Thursday 21 May

This is Ascension Day when we recall how Jesus passed into heaven, leaving His followers with the injunction to await the imminent coming of the Holy Spirit which would empower them to be His witnesses….to the ends of the earth, an injunction which the Church still needs to heed and obey. Pray that here in St Columba we will all rise to that challenge, in the sure knowledge that our God still calls and empowers us to be His witnesses even in the midst of the crisis that we face today.

As we give thanks for the fact that the number of deaths from covid –19 is going down, let us also pray for our politicians, helped by their medical and scientific advisers, who have to take difficult decisions about when and how to ease the lockdown.

Friday 22 May

Last night we again applauded the heroic contributions of our medical and other key workers in the fight against the coronavirus. To their number let us add the farming community, especially as summer salad and fruit crops become ready for harvesting. Pray that enough willing workers will be found to help in this vital task of “Picking for Britain” and give thanks for the better weather which makes easier all that they will have to do.

Saturday 23 May

There continues to be huge concern about the fact that the pandemic has affected most seriously our many care homes and their staffs. Pray that very soon there will be adequate testing and correct equipment for all and that, where staff are off ill themselves, appropriate trained people will be available to fill the gaps.

Sunday 24 May

Give thanks on this Ascension Sunday for the many opportunities churches are finding on Facebook and other social media outlets to share in different ways the good news of the gospel, asking God to bless every venture and perhaps especially the BBC 1 ‘s making space for “Reflections at the Quay” each Sunday morning. Pray that this or something like it will continue long after the crisis passes as many people have said how much they have missed in recent years a tv broadcast act of worship on Sundays

Monday 25 May

While many people have made good recoveries from illness because of the virus, others have not been so fortunate and remain still very ill in hospital. Pray for their recovery, which can be protracted and difficult, as we have seen in TV news and other programmes and for those who continue to nurse and help them Pray too that with the easing of lockdown there will be no consequent “spike” in more infections.

Tuesday 26 May

The recent International Mental Health Awareness Week urged us all to focus on mental health issues which have become more prominent for many sufferers during the lockdown. Give thanks for people like our new Moderator, Dr. Martin Fair and the Duke of Cambridge, who would have been the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly, who are using their positions in public life to draw attention to the huge needs in this important area of health and well-being.

Wednesday 27 May

There is much discussion on both sides of the Border about when and how to bring children back to school, given the difficulties of ensuring appropriate social distancing and other factors. Pray for those who have to consider and make decisions about what would be best and pray that those who may disagree with those decisions will be patient and helpful in understanding of them and making them happen, rather than being unkindly critical. Pray too for those who will have to prepare the schools to receive the children back, remembering especially teachers, janitors, cleaners and school meals staff.