Hebrews 13:8 – ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.’
God of our fathers and mothers You have reigned with Sovereign skill In storms and stories of years past ‘It’s in looking back’ they tell us ‘That we can see and say: God has always been faithful.’ We praise you for what you’ve already done, God And we thank you for those Who yesterday marvelled at your work And told us all about it Singing confidence in you into our psyche
God of our brothers and sisters You rule today, and you care today In a world shaken, turned upside down You are the only unchanging One Forgive us for the things we’ve held too tightly Being shaken from our grasp: Complacency, material security, self-interested freedoms Thank you for the green shoots of life Growing up through coronavirus cracks: Community, delight in the local, environmental rest, new prayerfulness
God of all being, we come before You, knowing some of our faults and remaining ignorant of others. You know us far better than we can ever know ourselves. So, help us not to judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves.
You meet us with mercy and forgiveness and a call to do more, to live with commitment, to turn from all that binds us or oppresses others. Help us to live in the liberating power of the Holy Spirit.
We pray for Your troubled world, and our thoughts turn to the USA at this moment: We pray for the family and friends of George Floyd and of all others killed unjustly by the police;
we pray for those consumed by anger and a sense of injustice not just at this latest atrocity but at many atrocities throughout history; may change come, and may racism and needless violence be outlawed.
We pray for all those entrusted with leadership during this crisis; give wisdom to their words and actions, to bring peace and a sense of just resolution. May those who use their power for their own selfish or oppressive ends realise the error of their ways and seek forgiveness.
We pray for Scotland and the UK, also deeply implicated in racism, and we ask for the courage and strength to oppose prejudice whether based on race, colour, sexuality, gender or religion. May Your church always stand up for a fair and equal society.
We remember too that we are still deep in a public health crisis and we pray for resolve among us all to play our part in the struggle against the coronavirus and so support all those working in the front line, whether in the NHS or in other vital services.
We pray for those we know who aren’t well at the moment, those we don’t know, those who are going through times of trouble or despair. We pray especially today for:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Emily, Zoe, Gordon and John, Allan, Malcolm, Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jill, John N, Mary, Yvonne, Bill M, John C, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and Ian.
Be near them with peace and give them a deep knowledge of your presence among them. We bring the people and places in our minds and hearts to you now and in moment of silence
Searching for images to reflect Pentecost, I was met by many flame colours of red, orange and yellow, yet when I came across this painting my “heart leapt up”. On this particular Sunday the peace of this blue painting also speaks to me of the power of the Spirit sent out, of it falling afresh in a new way. We don’t usually think of blue as a burning hot colour but it is the blue flame in a fire which is the hottest of all and it is the blue flame which is at the inner core of the candle flame. The abstraction of the painting and the variety in the shapes of light remind me that we can’t contain or control the Spirit. She is formless and goes where she wills, leading us and changing us. Perhaps it is now, in these most uncertain times, that we should expect to recognise her in ways which we have never seen before. Perhaps too we need this blue flame, the hottest flame of all, in our inner core to inspire us and to send us out.
Loving God, Thank you today for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Fill us and inspire us with the joy of life. Help us to see the world through your eyes in the week ahead. We ask this in Jesus’ name.
With grateful thanks to the artist Gayle Stott Lowry for giving permission to copy her painting. Her family roots away back are in Scotland and she has visited and been inspired by the beauty of our countryside.
Once more, churches across Scotland have come together to encourage Christians to join together in prayer at 7pm on Sunday evening in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, 14 Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, have co-signed the letter calling for prayer.
Since the start of lockdown, Christians from across the country have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is looking forward to taking part alongside them this weekend.
“I’m delighted to have read that in the last couple of months online searches for ‘prayer’ have increased dramatically,” Dr Fair said.
“But reading about what prayer is and how to do it…
A warm welcome to all of you to this service at Pentecost, which unites all of us in the Church of Scotland and I’m sure many others throughout the world. You can take part in the service in the video below, which includes full captions.