Minister’s Prayers and Messages

For Sunday 18th October 2020

You can download the text of the address and prayers HERE and can listen to most of the service on YouTube or our Facebook page.

For Sunday 11th October 2020

You can download the text of the address and prayers HERE. Excluded are the words of the communion liturgy.

For Sunday 4th October 2020

INTIMATIONS

Sunday 11 Oct  Communion – bring your own bread and grapes or juice – please ring church mobile to confirm.   If more than 50, we will hold communion on 18 Oct as well.

Crossreach Christmas card catalogues and order forms are on table at exit door.  Completed forms should be placed in shoe box at exit door. 

Blythswood Shoeboxes – leaflets available at the door.  Individual items will be collected by 25 Oct and filled shoeboxes by 3 Nov.

You can download the text of the address and prayers HERE but please note that there were some added elements in the address on the audio file.

For Sunday 27th September 2020

This morning Rev Marion Howie took the service while Sarah was on a break. Although we have seen her in the pews, this is the first time she has been at the front (or, as in this picture, outside and welcoming this morning’s worshippers)

Rev Marion Howie

Regretfully, the sound quality this week is poor so there is only the audio available.

For Sunday 20th September 2020

You can either listen to the live service HERE or via THIS LINK to YouTube where a few pictures taken during the service have been included.

For Sunday 13th September 2020

You can download the text of today’s prayers and reflection HERE or listen to the almost full service on our Facebook page. Unfortunately, because of copyright issues, we had to exclude one piece of music.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.  Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread. 

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not bring us to the time of trial but deliver us from evil.  For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and forever.  Amen.

For Sunday 6th September 2020

Rosemary was away this week so we had a guest musician (Fraser) and also trialled recording parts of the service live. Because music was included (featuring the violin!), and we don’t carry the necessary licence, the full recording cannot be shown on this website but a link should be available on Monday from our Facebook page (you should not need a Facebook account to access this). The written text for this week’s message, FACTS, can be downloaded as a PDF from below.

Text of today’s message

For Sunday 30th August 2020

You can download the written content of Sarah’s address and prayer HERE

For Sunday 23rd August 2020

Some of us were able to return to St Cuthbert’s today but as numbers are limited, so that we can maintain the necessary social distancing, Sarah will continue to provide recordings where possible. This week a photograph of the congregation (from the back of the sanctuary) has been used. It looks sparse but was nevertheless meaningful.

You can download the content of Sarah’s address and prayers HERE.

For Sunday 16th August 2020.

Good news!  We have been busy working through the Scottish Government and Church of Scotland guidelines and regulations in order to reopen our church building for Sunday worship!  A letter is going out to all members and is included on our website, with information to prepare us for Sunday 23rd August. 

As you know there will still be some restrictions, such as a maximum of 50 people in the sanctuary with two metre distancing, the wearing of face coverings and use of hand sanitiser, and no singing or hospitality permitted. 

Things will be different in St. Cuthbert’s, but we worship Jesus Christ, who is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He is our Constant Companion in a time of uncertainty. 

Eternal God, we join our prayers and praise with Your people all around the world, worshipping you in different languages and in different ways, but with the same belief in Your love and mercy.  We are inspired to praise You through the sights, sounds and scents, textures and tastes of our beautiful and diverse planet.  We acknowledge that too often we take the blessings of life for granted, so in our prayers today we reaffirm our thanksgiving for Your many gifts in life. 

Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we have taken Your generosity for granted and when we have doubted Your Presence with us in the more troubling times of our life. 

We remember Jesus’ comforting words that You notice when even a sparrow falls to the ground, so how much more You value and care for us as your children.

We praise and thank You for Your love and for Your sharing in our life through Jesus Christ.  May the message of His life, His teaching and His actions, remain in our hearts and minds always, inspiring our trust and praise of You, and guiding our own words and deeds. 

And using the Message version of the Lord’s Prayer we pray:

Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!  Amen.

For Sunday 9th August 2020

During the past few weeks we have been looking at different ways to say the Lord’s Prayer through using a variety of modern translations of the Gospels. 

This week I have turned to the first modern version of the New Testament which I started to read as a teenager exploring my faith.  In our church we had used the Revised Standard Version, which I still like, but reading J B Phillip’s paraphrase of the New Testament gave me fresh insight into familiar passages, and also those unfamiliar parts of the New Testament which tended to be ignored by Sunday School and Bible Class leaders.  

Let us pray:

Our Heavenly Father, may Your name be honoured.   
May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day the bread we need, Forgive us what we owe to You, as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us. Keep us clear of temptation, and save us from evil.  Amen.

