Thursday 21 January

Give thanks that the inauguration of the new President and Vice President of the US went well yesterday and pray for that nation as it begins a new chapter, asking that, despite the many difficult situations the new administration is having to contend with, there will be a new spirit of working together for peace and concord in the interests of all its people.

Friday 22 January

Over 4 million people in the UK have received their first doses of the three vaccines created against the virus but there still appear to be logistical problems over supplies and distribution in some areas. Give thanks for the skill that has made possible the creation of these vaccines and pray that this next phase of distribution may proceed more smoothly and speedily. Pray that people will be  patient and understanding of one of the biggest challenges relating to a vaccination programme that the country has ever experienced. Pray for those who complicate things by refusing to accept their invitations to be vaccinated and scorn this endeavour, thereby undermining trust in it and for those who refuse to obey the rules within which we have all been asked to live.

Saturday 23 January

Pray today for all who are coping with the aftermath of Storm Christoph in different parts of the country, especially those whose homes had not been fully repaired after the devastation of Storm Brendan last year. Give thanks that although our area has experienced much rain and grey skies in recent weeks, the weather here has not been as difficult. Give thanks for the occasional blue skies and shafts of sunshine which cheer our days.

Sunday 24 January

Today many will be tuning in to our online service from St. Columba and other places. Pray that all will worship in sincerity and truth and with gratitude for all whose skills and talents make such services possible. As we worship, may we reflect on what our worshipping communities mean to us and consider how we can support them financially, or in other practical ways, even in this time of lockdown. Continue to pray for those ministering to our young folk via enterprises like Sunday Kids and for our youngsters themselves as they cope with a very different world from their usual experience, especially any who are struggling with the current situation.

Monday 25 January

This is a date on which people, especially locally, would customarily be meeting to celebrate the birth, life and writings of our national Bard, Robert Burns. The fact that this cannot happen just now underlines the loss so many feel of social activity, meeting up with friends in happy fellowship and being able to choose what to do and where to go. Many are feeling increasingly weary of these dark difficult days. Ask God to help us thole them as cheerfully and positively as we can, in the hope of also cheering and supporting others.

Tuesday 26 January

The work of St. Columba at Lochside is currently almost at a standstill. Pray for those who will be missing the support and help they usually find there and for the work of the local food banks in the area. Pray that gifts of food, toiletries and other items for these may still keep coming in to the various collection points and encourage and help all those in need. Pray for those without jobs and struggling to feed their families, heat their homes or supply the materials needed for their children’s home schooling programmes.

Wednesday 27 January

The strain on our NHS staff in hospitals and care homes continues to be acute as we can all see from the harrowing news and other programmes on our TV screens. Pray constantly for their health and strength as they minister to those with Covid-19 and other illnesses, especially those working in ICUs, and pray for people like hospital chaplains who minister to them and offer support in various ways. Pray that the numbers of those affected by the virus will soon reduce significantly.