AYR ST COLUMBA PARISH CHURCH
“Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you”. (Jeremiah 29 :verse 11 and 12, New Interpreter’s Study Bible )
Thursday 4 June
The news from the USA following the shocking murder of George Floyd and its aftermath of rioting, violent protesting and looting has shocked the world and has not been helped by the intemperate, hostile public utterances and behaviour of the President and others in positions of power. Pray for peace with justice, for the families most directly involved in this crisis and that racism in all its forms will no longer be tolerated anywhere. In the wake of Tuesday’s riots, the new Moderator has issued a statement which can still be found on the Church of Scotland website.
Perhaps this is an appropriate time to remind ourselves of the famous words of Martin Luther King in 1968 and pray that soon his whole dream will be fulfilled:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…that one day every valley shall be exalted….and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. I’ve seen the promised land.”
Friday 5 June
Pray for all in positions of power and influence in these days of bewildering turmoil and hurt all over the world, not least those with the responsibility of bringing the covid-19 outbreak in so many countries under control. Ask for guidance and wise counsel from medical people and scientists so that their advice may be heard and heeded by politicians who have to take critical decisions about things like easing lockdown further. Pray too for the continuing, inevitably slow work of the researchers striving to come up with appropriate vaccines and palliatives to help those who are ill and to protect populations.
Saturday 6 June
The message about the dreadful effect of the virus on clients of Care Homes and their staffs is one which has acutely affected our Church of Scotland’s social care enterprise called CrossReach. In the current situation it is no longer able to hold the many events to raise funds which would normally be taking place at this timeof year. Pray that church members would review how they might support this vital work, whether by increasing their giving to it or by volunteering their help when appropriate, (This is National Volunteers Week).
Sunday 7 June
On this Lord’s Day, many people are missing the opportunity to go to church to worship and be uplifted and inspired. Pray for those who are able to offer worship or resources like our own minister’s sermons on line, asking that these would challenge and help people cope with the lockdown, the loneliness, the rare opportunities now to meet with and chat to family and other friends and whatever else is making life extraordinarily difficult for them in these days, Pray that those who are able to get out and about a bit more may use the resources of our countryside thoughtfully and with care for the environment and for others: that we may not see a repeat of the mindless trashing of beauty spots and other lovely places which happened last week-end.
Monday 8 June
Give thanks for all who are helping to keep the essential wheels of the country turning in various ways, asking for them energy, strength and patience for the extra tasks involved. Continue to remember and give thanks for the faithful and quiet service given by our own church staff, at Midton Road and at Lochside, and volunteers as they maintain contact with the congregation, especially those not on line, often going beyond the call of duty to do so.
Tuesday 9 June
Pray for our young people and our leaders who try to maintain contact with them, also in imaginative ways. Ask God to grant them patience and sympathy as they wait for the lockdown to be eased further. Give thanks for those who have been demonstrating their concern for others by writing them letters or delivering essential supplies or companionably taking a daily walk with elderly relatives in their own households. May the recipients of this practical concern be appreciative of such efforts.
Wednesday 10 June
A service to unite the former Presbyteries of Shetland and Aberdeen took place virtually last Sunday and may still be on the Church of Scotland’s website. Pray for all Presbyteries, especially our own Presbytery of Ayr, as they continue to review their futures in the light of the Radical Action Plan agreed by last year’s General Assembly. An on line webinar, held last week, chaired by the new Moderator Dr. Martin Fair and still on the Kirk’s website, was attended virtually by over 1000 people. It indicates that much change for the Kirk lies ahead, now accelerated by the lockdown, and members need to pray that, in and through all the discussions and debate, God’s will for our country will become clear and be done with hope, courage and positivity.