As we gather to pray as the Church of Scotland, on or around 3 November 2018, here are some prayers and ideas that may help us focus on our Church and our Nation. In Scotland and beyond, the Church plays a vital role within our communities. The Church of Scotland has many gifts. It has over 300,000 official members in addition to many others who take part in the life of the Church. Equally, we face many challenges if we are to become the Church which Jesus Christ calls us to become.
As we gather you may wish to pray for:
- discernment to hear where the Spirit of God is leading
- courage to trust God where risks require to be taken
- the gift of encouragement, and to give thanks for the many gifts that God has given to us
- boldness to try new things which must begin and to let go of those things that are no longer working
- skills of listening, consultation and decision making within the life of the Church.
Grant us your vision to see as you see, to always hope, to never let go and to strive for your kingdom.
Inspire us toward greater things for you are a God of the impossible. Give us courage and confidence, compassion and care to be the Church you have called us to be.
You may like to pray for your own congregation and for neighbouring congregations - those which are part of the Church of Scotland and those belonging to other denominations.
- places where there is growth – that this will be encouraged and lessons shared
- places where new initiatives must be tried – for risk-takers and pioneers
- places where there is fragility and loss – for God to be present in our vulnerability
- places where difficult decisions may need to be made.
You may wish to pray for your communities and give thanks for the gifts that have been given to them.
- local schools – Nursery, Primary and Secondary, Colleges and Universities, for pupils, students and staff
- local healthcare practices, hospitals and care homes
- leaders – Councillors, community leaders, MPs and MSPs
- change – especially where there are inequalities to be challenged, where the most vulnerable must find a home.
You may wish to pray for the wider church. The Church of Scotland has leadership which is congregational (Kirk Sessions), regional (Presbyteries) and national (General Assembly, Councils and Committees). Made up of ministers, elders, members and staff, these bodies work to support the local church in all the different facets of its life.
- the regional church where 46 Presbyteries help the church to flourish locally
- the work of councils and committees who implement decisions of the General Assembly
- the General Assembly that it might discern where God is leading us
- all the people who make up these bodies
- the Church of Scotland’s engagement with the world of politics and issues of justice
- the Council of Assembly’s work with others to produce a Radical Action Plan. Please pray for this challenging work. Pray for all to hear God and to respond with action.
A Prayer For the Church
You who led your people through the wilderness to the promised land, who carried the faithful through the throes of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Day: Hear us as we pray for your people today, in this land and at this time...
When we fear what lies ahead, when we feel overwhelmed by the task of pointing people to your love and mercy: Remind us that you are a living God, still at work, still planning and promising...
When our heads go down and our shoulders droop: Lift our eyes that they may look into yours and see there a love that will not ever let us go.
AMENRight Rev. Susan Brown, Moderator