Heavenly Father, we offer special prayers today for the people of Beirut in the aftermath of the huge explosion in their port.  We pray for medical staff and other emergency workers in the stresses they face.  We pray for those who have been injured and bereaved, for those whose homes are no longer habitable, for those who are anxious about how they will be able to feed their families.  We pray for charities and governments as they form part of the international response to this disaster, and also to other crises in places like Yemen and Syria.  Save us from selfish concern and compassion fatigue so that, despite our own challenges at home in Scotland, we may give prayerful and practical aid to those in great need around the world. 

Lord, in Your mercy, hear the cries of people all around the world, and come to our aid with the comfort of Your Spirit and His inspiration towards justice and peace. 

In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

For Sunday 2nd August 2020

Hello everyone. 

We are continuing our praying together in different translations of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples. 

Many of us are familiar with the traditional English version, but there is a slightly more up-to-date version which helps us better understand the Greek word in the Gospels translated as debts or trespasses by our forefathers.  The Greek word means “missing the mark” or “falling short of the mark” and this is, or course, what sin is – our failing to reach the standard of God.

We have used the Good News Translation and the Passion Translation in the last two weeks.  Today, let us use the Living Bible as we pray together the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven, we honour Your holy name.
We ask that Your kingdom will come now.
May Your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. 
Give us our food again today, as usual, 
and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 
Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. 
Amen. 

UPDATE: Many of us are looking forward to the day we can gather as congregations on Sundays to worship God in our special places we call churches.  In this lengthy period of ‘lockdown’ we have been reminded, though, that the Church is the people of God wherever they are worshipping and serving Him.  Our buildings provide us with a special place in which to meet, but they are not the only places in which we can encounter the living God. 

Our ‘Planning Team’ in St. Cuthbert’s has been working on the procedures for cleaning the building between gatherings and for managing a safe experience of worship in the context of this easily transmissible virus. 

We will let you know arrangements once they are finalised, but in the meantime, I would like to give you a taste of the differences we will find when we return to our church building. 

As with other public building, we will need to wear a facemask, and there will be sanitising hand gel at the doors. 

Although we all have our favourite places to sit, both at home and in the church, in the coming months we will have the opportunity to see what the church looks like from a different position!  Those who are not in the same household will need to sit 2 metres apart, and that means that only certain pews will be ‘open’ for worshippers.  The stewards will lead you to the ‘safe seats’! 

The Scottish Government has set a maximum number of 50 people to be in the building at any one time.  This will be made up of 4 stewards, the organist and minister and 44 places in the pews for other worshippers.

The galleries are not to be used as we are told that vapour droplets are able to travel further without any obstacles! 

The service will be shorter as there will be no singing, but we will enjoy listening to music.  As the children will remain with their families in the sanctuary there will be an informal address aimed at all ages rather than a sermon.   Do I hear cheering?!  It will also be good to pray together again. 

To minimise hand use, there will be an offering plate as you come in the church.  Hymn books and Bibles will be removed and there will be no printed orders of service.  There will probably be a one way system operating to enable safe entering and exiting the building.  If we want to chat to friends, that will need to be done outside, again 2 metres apart, as we are not allowed to serve tea or coffee in the meantime. 

The halls will remain closed for some time to come, so organisations and groups will need to wait, possibly until 2021, to restart their activities. 

These are challenging times, but with God’s help and the prayerful support of each other, we will journey through to better days.  In the words of one of our church songs, “And it’s from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with You. (God)”

If you fancy hearing this song here is a YOUTUBE link that may make you smile.

For Sunday 26th July 2020

Hello everyone.

If you listened in last week, you will remember that my intention was to lead you in the Lord’s Prayer using words found in different translations of the Gospels. 
Some of the differences are minor, such as the interchange of the words: debts, trespasses and sins. 
Other translations or paraphrases show more variation, aiming to be better understood by people who might never have been taught the traditional translations in a Church during their childhood. 
This week I share with you the words found in a version called “The Passion Translation”.

Our Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms,
    may the glory of your name
    be the centre on which our lives turn.
Manifest your kingdom realm,
    and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,
    just as it is fulfilled in heaven.
We acknowledge you as our Provider
    of all we need each day.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done – as we ourselves
    release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Rescue us every time we face tribulation
    and set us free from evil.
    For you are the King who rules
    with power and glory forever.  Amen.

Heavenly Father, we are filled with wonder at the invitation of Jesus to call You, “our Father”!  We know that we don’t always behave as children of a loving, generous, merciful God.  We sometimes just keep going our own way and doing our own thing, forgetting Your guidance and taking Your love for granted.  As we stop for a moment to turn our hearts and minds towards You, renew our sense of Your love surrounding us wherever we are right now.  And may that experience of Your embrace bring us healing and renewal through forgiveness, and turn us and our whole way of living back towards You. 

Lord Jesus, lead us ever closer to our heavenly Father. 

