The Psalmist said: As for me I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more (Ps. 71, v14).

Some thoughts, adapted from those of our Presbytery Prayer Promoter Mrs Christine Stewart:

Too often we think our prayers can be only the intercessory ones, asking God to bless or help in various situations. We forget that in our prayers there is a place for hope and praise, As another new month begins, therefore, and although we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, let us remember to Praise God

for the little things we previously took for granted;

for nature which continues to flourish in the changing seasons;

for time to spend on His Word;

that, whatever happens, He is our hope;

for… (whatever you want to praise Him for in your own life)

Thursday 3 September

In the next few weeks our universities and colleges will be starting their new terms. There is considerable unease about the risks of Covid -19 spreading quickly in such communities. Pray for those who have to plan and oversee arrangements and pray for those starting their new studies, some leaving home for a first time; others coming from overseas; and still others learning new subjects in new and demanding courses with perhaps different methods of approach. Pray for chaplains, welfare officers and counsellors for whom the start of term is a busy time as they try to help the newcomers settle in.

Friday 4 September

Pray today for our sister community at Lochside and for all who live and work there. Although it is not yet possible to open the church and the Hub safely in terms of current restrictions, needs continue and help is given where possible. Pray for all involved in this caring ministry.

Saturday 5 September

Focus your thoughts today on a neighbouring parish. Pray for those who serve there, especially if it is in vacancy, for those who attend church in “normal” times, for those who don’t come, for families, for the elderly, those living alone, those whose needs are known only to God. Remember especially those in all our communities for whom loneliness is a real issue. With days already shortening and fewer visitors coming, they may feel a sense of panic at the possibility of winter ailments being compounded with a second wave of the virus. Pray that all of us may remember that God is with us always and will not abandon any of us.

Sunday 6 September

Give thanks that many churches, including our own St. Columba, will be today re-opening their doors for public worship. Ask God to bless all preparing for this and for those who will come, especially our families and young folk who, although Sunday Kids will not yet be starting, need to feel welcome to worship and to find that it is as relevant for them as for adults. Pray for those who will continue to provide and share in online or telephone worship, giving thanks for the technology which makes this possible and for those who operate it.

Monday 7 September

During lockdown many people continued to provide services for us all which we didn’t really think about or fully appreciate until we couldn’t use them, like hairdressers, for example! Ask God to help us value people who give such services, including our postmen and women, supermarket staff, local businesses who helped out with local deliveries when the supermarkets were overwhelmed, lorry drivers, bin men, the police, health service workers in various sectors and many others. As the pandemic is still affecting hundreds of people across the world, pray for all who work in hospitals and all who offer rehab to those still recovering from the debilitating effects of the disease. Pray for those who continue to work hard towards the developments of healing and palliative vaccines.

Tuesday 8 September

With the announcement of yet more shops and industries shedding employees, pray for those facing unemployment, increasingly worried about money and struggling to provide for their families. Pray especially for children living in poverty and often going to bed hungry – a situation which should not be happening in our country today. Pray that more opportunities to retrain, using their skills, may be developed. Ask that our governments in Holyrood and Westminster may be motivated to act in the best interests of all and that those with wealth may seek imaginative ways to share it for the common good.

Wednesday 9 September

The national Guild held its first ever “virtual” annual Gathering by DVD last Saturday when the new Theme for session 2020-21: Go the Extra Mile was launched.  Marion McIntyre from Shetland stepped down as the current National Convener and Mabel Wallace from Fort William was installed as the new Convener for session 2020 – 21. The Moderator and the Church’s new Chief Officer, Dave Kendall, an elder in East Kilbride, brought encouraging messages and challenges in the face of the coming major changes in the Church. Pray for Mabel as she takes up office in these difficult times when many of the visits and other events in which she would normally be involved cannot yet take place. Pray for her and her four national Vice-Conveners as they serve the Guild in other ways, preparing the weekly Newsletter, holding planning meetings by Zoom, promoting the six Projects to which the Guild is committed in terms of informed prayer and fund raising for the next three years and supporting the large number of local groups throughout Scotland.