Thursday 10 December

Give thanks to God for the launch of the Pfizer vaccine throughout the UK on Tuesday, praying for those to whom it has been administered and for the doctors, nurses and scientists as they monitor the results. Pray also for the safety of those travelling around the country to deliver supplies to different places: that they may be kept safe; and those still involved in manufacturing it. Give thanks too for the skill of all who had a part in its creation and its initial trials.

This is day 190 in our Church’s Satellite Office, too! Give thanks for Irene’s hard work to keep in touch with those who need that and for all her efforts to keep everyone cheerful with her daily blogs, pictures and prayers in the evening.

Friday 11 December

More causes for thanksgiving are to be found in the lowering, from today, of some of the tiers into which the country locked for the past three weeks. Pray that people in these areas will be sensible and kind about their movements under these new restrictions and that the numbers of those affected by the virus will continue to go down as the country moves towards Christmas and the further special relaxation of restrictions for five days over the festive period.

Saturday 12 December

Today many people will be attempting to complete their Christmas shopping as more shops will be open. Pray for those whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the restrictions as they try to make the most of this time and pray for all shop and supermarket workers, including delivery people, as they work extra long hours in and out of stores to satisfy demand over the festive period.

Sunday 13 December

More good news today! Our church will reopen for public worship at 10 and 11.15 a.m. for a maximum of 50 pre- booked worshippers, as before and Sunday Kids and the 10 a.m. service at Lochside will resume too. On this third Sunday in Advent, when the candle of Joy is lit in many churches and on our own Advent wreaths at home, ask God to help us all be more loving and thoughtful of others, in our own families, in the family of the church and in the community. As we worship today and plan for the festive days, pray that we may be inspired to think of those who dread Christmas as they struggle to make ends meet and children living in poverty who have little to eat or little expectation of what Christmas might hold for them. May we who have so much be generous and perhaps even sacrificial in our giving to the many charities at home and overseas, like Abba’s Rest (see latest issue of our Church magazine), all struggling for funds for their work among the poor and disadvantaged at this time. Pray for all that they do to help others.

Monday 14 December

Pray today for the army of home carers as they go out once more this morning to the vulnerable and elderly living alone at home. Often referred to as “care packages” their work is too often forgotten and unappreciated..  Pray that they will be given strength and energy to deliver what people need in the limited time which is allocated for each client.

Our church book group also meets this morning by Zoom, thanks to the kindness of Andrew Muirhead. Pray for another happy gathering online which particularly encourages and helps some who live alone and have had no visitors for months.

Tuesday 15 December

It is always good to get out for a walk in the fresh air because we have an opportunity to see the good gifts God has given us in the natural world and reminds us to appreciate them. Give thanks for all the blessings of that world which we have here in S. Ayrshire as we enjoy its varied paths, rolling spacious farming lands, woods and seascapes.

Wednesday 16 December

Even in lockdown new babies have been born, some to families in our own congregation, too. Pray for them and for their parents, especially those adjusting to parenthood for the first time : that they may have joy in their precious and vulnerable little ones.