Thursday 14 January 

As our hard-working secretary, Irene, herself a former teacher, was reminding us all in her daily blog last Monday, our children, their parents and teachers very much need our prayers just now as they cope with home schooling and their own jobs. Please give thanks for the technology which makes such teaching possible and pray for strength and patience for all involved in this way.  Like so many of us, the children are finding it hard not to see their friends or be involved in the clubs and groups which would normally be a part of daily life for them. Pray that they may learn patience and find other enjoyable ways of maintaining their friendships and interests.

Friday 15 January

Yesterday many parts of Scotland woke up to heavy snow falls, although thankfully Ayr itself did not. Pray for all who have to work outside in such bitter weather like our farmers out feeding their livestock, our delivery men and women, those who have to work to keep roads open and public transport services going, those who empty bins and supermarket workers often struggling to reach their stores. Ask that we may never take for granted all the service they give.

Saturday 16 January

Give thanks for Stuart and his team of helpers in our Sunday Kids who have been preparing material for the youngsters to use online each Sunday. Pray that more of the young folk and their parents and carers may take advantage of the exciting material provided there for them and encourage their friends to participate also. Pray that through this work they will come to know more about Jesus and about how being amongst His followers can be fun and enrich their lives.

Sunday 17 January

Give thanks for the many opportunities there will be to worship online, or by using the sermons and other material on the St. Columba website or, for those not online, by telephone today. Again give thanks for the technology which makes all this possible in these days when our churches must remain closed and also for those who operate the necessary equipment to bring these services to us, remembering especially Keith, Alistair, Ann and Rachel and Matthew who give their time and skills to assist Scott in the sanctuary in this way. Ask that we may all appreciate what they do and never take it for granted. Pray for Scott and David and local funeral undertakers as they minister, pastorally, to all who need such help just now, especially those who have recently been bereaved.

Monday 18 January

Some in our membership will be going to hospitals and local surgeries for their first Covid-19 vaccines, or medical tests, today. Pray for them as they travel : that they may be kept safe and helped by the attention they receive. Pray for those who have to administer these services: that they may have all needed health and strength themselves to deal with a sometimes ungrateful minority who are not slow to tick them off rather than being appreciative and thankful!

Continue to pray for the extra heavy workloads being experienced by all who work in our hospitals at this ultra busy time, especially those in our local hospitals and care homes like Cumnor Hall.

Tuesday 19 January

Give thanks for the many who, in daily online blogs, or telephone chats or letters and cards, or in other imaginative ways, strive to cheer what are often very long, empty days for too many of our fellow citizens just now. Pray for the many living alone of whom this is especially true. If they struggle to cope mentally with their loneliness, pray that they will find their way to the various agencies and sources of help which are available for those in this position.

Some find solace and interest in reading and radio broadcasts. Give thanks for those who taught us to read and enjoy books or music and those who taught crafting skills like knitting and woodworking, or even planning gardens and tubs for later in the year.

Wednesday 20 January

Today all eyes will be on the US and the inauguration of the new President Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris. Whether we have an interest in politics or not, let us all pray that this event will take place peacefully, with no unhelpful interventions by those for whom the election result is not what they wanted. Pray that as both take up office they will have a new understanding of what that means, not only for them, but also for the whole world and that they will make their promises with genuine desire to serve all the people of the US faithfully and in the best possible ways for the times through which we are all living. Pray also for those who have the awesome responsibly of advising them.