AYR ST COLUMBA PARISH CHURCH
A new month! A new day! And in the goodness of God, a chance of a fresh start!
After all these months, are you becoming fed up with praying, feeling that there’s no point to it? Are your times of prayer a burden rather than a blessing?
Listen to Paul as he writes to the Ephesians (Ch 1, verses 15 and 16 ) : “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…”
Notice these words “ I have not stopped…” May we also not stop giving thanks for all that God has done for us and may we keep on remembering those who continue to need our prayers, especially in this difficult time through which we are all passing. A wee prayer from the amazing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who died last week is one we could all make our own : Help me, gracious Lord, to take your love into our community and to make life a little better for those less fortunate than I. Let me live, not for myself, but for those around
Thursday 1 October
Yesterday’s news about the increasing number of virus cases and deaths in Scotland, as in other parts of the world, reminds us of just how deadly and virulent the virus is. Pray for all who are finding it difficult to realise this, to understand the guidelines and and to obey them, especially our younger people, particularly our student population, many of them cooped up in small rooms in Halls of Residence in our universities and colleges. Pray that they will heed the guidance and think of others as well.
Friday 2 October
Not only our young folk but also the many people who live alone and can’t meet with family or friends at the present time are struggling with their mental health. Give thanks for websites on the internet like www.counselling –directory.org.uk which has an informative and helpful section on Coronavirus and your mental health – self-care tips for this autumn, and pray that this may provide support for some who need it.
Saturday 3 October
Give thanks for our General Practice medical services which are not only having to deal with routine medical care but also the annual mass administering of the flu injection taking place at this busy time. Pray that our GPs, nurses and other Practice staff may have all the strength and patience they require to see this accomplished safely and that we may all be appreciative of their services.
Pray also for our Church’s General Assembly taking place online today and all who have the privilege of attending or helping to make this event possible. Pray that its decisions may be wise and appropriate, given the complex situation facing the Church of Scotland at this time. (Anyone who wishes to do so can also watch this online via the Church’s website).
Sunday 4 October
Come, ye thankful people, come… In many congregations, this will be Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday. Even if our Sanctuaries cannot be decorated as they would have been in previous years, we can still imagine the sight and scent of fruits, flowers and vegetables which would have been there as reminders of God’s great goodness to us. Pray that we may be grateful for the abundance of the earth and those who harvest it in farm and garden, sharing their gifts and bounty with others wherever possible, Bryan Wren’s lovely Hymn 230 in our CH4 hymn book reminds us of the diversity of our harvests from all over the world and can be prayed over silently with gratitude, even if we can’t sing it together. Give thanks too that services at our sister church in Lochside have now restarted at 10 a.m., praying for all who will gather there.
Monday 5 October
If you had time to fit them in at the weekend, give thanks for opportunities to be outside and take a walk or other form of exercise in the fresh air. The self help website mentioned above indicates that this is one of the best things we can do to help stay healthy and fit, even in winter time or on rainy days, so along as we have the appropriate clothing and footwear. It also suggests that sitting on our garden wall (or even doorstep) drinking a mug of coffee is a great way of taking the air especially if mobility is difficult! Remember those who find it difficult to get out or to take exercise, even indoors, on their own.
Tuesday 6 October
As we see geese fly overhead on their journeys to their winter quarters and the sun still struggles to climb into the sky, give thanks to God for His glorious planet. Ask that each of us may be inspired to pledge to make one change in our way of living so that we don’t damage it more. Give thanks that we can turn on our taps to access clean drinking water and pray for those who can’t do this, remembering charities like WaterAid which strive to provide bore holes, taps and proper sanitation in some countries where these things are in short supply.
Wednesday 7 October
Please pray today for children and young people with special needs and require more one to one interaction, remembering those like our Minister’s wife, Shelagh, who work with them. Ask that their parents and grandparents who often also work with them may be upheld in these anxious times, too.