Wednesday Prayers, 22 September 2021

20210908_123448God of wisdom, may we know your calming presence
in the midst of chaotic storms;
and also Your shifting flux, The Holy Spirit,
to bring storms of positive change
when we are too easily at peace

Give us wisdom to know:
when to speak and when to be silent,
when to offer help and when to hold back,
when to ask for help and when to go it alone,
when to comfort and when to challenge,
when to pray and when to get busy.

We pray for authorities, whether in national or local government,
in financial institutions, or in powerful, influential, unelected lobbies.
May there be a change in emphasis from constant economic growth
to well-being, the creation of real opportunity, and justice

We pray for all who are in engaged in the struggle
against oppression, injustice, greed and nepotism;
and for all who long for a better life
for themselves and their families,
especially for those stuck in work with long hours
with low pay and little satisfaction;
and those who have had to leave their homes and countries
because they are afraid for their lives.
Be near them and bring hope to the world.

Bless the work of the Church of Scotland and other denominations,
the congregations here in Leith and throughout Edinburgh,
our presbytery and its committees having to make difficult decisions
at a most difficult time.
May we never lose sight of our mission here
to band together in faith and unity
and to make You known in loving word and deed.

We bring to You those who are finding it hard to cope at the moment,
for all who reach out to You in need
and for those who don’t know who to reach out to for help.
And especially today, we remember:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allen’s family,
Mary, Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Yvonne, Stuart,
Jill, John N, David, Jean and her family,
James, Karen, Margaret and family, and Mary D.

In weakness be their strength, in darkness their light,
in suffering their healing, in anxiety their peace,
in fear their courage, in dying their hope,
and in sorrow their comfort.

Hear our prayers, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

*

[The second and penultimate paragraph of this prayer have been adapted from a prayer by Bruce Prewer]

Sunday Evening Thought

Care for Creation

Beryl Curlett and Linda Mckee

The month of September is being celebrated as Creation Time by the church.  

 Congregations have been invited to create a panel made out of recycled materials on the theme of “Care for Creation”. The panels will be sewn together to make one overall art work made  up of two huge banners which are to be hung on the towers of New College, on the Mound overlooking Princes Street. They will be very visible.   This is the panel from North Leith Parish Church. It is waiting to be moved to this new home, moving from inside a building to hang outside a building. The reading in the book of Proverbs for today speaks of clothing and coverings being made with wool and flax and linen.  It reminds me of how precious things made by hand can be, made as they are through care and attention and with skill and patience. They are to be looked after and appreciated, and,

Treasured as Unique.  

Lord God, Thank You for the earth, our home.  Bless us with the wisdom to care for it. May our care be visible to those around us in all that we say and do.

We ask in Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Katherine Taylor

Wednesday Prayers, 15 September 2021

God of near and far,
God of the unknown and the neighbour,
God of enemy and friend.
Help us not to enlist You simply to our own agendas,
but give us the wisdom and humility
to follow Yours and make it present in the world.

We thank You for times of joy when things have gone well;
for gifts of strength and hope when things have become difficult.
Continue to travel with us, just as we try to travel with You
on your way, following Your truth, living Your life.

Be with all those who are healthy,
that they might be a support to those who are not;
and when their strength and courage begins to fail,
renew their spirits, bodies and minds.

Be with all those who are ill,
whether in hospital, at home, or elsewhere;
may they know Your presence with them
and bless the care they are given.

We think of the rich, even the super-rich billionaires
and we pray You will give them the gift of generosity;
inspire more of them to use more of what they have
to bring encouragement and relief for others.

We think of those who are poor or whose voices
usually go unheard or unacknowledged;
give them respect, from others and within themselves,
and may the world change to bring better lives for all.

We pray for those we know who are in need,
and this week we remember, in particular:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan,
Mary, Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Yvonne, Stuart,
Jill, John N, David, Ceala’s family,
Jean and her family, James,
Karen, all Bill Morrison’s family,
Margaret and family, and Mary D.
May they and each one of us receive Your compassion
and may it inspire and strengthen us all.

We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Sunday Evening Thought

In the reading for today from the letter of James, he writes of the tongue as being a dangerous thing. This is because it is so small, yet it can cause so much damage when it curses rather than blesses.  He reminds us of the power of the words we choose to use and perhaps of the power of our choice to be silent too.  In the game of scrabble we choose which words to make from the letters we have.  Not all words are permitted.  In this picture only three words have been made and perhaps, for today, they are enough.

Lord God, Thank You that You speak to us in the Bible, in Jesus and in nature. Thank You for Your gift of words to us to use, to speak and to write. Thank You that You also give us the gift of silence.  Bless us this week to hold our tongues and to choose our words wisely.  May they be a comfort and an encouragement to others.  May they speak something of You.

We ask in Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Katherine Taylor

Wednesday Prayers, 8 September 2021

20210908_123522God, You long for people to live together without fighting.
Not for people to stop discussing or debating or disagreeing,
but to develop awareness that their points-of-view
are not always as obviously correct as they imagine them to be.
You long for us to listen, to consider evidence more than opinion,
to learn from others who know what they’re talking about.

But also, help us to remain faithful to Your values:
love, integrity, fairness, support and compassion.
Help us to be content and to be thankful
for who we are and what we have.

We thank You for our church, our congregation here
and congregations throughout Leith.
We thank You too for the Church of Scotland
and for other denominations who do valuable work;
bless Your churches’ attempts to follow You
and to bear witness to who You are.
Guide us into the future and help us
negotiate the many challenges that lie ahead.
We pray for Edinburgh Presbytery and its committees
faced with difficult decisions over buildings and ministries.
Give them wisdom, radical courage and empathy
as they go about their tasks.

We remember people in different parts of the world
whose human rights have been taken away or are under threat.
We think of Afghanistan, Belarus, Hungary, China, Turkey, Russia
and other places where autocrats have undermined
all notion of democratic rights and participation.
We think too of Texas, and the danger to women
who will seek now illegal abortions
without proper safeguards or health controls;
bring sense to legislators and give them
the compassion to reverse this new law,
whatever their personal feelings on abortion are.

We pray for those we know who are in need,
and this week we remember, in particular:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan,
Mary, Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Yvonne, Stuart,
Jill, John N, David, Ceala’s family,
Jean and her family, James,
Karen, all Bill Morrison’s family,
Margaret and family, and Mary D.
Bring hope, strength and peace.

Bless all we know and keep them safe
during this difficult time
and help all of us as we seek to play our part
in the struggle against the spread of COVID.
Be with us all, in Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Sunday Evening Thought

Galschiøt, Jens, 1954- Homeless

In the readings for today, there is a call to remember people who live in difficulty and trouble.  This artist creates sculptures to draw attention to injustice and puts his sculptures up in cities around the world, whether he has permission or not.   Psalm 146 praises the God who acts to change lives for the better. This God brings justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry,   lifts up those who are bowed down  and watches over strangers.   We are not to place our ultimate trust in the help of other human beings but in this living God.  These sculptures look  life like to me.  They are made of bronze and the expressions of the people are fixed.   As I look at them, I wonder what would be needed to give them new life.   Is it simply a home or are there parts of me which need to soften and change in response to this sculpture too?

Loving God, Thank You that You are with us in bad times and good times. Thank You that You never give up on us. Thank You that You are always shaping and forming Your kingdom on earth.  Bless us this week to be good companions to those who need our help.

We ask in Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Katherine Taylor

Homeless, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56187

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