Call to Prayer 21st November 2021

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‘So you are a king?’ We can picture the scene as Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate asks: ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’

In response, Jesus speaks of a kingdom ‘not from this world’ and ‘not from here’. Pilate, perhaps perplexed, asks: ‘So you are a king?’ (John 18: 33-37)

In the exchange between Pilate and Jesus, we sense the contrasting understandings of what a ‘king’ will be and what a ‘kingdom’ will look like. We can well imagine that Pilate had a clear understanding of what these were at that time.

However, when faced by a Jesus whose kingdom is ‘not from this world’, Pilate struggles to comprehend how he might be a ‘king’.

Nevertheless, in time, Pilate will crucify: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’. (John 19: 19)

The Jesus who is present before Pilate is a King whose Kingdom is to come and is already present in his life lived out in this world.

We respond in faith to the King who is present in our midst, crowned with thorns and robed in purple, and pray that the Kingdom will come…

We pray:

Lord, who reigns on high
And who is robed in majesty,
We see Your Son come amongst us
As a King whose kingdom is not from this world.
May we respond to His presence
With faith and trust as we pray for the kingdom that is to come.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord, who reigns on high
And who is robed in majesty,
We see Your Son come amongst us
As the One who very life is a sign of the kingdom.
May we recognise the signs of the kingdom in our midst
And live as those who await its coming with expectation.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord, who reigns on high
And who is robed in majesty,
We see Your Son come amongst us
As a King whose reign resembles not the rulers of this world.
May we follow in His way
And seek to live in the light of His coming kingdom.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord, who reigns on high
And who is robed in majesty,
We see Your Son come amongst us
As the bearer of truth and as the light of the world.
May Christ the King reign amongst His people
And His way be known to all who seek Him in spirit and in truth.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 14 November 2021

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In a time of Remembrance, we turn to the One who offers ‘refuge and strength’ in time of trouble and whose presence stills the storm and calms our fears. (Psalm 46: 1)

Our faith is rooted in the remembrance of the Christ who laid ‘down His life for His friends’. (John 15: 13) In turn, it is rooted in our receiving the Good News of the Christ who ‘was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures’. (1 Corinthian 15: 4)

In turn again, we come by faith to understand the death of Christ in the light of the resurrection and so comprehend that it was for us and for our salvation that He gave His life.

In a time of loss, we find no human words adequate to express the depth of that loss and we often find ourselves seemingly detached from the onward rush of time.

In silence, and as memory casts its eye across the span of time, we hear the voice of the One who calls to us: ‘Be still, and know that I am God’.

We pray:

Living God,
Our refuge and our strength,
Hear our cry in time of remembrance.
Hear our cry as memory, and stories told,
Carry us to places of loss and sorrow.
Meet us in this time,
To still the storm and calm our fears.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Our refuge and our strength,
Hear our cry in time of loss.
Hear our cry, though it seems long lost,
In the cruel winds that blow.
May the measure of our loss
Be the measure of Your grace.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Our refuge and our strength,
Hear our cry in time of sorrow.
Hear our cry, and the cry of all who mourn,
As it gives voice to hidden grief.
May it rise from the depths of the earth
And be embraced in the heights of heaven.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Our refuge and our strength,
Hear our cry in time of remembrance.
Hear our cry,
And still our hearts,
That we may we hear the voice that speaks:
Be still, and know that I am God.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 7th November 2021

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The Gospel of Mark compares and contrasts the offering of a ‘poor widow’ with that of those who give out of their riches. To the outward appearance, the ‘two small copper coins’ barely register in the coffers of the treasury, especially when compared to the offerings of others.

In so doing, the Gospel invites us to see beyond the outward appearance and to understand that the offering of the ‘poor widow’ is the giving of ‘all she had’. Jesus sees beyond the outward appearance and sees the depth of the widow’s self-giving. (Mark 12: 41-44)

In the week past and in the week to come, we have an unprecedented opportunity to compare and contrast as the richest and the poorest nations gather together.

The representatives of each nation bring to the table their respective contributions and, in due course, there will be much discussion on the achievements of the gathering. All that is discussed and agreed takes place in the presence of God.

The One who sees beyond the outward appearance and looks on the heart is the One who knows the needs of all peoples and of all Creation. We turn to the One who gives life to all…

We pray:

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we come into Your presence,
See our hearts and the depths of who we are
And accept us as those who are made in Your image.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we offer all that we are in Your service,
Sift our hearts that we might know You
As we are known by You.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we hear the cry of those who journey in our midst,
Still our hearts that we might listen to their voice
And understand their concerns.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we welcome the gifts that others offer,
Speak to our hearts of the potential embodied in each person
And of our shared desire to care for Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
You are the One who looks on the heart
And sees the hidden depths of each person:
As we consider how majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Strengthen our hearts and deepen our resolve
To address the challenges of our time and so bring glory to Your name.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 31 October 2021

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As the people of God embark on a journey that will take them to the threshold of the promised land, they hear proclaimed the commandment: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’

These ancient words take us to the very heart of what it is to live in the presence of God, where life will flourish, in ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’, as the people of God hear and fulfil the commandment of God. In turn, successive generations will flourish as the commandment is received and embraced. (Deuteronomy 6: 1-9)

The generation of which we are a part has the responsibility of passing to those who come after us the commandment to love God with heart and soul and strength.

