Some thoughts from C.S.Lewis as we begin a new month of prayer:

           “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless

            I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking, sleeping.

            It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

Thursday 6 May (Election Day)

And  an appropriate prayer for this day compiled by an Adviser from the Church in Wales: Incarnate God, at our creation you made us not separate from the world, but of the same substance; and you entrusted us with the care of the Earth and of one another. You gifted us with intellect, imagination and freedom to consider different models of government; and you call to public service women and men with hearts and minds set on creating a harmonious and flourishing society. Grant us, we pray, the discernment to use wisely our privilege of choice in this election, treating with respect all those who put their time, talents and energy at our disposal. Guide both electors and candidates with insight, compassion and unselfishness, that, together, we may understand what are your priorities and make our homeland here on Earth a place where all people of your creation can thrive   AMEN

Probably many of us have long since sent in our postal vote, but hopefully, hundreds will be heading for the polling stations, of which our church building is one, during this day. Pray for safety in the continuing Covid situation and for strength for those who work there today and in the counting tomorrow. Pray for those who will be elected to serve us, that they will be people who can always be trusted to give of their best.

Friday 7 May

Give thanks for the sunny weather which has enabled people to meet up out of doors again at long last but pray, too, for warmth to return so that people can enjoy being out of doors and marvelling at God’s creation in field and garden. This is the time of lambing in our farms and we need to pray for our farming community as they struggle with this in the chilly conditions which have been their lot this past week. The sight of lambs playing in the fields reminds us of new life and especially of the new life we have in Christ. Give thanks for that.

Saturday 8 May

This is the beginning of Christian Aid Week but the current restrictions mean that door to door collections are less likely to take place. Instead, people are being urged to donate online or download the customary CA envelope, put their donations in it and hand it in at their churches or other collection points. Pray that people will again be generous. This year the focus is on Kenya and on the severe droughts there, followed by extreme and unpredictable changes in weather which have destroyed crops, killed livestock and continue to threaten livelihoods, followed by the pandemic and the consequences of all these. Fund raising has already begun and many took part in last week- end’s Kilt Walk in Scotland in response to the need, raising over £160,000 for CA. Give thanks for the Hunter Foundation which is topping each amount raised by 50% and pray for all the countries which will benefit from funds raised in this special week supported by the national church for many years.

Sunday 9 May

Give thanks that more people can now worship in the Sanctuary and pray for rich blessings to follow the preaching of the Word and the praising of His Name.

Continue to pray for the teaching our youngsters are receiving at Sunday Kids and for their leaders.

Monday 10 May

As another working week begins pray for those returning to their places of work and for those who now have no jobs, following the long lockdown. In one of today’s newspapers there is an article telling readers that rates of depression have more than doubled since the pandemic took hold, with young women suffering most. Pray for all who are afflicted in this way and for those who seek to counsel and help them.

Tuesday 11 May

Conversely from the above, the same paper reports that a third of people in the UK have preferred lockdown to normal life! More than a quarter of adults say they have “enjoyed having more time to myself”, while a third say that lockdowns have given them more time to relax, perhaps underlining the kind of frenetic, too busy lives many used to lead. Pray for all who still feel stressed and unsure about mixing again with others, despite the reassurances of the vaccine rollout, and that we may treat those in this position with understanding and kindness.

Wednesday 12 May

Give thanks for the Kirk Session of our congregation and for those who are willing to serve on it. Several of its committees are meeting this month in preparation for the next full meeting in June. Pray for their deliberations and plans: that these may be imaginative and wise.