Thursday 15 July:

Something to reflect on as we begin another week of prayer.

“Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise”. Richard Rohr

As we pray may we find gratitude in our hearts for all that our Heavenly Father has done for us in these months of the pandemic and let us think of people and things for which we are truly thankful in these days.

Friday 16 July

“Quiet prayer is a matter of being in stillness, being in God, not achieving anything or trying to find words, but simply being, I am here Lord, hiding nothing from you, holding back nothing from you; I simply wait in your presence. For when I wait for you, I am found by you.”

Think of S. Africa today, reeling from the dreadful rioting and looting earlier this past week and pray for peace in that beautiful, but struggling country.

Saturday 17 July

Many of us have missed singing in church and in St. Columba we have therefore been grateful for the music of Matthew and Rachel as they have led us in the praise each week. Give thanks for their considerable gifts and pray for them as they prepare for each service. A supplement to CH4 is currently in the pipeline and congregations throughout Scotland are being asked to contribute, by 27 August, suggestions for more contemporary hymns and songs which might be included in this. Pray for all who will be making the selection and for congregations to respond positively and helpfully to this initiative.

Sunday 18 July

Pray for all who will be leading our services today in the Sanctuary and at Lochside. Pray, too, for all for whom worship in church has been an important part of their lives and who find it difficult not to be present because of age or infirmity now that services have started again in the church. Pray that the congregation will ensure that they are still loved and valued as part of the Body of Christ. Pray also for our young people in these weeks when Sunday Kids is on holiday: that they may not forget what they hear and learn there.

Monday 19 July

Following last week’s decision in the House of Commons on the international aid budget cut, our Moderator, Lord Wallace, has spoken out against the vote, branding the decision as a “moral failure” and calling on all parties to work for a restoration of the 0.7% target. Pray for this to happen and soon. (For the full text of his plea, see the Faith Impact Forum’s weekly update on its website.)

Tuesday 20 July

Please continue to pray for all those in our hospitals suffering from Covid and the exhausted staff struggling to care for them as the virus spikes again in different parts of the UK. Pray also for the thousands of people overseas in countries like Malawi, for which our Presbytery has a special concern, who are in the same situation, but without the number of vaccines and other assistance which we have.

Wednesday 21 July

During the pandemic, the staff in our Church’s care homes, run by Crossreach, have worked hard to sustain and help their clients, despite restrictions and staff shortages. Here in nearby Cumnor Hall there are now several staff vacancies. Pray that appropriately qualified people will soon offer for service and find their work of caring, in Jesus’ name, rewarding and fulfilling.