In similar fashion, we have a responsibility entrusted to us to pass on a land that will sustain the flourishing of human life.

As those so entrusted, we pray to the One God, who is ‘the Maker of heaven and earth’…

We pray:

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear us as we seek to love You
With heart and soul and strength.
Hear us and our prayer for all Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear us as we behold the beauty of the gift of Creation
And give thanks to You for Your many blessings.
Hear us as we sense the fragility of Your gift at this time.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear the voices of those from North and South,
And East and West, who cry out on behalf of a fragile creation.
Hear the voice of all Your people and answer their cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear the voices of those who journey as pilgrims
And long to know a land flourishing with good gifts.
Hear our voices as we share the pilgrim way.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord our God,
We turn to You as the maker of heaven and earth
And as the One who sustains all human life:
Hear our prayer that the creation may be set free
And no longer bound to the bondage of decay.
Hear the voices of those who rejoice in anticipation of that day.
Lord, in Your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 24th October 2021

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Today, there are many voices crying out to be heard. The voices are of those who suffer and who are broken, and of those who are isolated and alone. These voices are intermingled with many others that cry out, whether for good or ill, and seek to be heard. Truly, there are many voices crying out to be heard.

The Gospel of Mark records an occasion when Jesus heard a particular voice crying out to be heard. The voice was that of Bartimaeus who was determined to be heard even in the face of the crowd.

The voice of Bartimaeus was raised in spite of the rebuke of those who told him to be quiet. As he is told to be quiet, he shouts all the more: “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus hears his voice and calls him into His presence: “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus hears his voice and responds to the depth of his need: “Go… your faith has healed you.” (Mark 10: 46-52)

From the depths of the crowd, Jesus hears our cry and wills to answer and to bring healing.

We pray:

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear our voice today,
Even from the depths of the crowd,
And answer our cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear the voice of those who suffer,
Even in their brokenness,
And answer their cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear the voice of the lonely,
Even from their place of isolation,
And draw them into the community of Your people.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, hear us,
Graciously hear us,
As we turn to You and cry for mercy:
Hear our voice today,
Even as You heard the cry of Bartimaeus,
And inspire in us faith and bring to us healing.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 17th October 2021

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The faith we share affirms that it was ‘for us’ that Jesus Christ ‘became truly human’. So, in faith, when we turn to God and pray through Jesus Christ, we do so knowing that the One who brings us into the presence of God has shared fully in the life we live.

The life we live today is shaped by particular circumstances that weigh upon us collectively and personally. In the midst of life, we find opportunity and challenge, and we seek to discern the hand of God throughout it all. In the midst of life, we recall that Jesus has shared in our flesh and participated in the life of the world.

The Letter to the Hebrews records: ‘In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears’. (Hebrews 5: 7) In so recording, the Letter affirms that the One who brings us into the presence of God has shared fully in the depths of human experience.

There is no place in our experience at which God cannot meet us. As we cry out to God, the One who hears us is the One who has heard the cries of Jesus Christ.

We pray:

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hear the prayer we offer
In the name of the One who prays for us
And who has shared in the life of the world.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hear the prayer we offer
From the depths of our experience
And in the midst of the challenges of our day.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hear the prayer we offer
In the name of the One who prayed to You with cries and tears
And hear us when we do so also.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hear the prayer we offer
As we share in the life of the world
And in the depths of its suffering.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father
Of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hear the prayer we offer
In the name of the One who for us and for our salvation
Has become truly human and one with us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 10th October 2021

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Where do we find grace to help us in our time of need?

The Letter to the Hebrews does not quite frame the question in that way. However, the Letter answers the question and points us to ‘Jesus, the Son of God’ as the One who acts on our behalf and who will bring us into the gracious presence of God.

Our time of need is now, and the needs of the world are plenty. In such a time as this, we turn to the great high priest who has faced and endured all that we face and endure. We do so knowing that the One who has endured all will enable us to ‘approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need’.

In the words of the hymn writer:

‘Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.’