Holy Spirit, renew God’s breath in our souls, refreshing every dimension of our life within His wonderful world and righteous Kingdom. 

May our living as children of God bring love, hope and peace into the lives of those we meet each day. 

We pray for our families, friends and neighbours.  In all their different needs and with all their different concerns, may they know not just our love, but also Your loving Presence supporting and comforting them from deep within their souls. 

We think of the wider communities to which we belong across the country and the world.  We pray for those known to us and those known to You who are calling on You today as their heavenly Father.  Hear all our prayers, through Jesus, and draw us near to Your heart of love. Amen

For Sunday 19th July 2020

Hello everyone!  We have frequently been told during this pandemic that the new normal won’t be the same as the old normal. 
Maybe that means it is a good time to think about the old ways we say the Lord’s Prayer, and to explore new ways of sharing in the same prayer. 
After all, we don’t recite it in the same language Jesus would have used, Aramaic, or even in the Greek which was the language used for the original writing of the Gospels. 
Over the next few weeks, let us pray the same prayer with slight differences from modern translations of the Gospel passage.
This week, we turn to the Good News Translation:

Our Father in heaven:
    May Your holy name be honoured;
may Your Kingdom come;
    may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
    as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
Do not bring us to hard testing,
    but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Amen.

God our heavenly Father, we are thankful for every opportunity to be still in Your Presence – in our homes and gardens, during walks by the sea and in the countryside.  We praise You for everything in Your created world which brings us peace and inspiration, even in times of turmoil. 
As we look towards the easing of some restrictions, we pray for all those involved in making decisions and preparations – in government, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, businesses, churches and other worship centres. 
We pray for our own Planning Team as we undertake the Risk Assessment and prepare the building to welcome people back to worship. 
Heavenly Father, we pray for each other as we seek to keep ourselves and our communities safe. 
We pray for those who are cautious about closer social interaction after months of feeling safer at home. 
We pray for those who are excited to be getting out and about more, meeting up with a wider circle of family and friends.
We pray for those who are relieved to be able to get out of the house, away from the strain of their immediate household situation. 
Help us to be sensitive to the different feelings and concerns of those we encounter in our church and neighbourhood.
Help us also to remember those who live in more dangerous situations, where war and deprivation make transmission of diseases far too easy, where medical staff and resources are stretched to the brink. 
We pray for charities asking for our contributions to support people in the most vulnerable parts of our one world during this pandemic. 
In all the challenges we face, help us to recognise our blessings, and to share at least some of them with others. 

Fill our hearts with Your compassion, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen. 

For Sunday 12th July 2020

Welcome and COVID update

Hello everyone. 
I hope you and your families and friends are keeping well as we continue our journey through the pandemic. 
We may be feeling hopeful or anxious about our move into Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s ‘Roadmap’ on the easing of restrictions.  On our church website we will give you regular updates as we progress through the Government and Church current Guidelines which include a Covid-19 Risk Assessment (see home page for details).
In the meantime, may God bless us as we seek encouragement through the variety of worship experiences available to us on the radio, television and internet.

Eternal God, we praise You for the gift of life – for the people whose lives are intertwined with ours, for the many different opportunities we enjoy in life, for the experiences which have helped us grow in understanding and faith.  Lord, we praise You for the blessings we recognise in life, but acknowledge that there may be other things in which we struggle to see a good purpose or blessing. 

Whether we feel good about life or are finding life distressing and disturbing, help us to remember Your promise that You will be with us always, through every changing and challenging experience of life. 

Forgive us when we have failed to trust in Your gracious and faithful love as our heavenly Father. 
Forgive us also for any words or actions which might have caused others to question the reality of Your compassion.
Through Your Spirit renew our trust in You, and assure us that You are our ever-present Comforter, Encourager, Saviour and Guide. 

Through Your Spirit, also come into our lives as a Challenger and a Changer, so that we might continue to be formed into the people You call us to be – children of God, dedicated followers of Jesus Christ, bringing hope, peace and love into a troubled world.  As one family stretching across the world we pray as Jesus taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 5th July 2020

Here is a poetic adaption of the words of Psalm 19:

O Lord, the stars declare Your glory;
the vault of heaven springs,
mute witness of the Master’s hand,
in all created things,
and through the silences of space,
their soundless music sings.

The dawn returns in splendour,
the heavens burn and blaze,
the rising sun renews the race,
that measures all our days,
and writes in fire across the skies
Your majesty and praise.

Lord, open our eyes to see
Your glory and majesty. 

So shine the Lord’s commandments
to make the simple wise;
sweeter than honey to the taste,
richer than any prize,
a law of love within our hearts,
a light before our eyes.

So order, too, this life of ours,
direct it all our days;
may meditations of our hearts,
be righteousness and praise.

