Thursday 18 June

Today the First Minister expects to announce measures for further easing of the lockdown, consistent with continuing to keep everyone safe. Pray for wisdom in deciding what is best and for common sense to prevail as people implement the rules in their daily lives. For some, particularly those who have been ‘shielding’ the easing will heighten feelings of fear as they venture out again, while for others there may be a cavalier feeling that the virus has been stamped out and life can resume as before. Pray that we may all be wise, careful and always thinking of how our behaviour could affect others.

Friday 19 June

Give thanks for the encouraging news the other evening that a version of a steroidal drug which is already available worldwide may be effective for some covid-19 patients on ventilators or oxygen and help to save lives. However, researchers are quick to remind us all that this is not yet a cure and so we need to continue to pray for them as they work hard in pursuit of that. (We know a young doctor in one of the research teams who told us the other day that when she worked on research for a cure for Ebola, it took five years before they had something satisfactory in most cases and she asked us to pray for patience, especially on the part of the general public who, understandably, are impatient for a cure, but need constant reminding that  the virus has not gone away.)

Saturday 20 June

Give thanks for the army of volunteers still working tirelessly to help others in need, whether by shopping, as some will be doing today, collecting prescriptions, providing food and items for the food banks or just making a phone call to cheer another person. Ask God to help us all be good neighbours, reaching out in love to our communities and beyond.

Sunday 21 June

Give thanks for the many who are renewing, or finding for the first time, contact with their local or other congregations through online worship or via sermons and reflections on their websites, like those provided by our own minister, Scott. We should pray for him as he prepares these and also maintains contact with the people of St. Columba and Lochside, ministering especially to the bereaved and, with his team, considering and planning how best to re-open the church safely for services when that time comes.

Monday 22 June

Last week we would all have received the latest edition of our congregational magazine, in its attractive new colourful format. Give thanks for all who have worked so hard to produce this and post it out. As we read it, may we pray for the many aspects of our congregational life which it highlights and for all who, even in lockdown, have been working tirelessly to keep us all informed and together through these last difficult months.

Tuesday 23 June

The school holidays would have been beginning this week so let us pray for our children and young people and their parents, carers and teachers who have worked hard to continue their education and are now in need of a break. Give thanks when the good weather allows exercise and picnics in the fresh air and pray that these will be enjoyed, helping to uplift spirits, even if it is not yet possible to take holidays away as usual.

Wednesday 24 June (Midsummer Day)

In recent days, we have seen both the best and the worst of our country. As we face the painful complexities of our history and of current events, pray for wise, careful leadership to guide us to a better, kinder  future and for each of us to take responsibility for healing the wounds of the past and sharing the love of Christ with all around us as we try, together, to build the “new normal”.