AYR ST COLUMBA PARISH CHURCH
Thursday 20 May
At the request of an anxious mother, we are asked to continue to pray for all the young people in our households, families, churches and communities who should be sitting SQA exams just now. Although her own youngster has an unconditional place for the university of choice, she writes: ”The assessment process seems to vary between schools and the young people are more stressed than in previous years, having had a year of abnormal schooling. I am concerned as to how potential employers and further/higher education will view this year’s results, given that every school seems to be doing its own thing. Please pray for all stressed young people and their parents in this time of anxiety and uncertainty..
Friday 21 May
“How long, O Lord, will the death and destruction in Israel/Palestine go on?” Pray that all there in the Holy Land will listen to each other’s legitimate concerns and history and begin to understand so that they may find a way to live in peace and harmony together at last. Pray for all those who have been bereaved or injured in the recent attacks and for the leaders on both sides.
Saturday 22 May
Our Church’s General Assembly, being again held virtually online, begins today. Pray for the new Moderator, Jim Wallace, (who will share in the BBC’s “Reflections from the Quay” on Sunday) and give thanks for the efforts of Dr. Martin Fair as he steps down after an unusual, yet inspiring “year like no other” in which he has served the Church well. (A recording of his report of his year is available online on the Gen. Assy. Webpage, along with other Assy. information.)
Pray for Commissioners and office bearers: that they will make wise decisions in the face of the difficult and painful situation in which the Church currently finds itself, facing closures of buildings, reductions in ministries, limited financial resources and the considerable problems created by the pandemic in the last year. For a first time, Prince William, along with his wife, will attend some of the Assembly’s sessions as Lord High Commissioner on behalf of the Queen. Pray for them as they strive to bring encouragement to the Church at this time.
Sunday 23 May
On this Pentecost Sunday when the church worldwide marks the coming of the Holy Spirit on it, Hymn 595 is an appropriate prayer: – “O breath of life, come sweeping through us, Revive your church with life and power, O breath of life come, cleanse, renew us and fit your church to meet this hour.” Give thanks for the success of last Sunday’s special outdoor programme held for our Sunday Kids and for the fact that services at Lochside (at 10 a.m.) have been able to resume again. Pray for the Rev Roddy McNidder as he faithfully leads this and encourages the congregation there.
Monday 24 May
Last Thursday, Irene noted that that was the 300th day of working in our Satellite Office at her home. Give thanks for her faithful service throughout the pandemic and especially for her regular encouragement of those of our members who are not online and have been struggling with the long, and for many, lonely lockdowns. Pray that she and all our office bearers and elders may feel supported and encouraged in all that they do for St. Columba.
Tuesday 25 May
Before he stepped down, Dr Martin Fair joined with other faith leaders in the UK to encourage people to take part in a tree planting project, running from October until next March, marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as monarch, in 2022. Pray for the success of the Queen’s Green Canopy campaign, as it will be known and pray also for Her Majesty, now back to duty following the death of her beloved husband, yet still grieving her loss.
Dr. Fair said: “This is a wonderful idea! It will allow us to celebrate the Queen’s long years of service, whilst also making a powerful statement about our concern for the future of the planet. Planting trees is always an act of faith and an investment in the lives of those who will come after us.” (For those interested in this project the Woodland Trust is giving away three million saplings free of charge to community groups, like congregations, on a “first come, first served” basis.)
Wednesday 26 May
As the new Scottish Parliament settles down to its work following the recent election, pray that it will put aside party politics and, as well as prioritising recovery from the restrictions of the pandemic, focus also on tackling poverty, especially child poverty; inequality, especially in education; and all forms of discrimination, prejudice and intolerance. Pray for the Parliament at Westminster in a similar vein.