Lord, You do not require sacrifices or gifts, for all of Creation is Yours, and we are but stewards, living here for a short time, welcome to enjoy and share Your blessings. 

We thank You, O Lord, for Your generosity towards us, in the extravagance of nature, the abundant harvests of land and sea, the varied beauty of plants and animals, the provision of good soil and rain, sunshine and shade.  Help us to channel our efforts into a better sharing of earth’s abundant harvests and rich resources. 

We pray for those who work in the fields of agriculture and soil science.  We give thanks for the benefits we have enjoyed through the control of pests and diseases, through better irrigation and the opening up of international markets, but we remember there are some who still today struggle to bring in safe harvests.  We pray for those affected by climate change, plagues of locusts or other pests.  We pray for those seeking to stabilise resources of water and food in such areas, so that nutrition and health and general living conditions may improve.  We pray for the leaders of all nations, for a spirit of compassion, generosity, understanding and respect, to help us all make choices that lead us further along the road to a fairer world.

So may our work as individuals, communities and nations reflect the values of Your Kingdom of grace, righteousness and peace.  We pray in Jesus’ Name and in His words we unite:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 28th June 2020

Loving God, we praise You for Your Presence with us throughout life, not just in those moments when we feel You close, but also when we are struggling to hold on to Your promise that You will be with us to the end of the age. 

In our loneliness, be our Friend.
In our fear, be our Protector.
In our grief, be our Comforter. 
In our confusion, be our Guide.
In our weakness, be our Saviour.
Lord, hear the cries of Your people everywhere for comfort, hope, justice and peace.
Breathe Your Holy Spirit into every troubled heart and mind, we pray, re-affirming Your love for us and Your mercy towards the whole world. 
Change hearts of stone into hearts that beat with Your compassion and are inspired to work for a world that is in tune with Your loving kindness. 
Together and apart, we take a moment to pray for our loved ones ….
Together and apart, we take a moment to pray for those whose needs weigh heavy on our hearts …. Together and apart, we pray the great family prayer given to us by Jesus

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 21st June 2020

Loving God, generous Creator, merciful Saviour, constant Companion, we offer You our thanks and praise for the blessings we experience in our life in Your world in fellowship with so many people. 

We praise You for the good times we have shared with others, and we praise You for Your help and their help when times have been more difficult and distressing. 

As we reach the middle of the calendar year, we remind ourselves that You are present in the world at all times, from day to day, from generation to generation.  You are not a God only apparent at Christmas or Easter.  You are not confined to Sundays or restricted by buildings.  You are present with us through Your Spirit day and night, at home or out and about, in the sunshine and in the shadows.  You have revealed Yourself as “Emmanuel” meaning “God with us” and for Your Presence with us we are thankful, and in Your Presence we praise You.

Loving God, we pray for those who are struggling to believe that You are near – because life is particularly difficult for them. 

We pray for those who are ill and those who are bereaved.  We pray for those who are experiencing conflict in the home or workplace. 

We pray for those who are living in dangerous places – constantly affected by violence and crime.   

We pray for those who are not sure where the next meal will come from or whose water supply is polluted or whose homes are made from any bits and pieces they can find. We pray for Your Spirit to be near them to give them hope for a better future, and we pray that Your Spirit would move the hearts of those in power and those at the grassroots of society to work to bring justice, security and peace to more and more of our one world family.  And praying in Christ’s words as one family we say,

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 14th June 2020

A few favourite verses were sent in by members of the congregation and have been thoughtfully collated by Deborah who is narrating.

Prayers for this week

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the sure foundation of our faith, but sometimes we feel our faith is weak.  In our weakness, we turn to You, needing Your strength to hold our hands, to help us find rest and renewal in Your gracious Presence.

Forgive us when we wander from Your Presence, from Your right path, and find ourselves lost and troubled or even doing foolish things.

As our Good Shepherd, search for us, lift us up and bring us home to our heavenly Father through Your grace.  Keep us safe in Your love.  Keep us close to Your heart.  Help our faith to grow more sure and steadfast during this period of pandemic.

Heavenly Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters who also may be struggling with feelings of weakness, anxiety and uncertainty.

May Your Spirit remind us of the many words of encouragement and hope found in Scripture, to lead us forward with trust in Your ever-present help. 

In Jesus’ words let us pray …

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 7th June 2020

Heavenly Father, sometimes we feel as if life is a bit of a struggle, but then we remember that others are struggling, too, and some have even more troubles than we have. 

We are all fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, but some are also fighting Ebola, cancer and other diseases.  We are all anxious about the health of our loved ones, but some are also anxious about the loss of their jobs.  We are all concerned about the effect of social distancing, but some are also experiencing abuse within their homes. 

