Scotland’s Christians proceed to hope via pandemic

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Friends and family in Scotland can now meet again as the country starts to ease out of lockdown.(Photo: Unsplash/Sherry Xu)

Christians in Scotland have been praying together at the same time each week in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative sees Christians in the country commit to praying every Sunday at 7pm. 

Ahead of Pentecost Sunday, churches have been encouraging more Christians to take part. 

Some 14 churches and Christian organisations have issued a joint letter calling for continued prayer as social distancing restrictions start to ease.

“Though we are moving into the first stages of the easing of lockdown, we continue to be painfully aware that there’s a long way to go and that what lies at the end of it all remains unclear,” the letter reads.

“And so we proceed in faith, believing that God always goes before us and knows the end from the beginning.

“On this Day of Pentecost we give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit, believing that it is by the Spirit that God guides us.”

Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is one of the church leaders to have signed the letter.

“I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically,” he said. 

“But reading about what prayer is and how to do it is the only the start of it. After that it’s time to actually pray.

“And what better than to join with brothers and sisters from across the nation at 7pm on Sunday to pray our way through this ongoing crisis. I commend it to you and look forward to being with you, in Spirit, on Sunday evening.”

Other signatories of the letter include the Catholic Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, the director of the Evangelical Alliance Scotland, Fred Drummond, the head of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Scotland, Pastor Chris Gbenle, and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev Mark Strange.

They have released a prayer for Christians to use in conjunction with coronavirus:

Almighty God, by your Spirit, you brought order from chaos.
By your brooding Spirit, hovering over the void, you spoke and there was … something rather than nothing.
Create and recreate in and through us, we pray.

Almighty God, by your Spirit, you equipped and gifted and led our ancestors to know you and to serve you and to glorify you.
Continue to equip and enable us, we pray.

And then, Almighty God, as promised by the prophets and as never before, you poured out your Spirit on these first believers – on men and women, on the old and the young; and they were transformed and made alive, as dry bones brought to life.
Pour out your Spirit on us, we pray.

Almighty God, in these turbulent and uncertain times, send us the Comforter, that we might know you to be near. Grant us your healing touch and help us to know the rest that comes from resting in you.
For the loving touch of your Spirit, we pray.

Almighty God, by what seemed as a rushing wind and as tongues of fire you brought your Church to life.
Come to your Church now, we pray, that by the same Spirit we might be renewed and refreshed and remade and revived.
Yes, Lord, grant us a fresh outpouring of your Spirit, we pray.

And all our prayers we offer in the name of our Lord and Saviour, none other than Jesus Christ. Amen.

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