Wednesday Prayers, 9 June 2021

Featured Image -- 273God of time and season,
at last, summer seems to have arrived
and we thank You for all that sustains life
and mood and well-being on this planet,
especially in these days where so many people
have been cooped up inside
through a long dark beginning to 2021.

Give us fresh resolution as we seek to play our part
in keeping people safe,
and in supporting the NHS, scientists, and policy makers
who are trying to get the balance right between opening up
and exercising understandable caution in doing so.
Give wisdom to all who make decisions
that have such significant impact on people’s lives.

We pray for people who feel vulnerable at the moment,
those who aren’t yet vaccinated
and feel at risk when they are indoors in public spaces,
in shops, buses, cafes and workplaces.
Give to all a sense of responsibility
to take best care of other people.

And we remember people who suffer prejudice
on a regular basis: whether from racism, sexism,
homophobia, transphobia, or other irrational hatreds;
we pray that the church may move quickly beyond
discriminatory attitudes of the past
and instead support movements of liberation
and stand up for all who face bigotry.

We bring to You people who are on our minds today, including:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm, Robin’s family,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan, Mary,
Maureen’s family, Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jennifer, Yvonne,
Mary M’s family, Jill, John N, David and his family,
John C’s family, Bill M, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and her family.
Be their refuge and strength, solid ground in times of trouble.

We bring our own church to You, in Leith and in Scotland,
and trust in You to guide us through testing times
so that we might find new, bold ways of being the church
in worship, prayer and action.

And we bring ourselves to You,
all that we face now and in the future.
Be with us, just as You have been in the past,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Sunday Evening Thought

The way to the bell in North Leith Parish Church is up the ladder and through the trap door at the top. There are many wooden stairs to climb beforehand to reach this point. A level of fitness is required and the trip is not for the faint hearted. This ladder reminds me of the connection between earth and heaven.  Jacob had a dream in which he saw a ladder stretching from earth to heaven with angels on it, ascending and descending.  In the reading from the Apostle Paul for today, he writes that Jesus’ followers know that their eternal home is in heaven.   We look now at what cannot be seen but is eternal. For me, this means allowing myself time to imagine.   I can’t see the bell beyond the door but  I may picture what it looks and sounds like. I hope that there will be music in heaven and I look forward to the time when we hear the music of voices, singing again here in this church on earth too.

Lord God, Thank You for the gift of sight.  Bless us this week  to discover the unseen and eternal in our ordinary days. Help us to see each other in a new loving light too.

We ask in Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Katherine Taylor

Sunday Evening Thought

Today is Trinity Sunday. God is One but also Three. This Three in Oneness is a mystery and in some sense this picture is mysterious.  I only have a glimpse of this unknown water.   Yet this one glimpse reminds me of the Three in One, of the Creator who in the beginning called the waters gathered together “seas”, of the Redeemer who offers the cool refreshing water of Baptism and the promise of new life and of the Sustainer who is constantly  moving –  disturbing and stilling the waters.  The  light of the divine seems to be present  as  I remember the words of the Psalm for today, Psalm 29,  “The voice of the Lord is over the waters;”  There is comfort in the fact that this water is so close.

Lord God, Thank You that You surround  us with love. Thank You that You heal us in Your good time. Thank You that You take us to the future. Bless us this week to hear Your voice and to grow in loving community with others.

We ask in Jesus’ name,

Amen

Katherine Taylor

Wednesday Prayers, 26 May 2021

20210526_163123God of Pentecostal Spirit,
who came to us with words that burned
and set people talking and listening and understanding,
guide us so that we might discover
what You would have us do
and where we can make an impact today.

We pray for everyone who is searching
for hope and meaning in life;
for all who desire greater community
and moral and spiritual depth
and who seek to live with love and faith
but without an urge to judge others.
For all who seek, may they find.

We pay for the spiritual vacuum at the heart
of the UK Government, with its constant spin and lies,
its lack of seriousness in a time of crisis,
its opportunism, arrogance and vindictiveness.
Help us to find positive ways forward,
to win hearts and minds for very different values
and to live these as far as we can ourselves.
May new ways of doing politics emerge
that put people first,
especially those most vulnerable in our society.

We bring to You people who are on our minds today, including:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm, Robin’s family,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan, Mary,
Maureen’s family, Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jennifer, Yvonne,
Mary M’s family, Jill, John N, David and his family,
John C’s family, Bill M, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and her family.

Be near them, and may they know Your compassion
and find strength and hope for the days ahead.

We pray for others we know –
those who feel at the end of their tether,
those who see few prospects for their future,
those who suffer from depression or related conditions.
And we remember too people who are ill,
have financial problems
or family and relationship difficulties.
Bless them all and those who care about them.

And we pray this week for the Church of Scotland,
for the General Assembly,
for all those trying to find the best way ahead
for our church and for the church nationally
Help them to make difficult decisions
And for us to carry them out
to the best of our abilities,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Sunday Evening Thought

Pentecost

Rev. Angus Kelly

Today is Pentecost Sunday. This panel is one of a set in a church in Cape Town, South Africa.  It pictures the moment when the Holy Spirit touched Jesus’ followers as they gathered together in Jerusalem, in uncertainty about the future.   There are twelve bars, one for each of the disciples.  The bars differ in height, width and colour to make the diversity of the community clear.  Each disciple is unique. Yet there are no spaces between the bars. They stand together and touch each other.  All are contained within the same four walls and all are touched by the flames of the Holy Spirit.

The poet Malcom Guite has written a poem called Pentecost.  One line says:- “Today the gospel crosses every border.”  The disciples in this panel will need to find a way through the borders surrounding and containing them to be able to witness to new people.  God’s promise is that the passion and energy of the Holy Spirit will help them to break out and will lead them in new, life-giving, directions.

Lord God, Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You that You keep us going in difficult times.  Thank You for the communities we belong to which brighten our lives.  Bless us this week to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and to be a blessing to others too.  

We ask in Jesus’ name,

Amen

Katherine Taylor

Wednesday Prayers, 19 May 2021

20210321_150406God of flaming tongues,
God of Pentecostal spirit,
God of both surprise and understanding;
bring Your word to us today
and may we hear it afresh.

Take us from the obvious interpretations,
the habitual ways we think about things,
the easy solutions that ask nothing of us,
and instead remind us of how You came
in radical form – first as a baby in a shed
and then in chaos as the Holy Spirit
entered the world and caused onlookers
to think the believers had to be drunk!

We think of places in the world
torn apart by needless division
that serves only the violent and greedy;
we pray for people trying to live normal lives
in places where there is conflict and fear;
we pray for the churches and other organisations
witnessing in word and action to what
Christianity means in such a context.

And we think of divisions in our own society;
for those who are made to feel afraid
when powerful voices seem to gang up against them;
for those who stand up for people who suffer prejudice
and refuse to take the easy route of silence;
and we also pray for people who clothe themselves
in victimhood and use it to exploit others
or refuse any positive steps forward;
eternal God, bring reconciliation, peace and freedom
to all who feel bound by a system that so often
simply plays people off against one another.

We bring to You people who are on our minds today, including:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm, Robin’s family,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan, Mary,
Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jennifer, Yvonne,
Mary M’s family, Jill, John N, David and his family,
John C’s family, Bill M, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and her family.

Give them a true sense of Your presence among them
And may the Holy Spirit dwell in their hearts,
Amen.

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