Heavenly Father, we need Your Spirit’s comfort and reassurance in our troubles, and we need Your Spirit’s wisdom and hope to lead us forward through our trials, into the life beyond. 

Lord, we thank You also for the people who play their part in supporting us through our troubles –
staff in the NHS,
carers in nursing homes and the community,
teachers assisting parents with home schooling, counsellors on the other end of a phone,
farmers and fishermen and all involved in the food chain, good neighbours and friends. 

Lord Jesus Christ, walk with us all today as You have walked with every generation of Your people in their times of trouble.  We need You with us, Lord, for in You alone are our anchor in the storm.  In the Name of Jesus who told the winds and waves of the stormy sea to be still, we pray

Our Father in heaven, may Your holy name be honoured.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into times of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours,
now and for ever.  Amen.

Request for your favourite Biblical verse

For Sunday 31st May 2020

On this Pentecost Sunday we remember the disciples of Jesus, still a bit afraid and uncertain about what following the risen Jesus would mean in the context of their lives as a minority group, out of favour with the authorities. 

They gathered again in Jerusalem, trustingly waiting for His promised guidance.  Through the amazing experiences of that day, they were blessed as the Holy Spirit poured His grace upon them, bringing them new joy, strengthened faith and surprising courage, as well as the gift of being able to communicate the Gospel in a way that people from all nations could understand. 

This Sunday reminds us that God does not leave us alone in the world to do His work, but provides for us a helper, the Holy Spirit, who makes real for us the living Presence of Jesus Christ.  This Sunday also reminds us that the Good News of God’s loving mercy is not for a select group, but for all the world.  From wherever we are in the world, let us praise the God of grace. 

Lord God, we praise You for Your continuing Presence in the world and in our lives through Your Holy Spirit, even though sometimes circumstances try to blot out Your light and question Your love.

On this day of Pentecost we affirm that You mean so much to us in so many ways.  You are our Creator and Guide, our Provider and Sustainer, our Saviour and Friend, our Comforter and Challenger.

We praise You, Living and Loving God!

Your Spirit has been present from the beginning of all things, providing for Your people in good times and bad, and bringing Your message through the prophets.
Your Spirit was present in the life and words of Jesus,
present as He walked in the desert and along fertile hillsides, as He encountered people in lakeside towns and city temple.  Your Spirit was present even as He stood in Pilate’s court, and was led out for crucifixion. Your Spirit was present in the Garden of Resurrection and on the day of Pentecost, living on in the lives of the apostles.  Spirit of God, continue to live in our lives, we pray, filling our hearts with love for Christ and enthusiasm in our discipleship to Him.  Spirit of God, empower us to be channels for Your saving and challenging grace, drawing others closer to Christ.  These prayers we offer in His Name, and in His words we unite. 

Our Father in heaven, may Your holy name be honoured.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into times of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours,
now and for ever.  Amen.

May Christ’s Holy, healing and enabling Spirit be with us every step of the way, and be our guide as the road of life changes and turns, and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us and remain with us now, in the week ahead, and for ever. Amen.

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For Sunday 24th May 2020

We are now in the period of the Church calendar between Ascension and Pentecost.  The disciples had shared in 40 days of personal encounters with the risen Jesus, in which He encouraged their faith in His risen life and continuing Presence. 

Paul later went on to write that the resurrection was a sign and proof of Jesus being the Son of God, showing how important these 40 days had been for the young Christian community.  This period culminated in their witnessing of Christ’s ascension and a further 10 days of waiting for the promise of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would come upon them in a transforming and powerful way. 

We certainly feel as if we are in a waiting time –
waiting for God to deliver us from our troubles, 
waiting for our political leaders and scientific advisors to say the worst is over,
waiting for the time when we can gather again with family and friends in our homes and churches,
waiting for life to seem more ‘normal’ again.

This waiting time may help restore in us a sense of what is of true worth in life, but it can also present us with a period of restlessness.  We turn to God, needing His help as we wait … waiting for healing of our bodies, minds and spirits, waiting for a safe return to social interaction, waiting to see the road ahead, for ourselves, our world, and our Church.

God of grace and mercy, we turn to You in this period of waiting.  Draw near to us, we pray, for You alone can give us the strength and encouragement we need in this uncertain and even frightening time. 

We pray for those who are finding this time particularly difficult, for children and adults who do not understand the reason for social distancing, for those struggling with anxiety and depression, for those who have other problems alongside worrying about Covid-19. 

We pray for counsellors working in communities and at the end of a phone, in the health service and in charities such as the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Childline, Women’s Aid and the Samaritans. 

