Thursday 24 September

This week’s calendar is being compiled on the day which marks six months since the whole country had to go into lockdown in an attempt to drive down the numbers of people being affected by the corona virus. Give thanks for the ways in which we in Scotland have sacrificially helped to do this and for all the care given to so many by our doctors, nurses and other health care workers. On Tuesday of this week, however, the number of people affected has been rising again to the point where some areas of the country are in local lockdowns, and our governments have, reluctantly, had to impose further restrictions, on the advice of the scientists and medical advisers. Pray with renewed energy and vigour for us all to accept these with good grace, despite the difficulties and ask God to help us all do this as cheerfully and kindly as we can.

Friday 25 September

Give thanks for the research workers who are striving hard to develop vaccines and other palliative drugs to combat the virus. Many are working long hours in laboratories in the struggles to come up with appropriate medication, while others have offered themselves as “guinea pigs” to try out and test what is becoming available. Pray that these trials will be successful and that all involved will soon see fruit for their labours. May they all be mindful of the need to prioritise the achieving of good health.

Saturday 26 September

Pray today for all who have fallen victims to Covid in recent weeks and are in hospital, remembering especially those in ICUs and also those who are still recovering after many months of the debilitating illness. Pray for those who are helping with their rehab like physio and occupational therapists. Pray too for hospital chaplains ministering to patients and staff and to those who have been bereaved in these last months. Pray for anxious relatives who are not permitted to visit hospitals at this time.

Sunday 27 September

Give thanks for the good responses to the two services held in our Sanctuary last Sunday and online and pray for all who will gather this week, that these may be times of uplift and encouragement for all who will participate. Ask God to be especially near to all who may be returning to church for the first time after lockdown and feeling apprehensive or unsure about the “new normal” as far as congregational worship is concerned. At the virtual Kirk Session meeting last Tuesday the Treasurer reported on the dire state of congregational finances mainly because services could not be held during lockdown and Offerings could not be taken. Pray that Free Will offering gifts will now be brought to church and that the financial situation will soon improve.

Remember those in the Lochside congregation whose services have not yet been able to resume, praying that plans being made for this can soon be implemented and for our member, the Rev. Roddy McNidder, who leads most of the worship there, as he prepares for re-opening again.

Monday 28 September

With the further tightening of restrictions, people who live alone or are in small households may be struggling with the fact that they cannot have visitors to their homes, perhaps even for some time. Ask God to help us all look out for those in this position and to guide us about how best we can cheer and help them with a friendly phone call or a card or even, if we are able and weather allows, with a visit to their garden gate with some baking or soup and a wee chat – always at a distance of course.

Tuesday 29 September

In these lovely autumn days pray that God will help us to appreciate the beauty of garden, field and farm, especially when the sun is shining and pray for those still working hard to bring in the harvest. Pray that we may value their efforts more than we sometimes do and that, despite the cooler weather, they may complete their work before “the winter storms begin”.

Wednesday 30 September

Our Church of Scotland’s special virtual General Assembly takes place with the help of Zoom on Friday evening and all day on Saturday. Some members of St. Columba will be commissioners to this along with others from the Presbytery of Ayr. Pray for them as they train this week for their involvement, using what for many will be a new medium and for the Moderator, Dr. Fair, as he leads the business with others. Pray that the decisions taken will be wise and in the best interests of the church and its members in the very different future which it is likely to have as it seeks to continue sharing the Good News of the Gospel with Scotland and beyond.