Ayr: St Columba Church

July Prayer Calendar week 1

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5, verse 7 NIV

For your encouragement here is a thought for the week, prompted by reading the following in a magazine we received recently – George Muller never requested funding for the orphanages he established in Bristol in the 19th century; he only prayed that God would provide. Sometimes it looked as if the orphans would go hungry, but always A GIFT OF FOOD OR MONEY WOULD ARRIVE JUST IN TIME, LEADING HIM TO SAY “ THE BEGINNING OF ANXIETY IS THE END OF FAITH AND THE BEGINNING OF TRUE FAITH IS THE END OF ANXIETY”

Thursday 2 July

As the end of the government’s furlough scheme approaches, many people are worried about having a job beyond this time and already in recent weeks many companies and retail outlets have announced closures which will put hundreds of people out of work, rendering them unable to pay their bills or to put food on their tables. Pray that new jobs, using their skills and training, or ways of supporting all those affected by such decisions will be quickly found for them. Pray especially for newly qualified young people, keen to work but currently having no prospects of employment: asking that they may not be downhearted as they search for posts.

Friday 3 July

As the main holiday season gets underway in Scotland, pray for all workers in tourist, catering and aviation industries, so many of whom are threatened by business closures and redundancies. Ask God to comfort them, to lift them out of the despair that such a bleak future might engender and that they may find alternative employment.

Saturday 4 July

Pray for our Moderator, Dr. Martin Fair, who has started an occasional on line series on Facebook, entitled “It’s a Fair Question!” in which he chats with people about a variety of things. Last week he spoke with two ministers recovering from Covid – 19, about their experiences of the illness and their slow returns to better health. This week he moves to a totally different subject by interviewing Robert Roberton. lead singer and guitarist of the popular high flying Scottish band called “Tide Lines”.

Sunday 5 July

Another day of opportunities to attend virtual worship on line or by telephone and to read our own minister, Scott’s, sermon for the day. Pray for the impact of these resources : that many will be helped and encouraged by them. Pray too for the re-opening today, from 10a.m. – 12 noon,  of our own Sanctuary for those who wish to come into a church to pray quietly: that being in a much loved place of peace and good memories may help and comfort them too. Remember also those whose efforts are making this possible by preparing and staffing the building. Tonight at 7.p.m there is another opportunity to pray with others around the country for all those affected by the pandemic. The prayer, written by various church leaders, including our Moderator, which all are invited to use at this time can be found on the Church of Scotland’s website.

Monday 6 July

Remember today all who have recently been bereaved as a result of covid – 19 or other illnesses, particularly those in our own congregation. After so much suffering and so many deaths, with people confined to home for months, experts a predicting a tsunami of mental health problems. Ask God’s blessing on clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, as they plan and offer care to so many, including NHS and Care Home staff, who may suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tuesday 7 July

Normally at this time we would be on the eve of holding our summer holiday club for our young folk who will be missing the fun and activity this offers. With this in mind, Scripture Union has produced for churches, holidays and missions across the country and others to use with their young people an on line resource, called WONDERZONE. It explores the wonders of the world and the God behind them all via video, engaging content, downloadable age related material and how to offer small groups online.It can be found at scotlandsbiggestholidayclub.org.uk Give thanks for those who have produced this and pray that it will be of help to many youngsters and their parents.

Wednesday 8 July

A locust plague on a scale unknown to at least a generation has invaded East Africa and Pakistan. Trillions of insects have destroyed crops in these areas and they have also had to cope with devastating flooding. The UN has warned that East Africa is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. Pray that we may not be so taken up with the concerns about the virus in our own land that we forget our brothers and sisters in such places, who, along with millions of refugees in huge camps and poor homes, are also struggling to cope with the pandemic.