We pray for staff in hospitals, working for healing and hope.  We pray for staff in care homes, trying to protect vulnerable residents.  We pray for teachers working with children in hubs and planning for a safe re-opening of schools when the time is right.  We pray for management in offices and factories, also planning for social distancing when their businesses reopen.  We pray for the staff of the Church offices and elders and Board members across the land as they look ahead to new ways of the Church being together for worship and fellowship.  We pray for ourselves as we wrestle with our own anxieties and troubles.  Support us all by Your grace, we pray, as together we unite

Our Father in heaven, may Your holy name be honoured.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into times of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours,
now and for ever.  Amen.

For Sunday 17th May 2020

At the start of this COVID crisis we may have been shocked to think that our church buildings were to be closed for an indefinite period.  Even in periods of persecution and war, the people who are the church have always met for worship, though sometimes they have had to meet ‘underground’ or in unusual places. 

It has been a blessing to discover how the opportunities for worship have blossomed in this time of shutdown.  Alongside religious services on the radio, the BBC has reintroduced some form of morning worship on the television on a Sunday morning – a source of encouragement and comfort for believers stuck at home.  Those of us who use the internet have had an even wider choice of worship opportunities to choose from. 

Maybe you have been following the Moderator of the Church of Scotland in his meditations or have enjoyed the variety of worship styles that have come from different church traditions. 

On Saturday 16th May there was a ‘virtual’ meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for the installation of the new Moderator, the Right Reverend Martin Fair.  Some 1,800 households were tuned in for that unusual yet special service when we were told that the last time the General Assembly was cancelled was in 1689! 

I would encourage you to visit the Church of Scotland’s website or Facebook page to read or listen to the new Moderator’s message which included a call to the Church – a call in this strange time “to be ready to do things differently, to cast our nets on the other side,” and an affirmation of COVID lesson 1 – that we are hugely dependent on each other and absolutely dependent on God who breathed life into us. 

The retiring moderator has given us much encouragement through his daily devotions online, and we pray that our new moderator will find his particular ways to reach out to our church even though he cannot visit our congregations or communities at present.

May God guide and bless Martin and his wife, Elaine, in the year ahead, and through them may God bring us all encouragement and inspiration.

In a spirit of being willing to do things differently, let us make this slightly modernised version of the Lord’s Prayer our own:

Our Father in heaven, may Your holy name be honoured.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into times of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours,
now and for ever.  Amen.

For Sunday 10th May 2020

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 3rd May 2020

Last week we read the story of the risen Jesus sharing with seven of His disciples in a breakfast on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  Following their meal together, Jesus led Simon Peter away from the fireside chatter for a more personal conversation.  Peter probably still felt guilty for his cowardly denial of Jesus on the night of His arrest, and Jesus knew that this had to be dealt with before Peter could move on to the next chapter of his discipleship.  For each of the three denials, Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to affirm his love for Jesus and for each affirmation Jesus gave Peter a fresh call to care for, to shepherd, to nurture, the believers and searchers of the young church. 

Let us hear again this wonderful calling of Jesus, which brought forgiveness and fresh direction to Peter, recorded for us in John 21.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” 

God our heavenly Father, we offer our prayers to You from our different homes and gardens.  We belong to different families, but we also belong to Your greater family, gathered together through the risen Christ. 

We praise You for Your love for us and for our brothers and sisters around the world. 

Forgive us when we take Your love and each other’s love for granted. 
Forgive us when we question Your love and each other’s love. 
Forgive us when we forget to show our love for You in worship and commitment, and our love for each other in service and support. 

Fill our hearts anew with Your Spirit of compassion, inspiring us to acts of kindness. 
Encourage us, also, to persevere in prayer for each other and for the whole world.

We pray for all medical and support staff in hospitals, hospices, care homes and in the community.  We pray for scientists in laboratories, carrying out tests to confirm the presence of the virus or seeking to develop a vaccine and other forms of treatment.

We give thanks for everyone restored to health.
We pray for those who care for the deceased. 
We pray for those offering comfort to the bereaved. 
We give thanks for every baby born safely into our world. 
We pray for parents and midwives caring for them as they leave hospital.
We pray for family members who have to wait patiently to give them their first hug.
We give thanks for all those working in the community to empty our bins, deliver our post, and produce and transport food across land and sea from farms and factories to local stores.
We give thanks for those serving with the police, fire and ambulance services, and in the army, navy and air force.  
We pray for members of the civil service and our MPs and MSPs as they are called upon to provide leadership through this crisis.  Guide and strengthen us all as we journey through the challenges of this time.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

For Sunday 26th April 2020

As someone who loves the sea, you will not be surprised that I love the passage from John 21 which describes the encounter between the risen Jesus and seven of His disciples on the seashore.  Many years ago, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, our group visited a small church as yet unspoiled by tourism, built to celebrate this ‘Resurrection breakfast’.  From inside this simple church, we looked out onto the rocky shore of the Sea of Galilee, listening to the peaceful sounds of lapping waves, and imagined the story shared by John. 

