Thursday 22 October

With the possibility of more restrictions as the virus continues to spread, let us pray that we may all continue to have the same spirit of caring and praying for each other and appreciation of those who serve our community which we had during lockdown.

Pray especially for the medical and nursing staff caring for Covid-19 patients in all our hospitals and care homes, praying also for healing for these same patients. Remember those caring for elderly or disabled people at home who may be cut off from their usual support networks because of the pandemic and finding the situation particularly hard.

In preparation for the 75th anniversary of United Nations Day on Saturday, a UN national pre-recorded concert is taking place today at noon (NY time) and can be accessed on YouTube and Facebook. In the face of the global pandemic, the plan is to capture the nations’ collective commitment to joyful co-operation, multilateralism and global solidarity through music and dance on the theme of the Day which this year is “Shaping Peace Together”. Pray that this celebratory event will cheer and inspire the nations to work afresh for world peace.

Friday 23 October

In recent weeks, conversations with several people have underlined just how difficult even the current restrictions are for many, especially those living alone, with no family or support “bubble” nearby or those who do not have access to online friends and information to help them widen their horizons and cope with their isolation and loneliness. Even those who do have someone living with them are finding the constraints wearisome after so many months. Some feel quite depressed. Pray for all such people and ask God to restore optimism and show us how we can help and encourage them.

Saturday 24 October

This is United Nations Day, a time to reflect on what this really means at this time when there seems to be so much division and war in too many parts of the world. Pray for the influence of the U.N. and those who represent us there.

Reference to the country of Lebanon has gone from our front pages and TV screens since the devastation caused by the blast in August in which more than 200 people were killed.in Beirut. This week, however, our Church of Scotland was able to draw on funds specifically given to it some years ago for overseas work and pledge £40,000 to help with the rebuilding of the Lebanese capital. This money will be used to assist the estimated 300,000 people left homeless or around 6500 injured by the blast and to repair badly damaged buildings used by the Kirk’s two partner organisations there. Pray that as we stand with them materially as well as spiritually, they may know our solidarity and compassion for them as they do all they can to support the rebuilding of the city. Pray also for the success of Christian Aid’s Lebanon crisis appeal.

Clocks go back an hour tonight as we move from BST to winter hours. Pray for those who struggle to cope with the darker hours, especially those who are homeless.

Sunday 25 October

Today in the services at St. Columba and Lochside, Harvest Thanksgiving will be celebrated. Pray that as we who have so much give thanks to God for our food from land and sea, those who receive the gifts we bring to mark this important event may be blessed through our giving. Pray too for Stuart and his team and our youngsters resuming their St Columba Kids own celebration of Harvest online today, asking that many may tune in to enjoy the fun and important teaching offered there.

Monday 26 October

Our church’s Book Group meets this morning for a first time by Zoom at 10.45 a.m. to discuss books by Deborah Moggach. Pray for a fruitful and interesting time away from all the news and concerns about Covi-19. If anyone who has not hitherto been at the group would like to join in they should contact our elder, Helen Greig, for further details and future dates.

Tuesday 27 October

Our Kirk Session will meet this evening by Zoom. This worked very successfully last month. Pray that all will again go smoothly and pray for our Minister, Scott, and our Session Clerk, Bob, as they steer the business. Pray that the decisions taken will be wise and appropriate.

Wednesday 28 October

Following the recent school holiday break, the minister’s current study groups on Marcus Borg’s book “The heart of Christianity” resume again today and tomorrow by Zoom at 2.p.m. Pray for worthwhile and helpful discussions in a relaxed atmosphere. They also offer an interesting break from all the doom and gloom around in these days and are to be commended.