Thursday 11 March

Give thanks for the cautious easing of lockdown which is promised from tomorrow and pray that people will take advantage of this sensibly and carefully and with thought for others. Pray for those who are so impatient for lockdown to be ended that they act foolishly, as we saw last week-end. As a return to something more like normality draws nearer, pray that we may all remember our responsibility to our community and our environment.

Friday 12 March

As lockdown eases a little for us, pray for the doctors and nurses and other hospital workers in the NHS for whom it is not yet easing enough as they still work tirelessly and go the extra mile during the pandemic. Many are exhausted and in need of a break. Ask God to give them strength to carry on until the virus is properly overcome and they are able to take some well earned rest. Pray that  governments, recalling all the magnificent response, especially of nursing staff to the pandemic, will reconsider the derisory pay award they propose to offer them and show that they are truly valued and appreciated.

Saturday 13 March

Give special thanks to day for the scientists and medical experts who have developed the vaccines and are constantly monitoring the new variants of it to try to give us back a more normal life. Pray also for those carrying out the vaccination programme and remember those in developing countries which do not yet have sufficient supplies of the vaccines to protect even the most vulnerable: that richer countries, like our own,  may soon make these available.

Sunday 14 March

Although Mothering Sunday was traditionally the day when people from smaller churches in a diocese went to the Mother Church or Cathedral of the area for a special service of worship, it has now become a day, helped by commercial interests, when people give thanks for their mothers and mothers everywhere. Pray that they will enjoy this special day and be appreciated by their families for all they do and have done for them.

Remember mothers who have lost children, not only during this pandemic but in other times also and women who have never known the privilege and responsibilities of motherhood, for all of whom this day is hard because it is less special for them. Pray for guidance about how to help them feel included in this day. Pray for all the services taking place today and for important work like that of our own Sunday Kids, so faithfully carried out by those whose work in sharing the Christian faith with children and young people is so vital in these secular days.

Give thanks for organisations like Boys’ Brigade, with their online programme of BB at Home and Scripture Union, who are offering soon a brand new Holiday Club Resource called “Jungle Adventure”, written for use in an outdoor woodland setting and with easy adaptations for other settings as they work hard to maintain contact with children and young people in these imaginative ways.

Monday 15 March

Pray for all who have lost so much during the pandemic, be it loss of confidence or hope, loss of their job or hope of one, loss of good health, loss of loved ones by death. Whatever has been lost, pray that the love of God may fill the void and bring renewal.

Tuesday 16 March

This evening our congregational Annual Business Meeting will take place by Zoom, following a virtual meeting of the Kirk Session, principally to approve the annual accounts. Pray that many will join in this, thus encouraging our Treasurer and other office bearers in the sterling voluntary work they do to maintain the work of the congregation at St Columba and Lochside, especially in these difficult times.

This evening also there will be a special meeting of Ayr Presbytery to consider proposals relating to the formation of a new Presbytery of S.W. Scotland which will involve Ayr Presbytery and five other presbyteries coming together from the end of 2022. Pray for our Presbytery elder, George Park, as he represents St. Columba at this important meeting and pray for careful and wise decision making.

Wednesday 17 March (St.Patrick’s Day)

Rejoice and give thanks over the good news that TESCO and the food bank have generously offered to gift Easter eggs for the children at Lochside this year. Pray that those who receive them will be reminded of God’s goodness and the kindness of the donors, inspiring all of us to be kind to others ourselves, as we have opportunity..