Thursday 18 February

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent, that time in the Christian Year for Repentance, Reflection and at the end, the celebration of Resurrection. Traditionally it’s a time when many people give up something they enjoy but our Moderator, Martin Fair has challenged us this year to try something new (see the entry for 23 February). Ask that we may all use these weeks before Easter to think of our own Christian journey of faith, repent where we have strayed from our promises and open our hearts and minds to a greater knowledge and love of our Lord.

Friday 19 February

Pete Greig, the author of “How to Pray” has shared a prayer to help our Lenten reflection which he says is “half a millennium old, yet relevant and reassuring today”. Here it is for you to use: 

O Lord my God, do not be far from me. My God, have regard to help me. I have many thoughts and great fears afflicting my soul. How will I pass through, unhurt? How will I break them to pieces? This is my hope, my one only consolation, to flee to you in every tribulation, to trust in you, to call on you from my inmost heart and to wait patiently for your consolation. (A 14th century prayer of trust from Thomas-a-Kempis)

Saturday 20 February

Recent surveys have shown that young people’s mental health is worsening, partly due to the fallout from Covid-19 with some feeling that the pandemic is “ruining the best years of our lives”. Pray for children and young people, especially our own Sunday Kids and those trying to maintain contact with them and inspire their Christian education. Pray for parents to support our leaders in this important work. Pray too for youngsters growing up in areas of conflict like Myanmar or the many refugee camps around the world, struggling to have any kind of education at all.

Sunday 21 February

Pray for all those viewing and listening to our, or other, services online or on phone today: that these may be uplifting, challenging and helpful to all who engage with them. Pray especially for those listening on their own or recently bereaved, like the family of St. Columba elder, Mr. Johnnie Kean who passed away this last week and coming to terms with their loss.

Monday 22 February

Pray for the teachers returning to schools today: that they may be given all needed strength for their important work amongst our children and young people. Pray for those working with children who have learning difficulties and other conditions which make it hard for them to cope with the current situation. Pray that all the activity in schools may be conducted safely, with adherence to the current restrictions which continue to be in force.

Tuesday 23 February

As a change from giving up something for Lent, our Moderator is inviting people to enter a photographic competition during the first four weeks of Lent. The idea is to find a cross “hidden in plain sight” – for example two branches of a tree which form a cross shape – and using your camera or phone, taking a picture of it. Further details are on his Facebook page or on the Church od Scotland website. Pray that we will all use this time of Lent to “Open your eyes and see that the Cross is all around you” as Martin puts it.

Wednesday 24 February

Fairtrade is an international organisation that promotes decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, which began last Sunday, will be highlighting the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers. Pray for its success and look for Fairtrade items I your shopping.