We pray:

Living God,
Have mercy on us
And grant to us grace in time of need;
For we are those who struggle
And know our weaknesses all too well.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Have mercy on us
And grant to us grace in time of need;
For we know the struggles of the world
And the pain that so many bear.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Have mercy on us
And grant to us grace in time of need;
For You know us and You love us
And You reach out to us in the place where we are.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Have mercy on us
And grant to us grace in time of need;
For You call us to love our neighbour
And to bear one another’s burdens on the way.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Have mercy on us
And grant to us grace in time of need;
For we make bold to approach the throne of grace
And do so in the assurance that You will hear our cry.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 26th September 2021

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‘May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ (Psalm 19: 14)

The Psalmist turns to God, as we ourselves do, in search of the One who will accept us as we are and who will be our strength in hard times. The times in which we live will feel to many of us like hard times. In these times, the Psalm speaks to us and for us.

We are conscious that the words we offer are but frail and we sometimes fear that they will not carry to God. Likewise, we fear that our hearts are faint. In these times, the Psalmist stands where we stand and calls upon the Lord as the One who is our rock and strength, and as the One who will bring us into the living presence of God. The words are offered from open lips and an open heart and rise into the presence of God. The words are offered trusting that they will be pleasing before God. In similar fashion, we offer our words from open lips and open hearts and we trust, that in these times, they will be heard by the One who is our Rock and Redeemer.

We pray:

O Lord,
You are our Rock and our Redeemer,
Hear us as we call to you
With open lips and open hearts.
Hear us and accept us we are.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O Lord,
You are our Rock and our Redeemer,
Hear us as we call to you
In the times in which we live.
Hear us in hard times and answer us in your time.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O Lord,
You are our Rock and our Redeemer,
Hear us as we call to you
With the words that you have given to us.
Hear us with words hewn from the experience of life.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O Lord,
You are our Rock and our Redeemer,
Hear us as we call to you
Though our words are often frail and our hearts sometimes faint.
Hear our words and accept the offering of our hearts.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O Lord,
You are our Rock and our Redeemer,
Hear us as we call to you
And may the words we offer and the meditation of our hearts
Be acceptable in your sight.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 19 September 2021

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‘Now, do you all understand what I have been saying?’ We might just recall these words, or similar, when in school, whether recently or a very long time ago.

The teacher has led the class through a lesson and then turned to ask if everyone has understood. No one wants to admit that they did not follow the lesson and that they do not understand.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus begins to teach His disciples about His forthcoming betrayal, death and resurrection. None of the disciples wishes to admit that they do not understand. Their response is one that we can identify with.

Instead, the disciples turn to discussing something else: Who is the greatest among them? Jesus hears their discussion and, in response, declares: ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’

Further, Jesus invites a child to stand amongst them and declares that whoever ‘welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me’. (Mark 9: 30-37)

The response of the disciples is not recorded in the Gospel. Our response is to seek to follow the lesson in order that we might more fully understand the way of the Cross.

We pray:

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We hear the call to take up the Cross
And to live in the light of the Resurrection.
Grant us faith to do so
And courage to confess when we do not understand.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We recognise that we turn too easily
To that which distracts and displaces.
Renew our focus that we might fix our eyes
On the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We hear the call to become servants,
As Christ Himself became on our behalf.
May we learn the lesson of servanthood
From the One who gave His life as a ransom for many.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Whose way we discern
Through the Cross and the Resurrection of Your Son,
We recognise the children in our midst
Whose lives are a gift from Your Hand.
May we receive them within the community of faith
And so receive Christ in our midst.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 12 September 2021

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Questions about identity are very much to the fore in our day and age. The asking of a question is, of course, very much easier than providing an answer and the result is that we have many more questions than we have agreed answers.

At a pivotal moment in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks a question which might be said to be about identity: ‘Who do people say I am?’

In response, the disciples harvest the many opinions that are in circulation: ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ There are many opinions, but no agreed answer.

Jesus then asks the question directly to the disciples: ‘But what about you?…Who do you say I am?’ In response, Peter replies: ‘You are the Christ.’ Amidst all the opinions of the day, Peter provides an answer to the question of the identity of Jesus and he affirms that he is the Christ.

In the midst of the many questions of our day, we affirm this answer for ourselves and resolve to follow in the way of the Cross. (Mark 8: 27-38)

We pray:

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
We receive the gift of Your Son
As Your gift to Creation and to all peoples
And respond with gratitude and thanksgiving.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we receive Your Son,
May we hear the questions He asks of us
And be willing to respond in faith and trust.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we share the gift of Your Son,
May we listen to the voices of those beside us
That we might understand more fully the breadth of Your Creation.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we listen to the many questions that are asked in our world
May we respond with grace and in truth,
And with shared silence to the questions that are hard to bear.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God our Father,
You anoint Your Son
And send Him forth into the world.
As we hear Your Son speak to us
May we humbly confess
That He is the Christ, the anointed One of God.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)