This Sunday, let us read the first part of this story by the sea.

“After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias.  Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?”
They answered him, “No.” 
He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. 

That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. 
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”  

Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 
Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 
This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

God our heavenly Father, with hearts and minds and voices we praise You for the wonders of Creation, for the precious gift of life, for Your loving concern for all of us. 

Many things around us inspire us to worship You – the beauty of sunrise or sunset or scenery, the sounds of birdsong and children laughing, the music of the human voice and man-made instruments.  We are blessed with special moments touching our hearts with a deep sense of peace and hope and joy. 

In this Easter season, we celebrate again the assurance of Your love and forgiveness and renewed life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

With thankful hearts we praise You, and seek Your Spirit’s help to find new ways to share Your love and forgiveness and life with those around us. 

We pray for our families and friends in this time when we cannot visit each other’s homes or meet each other in church or in a cafe or at a community event.  Watch over them, we pray, holding them safe in Your eternal arms.

We pray for people locally and across the world who are feeling particularly isolated during this crisis.  Watch over them, we pray, holding them safe in Your eternal arms. 

We pray for those caring for others in their professional capacity and for those practising kindness as neighbours. 

Watch over them, we pray, holding them safe in Your eternal arms. 

We pray for those experiencing other dangers than the virus – through hunger, homelessness or hostility. 

Watch over them, we pray, holding them safe in Your eternal arms. 

Lord, in Your mercy hear our prayers, spoken and unspoken, and hear us as we pray in Jesus’ words,

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Please find Sarah’s second letter to you all HERE, which can be downloaded as a PDF.

For Sunday 19th April 2020

The Sunday after Easter is sometimes called “Low Sunday” which seems a strange description, doesn’t it?  Some say this is because nothing can compare with the heights of praise on Easter Sunday itself.  However, the description low may simply have come from a corruption of the Latin word “Laudes” which was the first word of a liturgy for the Sunday after Easter. 

I prefer the description from the Eastern Orthodox Church which calls this Sunday “Thomas Sunday” as it was one week after the resurrection that Jesus appeared to Thomas.  Let’s remind ourselves of this encounter as we read from John’s Gospel. (Chapter 20)

“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him,

“We have seen the Lord.”  

But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

On the eighth day, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Let us pray:

Life-creating and sustaining God, we give thanks that Easter Sunday is not our only celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, for every Sunday is a holy day for worship.  We praise You, Lord, this Sunday in the solitude of our hearts and homes and in the fellowship of the Spirit embracing the whole world. 

We confess, though, that like the first disciples, we are sometimes slow to understand, to believe and to worship. We have heard from others the Good News of Christ risen from the dead, but like Thomas we want a personal revelation.  Like the two walking towards Emmaus, we don’t always recognise when You are near.  Like Peter, we are in need of forgiveness and a fresh start.  Lord Jesus Christ, help us to recognise Your living Presence and to experience Your grace and mercy in our homes, as we share meals, as we contemplate in our gardens, as we walk along the shore.  Open our eyes to Your real Presence in our living world, not only in the bright and beautiful places, but also where we encounter You in our response to those who suffer hunger, thirst, homelessness, illness, and every form of captivity and poverty.  Open our eyes and ears and hearts to Your revelation today as we rejoice in Your love and seek to share this with those close to home and far beyond our man-made boundaries.  And as one family of faith we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Please find Sarah’s letter to you all HERE, which can be downloaded as a PDF.

For Sunday 12th April 2020: Easter Sunday

Happy Easter everyone!

From the earliest years of the Christian Church there has been one Easter greeting which has been shared from believer to believer, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” Although this sound cannot be heard strongly from within the walls of our church buildings this Easter, surely we can make this joyful and confident message widely heard outwith those walls, from within our homes and gardens. Please join me wherever you are in this amazing and transforming Easter greeting,

“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”

At different times in our lives, we have particularly needed to hear this proclamation of the defeat of evil and death by the risen Jesus Christ. In times of personal suffering or grief, how wonderful to have brothers and sisters around us, encouraging us to place our trust in God who raised Jesus Christ from the tomb! In this time of a worldwide health crisis, how much we need to encourage each other through our resurrection faith.

“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”

Let us pray:

Living Lord, we praise You for Your victory over the powers of sin and death! We praise You for Your risen life, interceding for us with the Father and sending Your Spirit to guide us day by day.

Living Lord, through Your experience of the cross You understand our struggles with the forces of darkness. Through our vision of the cross You give us strength to persevere through the difficult and challenging times of life.

Bring us through our periods of darkness into the light of Your victorious love.

