Thursday 19 November

This is Prisoners Week which is marked by all the mainline churches in Scotland as a time when we are all asked to pray for all prisoners, their families, those who work in prisons and the Prison Chaplaincy Service in which our former locum, the Rev Eddie Simpson, used to work part-time in Barlinnie Prison. Here is the prayer offered by the Church of Scotland for us to use in this special week

Today we pray for those held in prison. We pray

for changed hearts, for those who need to give up

hate and hurt.  We pray for justice for those held,

for their opposition to wrongful abuse of power.

We pray for new love where guilt and anger has

soured relationships.

Friday 20 November

Today is Universal Children’s Day. Pray for children everywhere: our own children, our grandchildren, orphaned children, disabled children, children who experience bullying and children in refugee camps or fleeing from intolerable situations in their own countries. Pray especially for the children in our own Sunday Kids who will not be able to meet on Sunday to learn about Jesus because of the restrictions but may be able to do so virtually. Tomorrow also marks the beginning of anti-bullying week which encourages schools to tackle bullying and make schools safer learning environments.

This evening also our area moves into tier 4 of the Scottish restrictions. Pray that, despite the huge sacrifices these will mean for many, particularly the local businesses which had been hoping for a surge in trade before Christmas, all will accept them with grace for the three weeks they are expected to be in force and that they will be effective in driving down the numbers afflicted with the virus.

Saturday 21 November

As we move into what will necessarily be a quieter time, pray for all who are suffering from the virus, those caring for them in hospital or at home, those in the aftermath of Covid in what has been called long Covid and all who have to continue to work to maintain essential services. Many find the wearing of masks irksome and so we pray especially for those having to wear PPE and a mask for their 12 hour shifts in Care Homes and hospitals. This lovely prayer which appeared on Facebook this week may help us in this:

                           A Prayer Before Putting on a Face Mask

   (by the Rev Richard Bott, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada)

Creator God, as I prepare to go into the world, help me to see the sacramental nature of wearing this cloth. Let it be a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbours as I love myself.

Christ Jesus, since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes. Since my voice must be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words but with my actions.

Holy Spirit, as the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully and caringly to all those I meet. May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner and may each breath that it holds, be filled with Your love. In Your Name and in that love, I pray, AMEN

Sunday 22 November

With many of the churches which were opened up for worship now having to close, pray for the well being of all who worked so hard to make this possible, but give thanks that many, like our own St. Columba are able to offer online worship and telephone services. Pray again for our ministers as they prepare these.

Monday 23 November

Give thanks today that while many cannot work from home in these restricted times, others, including most of our own church staff can and ask God to give them strength and encouragement as they do so.

Tuesday 24 November

Pray for all those living alone for whom the current restrictions are almost intolerable and ask that we may all look for ways to support them through the dark days of winter with a cheery phone call, letter or even a wee “minding” dropped off with a card at their doorstep to assure them they are not forgotten.

Wednesday 25 November

“Count your blessings” goes the refrain of an old and well loved hymn. Ask God to help us all do the same as we live through the current restrictions and pray again that these will drive down the high numbers which have necessitated their introduction.