaced from their badly damaged homes. They were already struggling with economic disaster, a large number of refugees from Syria and the Covid-19 virus. The hospitals are struggling desperately to cope. Pray for all the medical personnel involved in trying to save lives and for the various rescue and aid agencies and others like the Red Cross who are giving assistance in the face of a truly shocking situation. Pray too that other governments, including our own, will give generous and appropriate help and support.

Saturday 8 August

This past week has seen another spike in the number of companies shedding jobs because of the increasing economic crisis brought about by the pandemic. Please continue to pray for all who have lost their jobs and see no prospect of alternative employment. In turn, this is giving rise to a huge increase in depression and other mental illnesses. Pray again for psychiatrists, human resources staff and other specialists trying to support and help those in this position. The situation is also giving rise to greater demands on food banks where the need for appropriate donations never seems to diminish. Pray too for those who staff these.

Sunday 9 August

As we worship today, either on line or elsewhere, give thanks that our own minister’s reflections and sermons can now be heard live on line and by telephone for those not on line. Pray for him as he prepares these and pray that they will be of help, comfort and challenge to all who hear them.

Monday 10 August

Pray today for all who are facing surgery today or who are still awaiting dates for surgery or cancer treatments which had to be postponed during lockdown. Many people are in considerable pain or struggling because of the long delays to these. Pray for those who have to arrange appointments and juggle diary commitments to satisfy the overwhelming demand for help. May all involved in this be given patience, understanding and kindness as they deal with a very difficult situation.

Tuesday 11 August

Today, young folk are returning to school after the long gap of the last four months. Pray for them, especially those going to school for a first time, as they adapt to school routines and catch up with lessons. Pray for their teachers and the other staff as they, too, have to adapt and guide the pupils in adapting to the “new normal”, asking especially that there will be no further outbreaks of Covid – 19 which will lead to  the renewal of lockdown.

Wednesday 12 August

Lockdown has had to be reinstated in Aberdeen for a week now. Pray for the people there, especially those living alone for whom such a situation is dire and wearisome. Pray that neighbours and friends will look out for them and do what they can to alleviate the boredom of the long days.