Thursday 13 May

This is Ascension Day when we recall how Jesus left this world, physically, entrusting to his disciples, right to the present day, the important task of continuing His work in the power of His Holy Spirit. As we think of that, recorded for us in Luke’s gospel, chapter 24, our minds go to the Holy Land which at this time is in the grip of turmoil and violent fighting between the Israelis and Hamas. The shocking scenes we have witnessed in the news bulletins must surely increase our desire to pray for those caught up in this tragedy. As the Psalmist wrote “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” may we do that with renewed urgency in these days.

Friday 14 May

Christian Aid week continues until the week-end and if you have not already contributed something to CA or to the Disasters Emergency Committee, of which CA is a part, as it appeals for vital supplies for the pandemic raging out of control in India, please help, if you can. We can all pray for a good response to both appeals and for those who have the huge responsibility of administering them to ensure that the money reaches the right places. Pray for all those working in India to mitigate this disaster and help so many poor people caught up in it.

Saturday 15 May

May is traditionally a month of exams for pupils in the senior years of secondary school but as with so many things it is different this year. Pray for teachers as they assess the work done by pupils and for the pupils as evidence is gathered in the classroom environment as fairly as possible. After the last difficult year, many youngsters are stressed and anxious about results which are important, especially if they plan to proceed to higher education. Pray for peace of mind for them in these weeks of assessment and waiting.

Sunday 16 May

Give thanks that more of us can now worship in the Sanctuary that is St. Columba and pray for much blessing on all in our ministry team there and at Lochside, charged with the vital work of mission and outreach to our parish and community. Pray for a good response to this, especially from our families and their children, that we may all honour the vows taken for those who have been baptised into our congregation. Remember the time of prayer online at 7.p.m. this evening which has continued every Sunday throughout the pandemic and join in if you can. The Prayer to be used, which has been prepared by leaders of many of the churches in Scotland, is available on the Moderator’s page of the Church’s website or on the social media platform, Facebook.

Monday 17 May

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” Give thanks for the further easing of restrictions from today and pray that, as people move more freely than in recent months, they will do so with care, vigilance and consideration for others. Pray that they will respect this beautiful country that God has created and that they will find peace and renewal in the landscapes, the natural world of so much beauty in springtime, the birds, bees, butterflies and other creatures so vital to its eco-structure, while remembering to look after our beaches, hills and green spaces. Ask God to help us all care more thoughtfully for the earth He has given.

Tuesday 18 May

The Church of Scotland is promoting God With Us  a new anthology of Bible studies, prayers, reflections, poems, hymns and song suggestions, activities for youth groups and other ways to include worship and prayer on the themes of refugees and migration. Pray that this will be a widely used and helpful resource, stimulating care and concern for this vulnerable group of people seeking a fresh start in our country. (For further details see the World Mission section of the CofS website)

Wednesday 19 May

This coming week-end will see the start of the 2021 General Assembly, being held virtually (and therefore accessible online on the CofS website). Pray for the new Moderator, who is, for the first time, a male elder – Lord Wallace of Tankerness in Orkney – as he prepares to take up office for the next year and for all the Assembly officers and Commissioners who will attend online. Pray for wise decisions in the face of the many difficulties the Church is facing at this time. ( Reports from the Assembly’s Committees and Councils are available on the CofS website and make interesting reading.)