Thursday 19 August

Today the local schools and nurseries resume for the autumn term. Give thanks for the gift of education, knowledge and understanding. Pray for all our children and young people and for their teachers: that this may be a more normal year for them and that all may work and learn together happily and purposefully. Pray for those children missing the excitement of the first day back because they are still having to shield following positive Covid tests, or ill, or other family circumstances. Remember all who are denied education, freedom of speech and basic human rights. Pray that every teacher and child may have a kind heart, eyes that see the needs of others, facing each day with hope and enthusiasm.

Friday 20 August

All week our TV screens have been filled with pictures of the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan. Here are two prayers from the internet which you may like to use. One is from Italy thinking especially of the women hidden under their veils and burkas, the other comes via our friends at Alloway Parish Church:

Our thoughts are with the Women of Kabul

To their faces that will be covered, to their eyes that will be shut down

To their bodies that will be raped, to their souls that will be imprisoned.

Our thoughts are with them, predestined, designated victims.

It goes to their intelligence that will be offended, defended, eradicated.

It goes to their desire for freedom, to their desire for life.

Our thought is for them, the Women of Kabul.

A Prayer for Afghanistan:

For those who are fleeing :sanctuary

For those who are staying :safety

For those who are fighting : peace

For those whose hearts are breaking: comfort

For those who see no future: hope.

Saturday 21 August

Another part of the world which urgently needs our prayers is Haiti, following the dreadful earthquake, the third in recent years, devastating that poor country, Pray for all who have lost homes, livelihoods and indeed everything they possess; those who urgently need medical attention but for whom there are no hospital beds; aid agencies struggling to bring help and all caught up in that tragedy. Christian Aid has issued an urgent appeal for financial help. Pray that people in this country will not suffer from “compassion fatigue” but will be sacrificially generous in their response.

Sunday 22 August

Today our Sunday Kids, for youngsters from aged 3 – P7, resumes at 10 a.m., starting in church. Pray for our young folk and their leaders as they gather for the new session : that they will be excited by  all that is offered to them as they explore the story of Jesus and that more youngsters will come along. Pray also for those who will gather for worship at Midton Road and at Lochside, for those who will be worshipping online or by telephone, giving thanks again for the hard working team who make these additional opportunities possible.

Monday 23 August

In this new week various groups will be meeting throughout our Presbytery to consider the Presbytery’s draft plans for the future of congregations in their areas. As they grapple with the need for change and the reality of a future that is going to be very different from the past, pray that they may be enabled to recognise that God is at work already in their communities and to listen for whispers of new possibilities and ways of living out the faith.

Tuesday 24 August

As planes bring to the UK more and more people from Afghanistan fleeing the new Taliban regime and oppression and persecution, as they seek refuge, the Church of Scotland is urging the UK government to take urgent action to establish safe routes to resettlement. The Moderator, Lord Wallace, said: “We urge the UK government to take immediately all possible action to protect those lives and the dignity of the endangered Afghan people”. Pray that this initiative will bear fruit and that as opportunities to help arise, Scottish congregations will play their part in welcome and hospitality.

Wednesday 25 August

In these days when the world still has to adjust to living with the virus and many find solace in their daily walks, sometimes by our extensive Ayr beach, a verse from a prayerful hymn in CH4 may resonate with some of us :

“Lord, you have come to the seashore, neither searching for the rich or the wise, desiring only that I should follow. Lord, take my hands and direct them, help me spend myself in seeking the lost, returning love for the love that you gave me.”