May we as part of Your local and worldwide Church reflect something of Your light and grace into the life of our families, friends and neighbours.

May Your light and our reflection reach into the darkest and most far-flung corners of Your world, our world.

Shine upon us, living Lord. Shine into our hearts, shine around the world, filling us with renewed hope for this life and the next.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Amen.

Lord of life and conqueror of death, we pray for the whole world as we experience the anxiety of these times. We pray for those whose lives are directly or indirectly threatened by this virus, but also for those experiencing other illnesses and anxieties. We pray for all working to bring healing and hope to individuals and families, communities and nations. We pray for scientists trying to understand the causes of disease so that they can then develop both vaccines and treatments.

We pray for political and business leaders as they tackle present problems, but also need to start looking forward to future solutions. We pray for those working to make sure that the poor and vulnerable of our world are not forgotten in this crisis nor will be forgotten as we try to return to “normal”. We pray that we will all be changed for the better by our realisation of our common humanity, of our vulnerability and our dependence on each other for the comfort and security of everyday life.

May we in Your Church give an inspiring example of compassion and generosity towards our local and global neighbours.

We offer our prayers and ourselves to You, O God, as part of Your continuing ministry in the world, through Jesus Christ, our risen Saviour and Friend, Amen.

For Sunday 5th April 2020: Palm Sunday

This Sunday, 5th April, is Palm Sunday, when Christians around the world remember and celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the back of a humble donkey in the final week of His earthly life. 

Although some palm trees can be found around the Clyde Coast, we adapted our praise in St. Cuthbert’s Church last year by bringing greenery from bushes and trees in our own gardens, laying a carpet of branches in the chancel area as part of our opening worship of Christ, our King, who showed Himself to be a King of service and peace. 

Although we are not able to gather in our sanctuary this Palm Sunday to participate in a fresh experience of this day’s worship, I hope you have a vision in your memory or a picture in front of you from our magazine and website of that special service last year. 

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus Christ,as we think of You travelling into Jerusalem with many other pilgrims, we pause to remember Your

awe-inspiring Presence in the midst of a clamour of praising children and adults, with confrontational complaints coming out of the mouths of the leaders of Your day, who didn’t like the impact You were having on the lives of so many people, and the potential for turning their lives upside down, too.

This Palm Sunday may feel quieter, but You can hear the praises of Your people rising from our hearts in our different homes around our community and the world.   

Lord Jesus Christ, we praise You for the way You surprise Your people, sometimes turning our expectations upside down, drawing us into a fresh realisation of Your amazing love revealed in service and self-sacrifice. 

We praise You for Your inspirational courage in the face of opposition and impending suffering. 

We praise You for Your willingness to forgive those who let You down and those who did not understand the seriousness of their actions. 

We praise You for Your words and deeds affirming that the dwelling place of God is open to the people of all nations, to all of us everywhere.  In Your Name and through Your example, we bring our spoken and unspoken prayers before God in the love and power of Your living Spirit, O Christ, who taught us to pray as one family

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we join together to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world, living in very different places, but all affected by the same health crisis. 

As we give thanks for the people and facilities providing for our welfare and caring for our health needs in the UK, we remember those living in high density communities around the world, such as refugee camps and city slums, where social distancing and hand sanitation are not possible.  We pray for those working in aid agencies and governments, trying to provide some level of preventative action and health care for the poorest people of our world.  

We pray for medical missionaries and charities scattered across different continents, working with the most disadvantaged people of our one world. 

We pray for agencies of the World Health Organisation and the United Nations as they seek to challenge governments and support communities struggling with this danger in the midst of continuing violence and other natural disasters. 

We pray for scientists and engineers working to develop both equipment to support life and a vaccine to build up immunity across the world. 

We pray for those who may not suffer directly from this particular illness, but are affected by the need for physical distancing, and by the resultant unemployment. 

We pray for all in business and government, trying to work out how to support the economic decline associated with this pandemic. 

On a smaller scale, we pray for our families and neighbours and congregations, that we would both give and receive encouragement in the challenges and opportunities of this time in our lives.   Lord, hear our prayers, and strengthen us in Your love and mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour.    Amen

For Sunday 29th March 2020

Traditionally, we think of shutting our eyes to pray.  However, today I invite you to keep them open as you look out one of your windows.  Some of you will have a wonderful view of Arran and the sea or the green hills around our town.  Others will be looking out on your garden with its different shrubs, plants and trees.  If you are looking out onto a road or houses with few signs of the wonders of nature, I invite you to look at a favourite painting or photo you have in your home which reminds you of the beauty of the seaside of countryside. 

Opening Prayer

God our heavenly Father, we join with brothers and sisters around our community, country and world, to praise You for the wonder and beauty of Your creation.  In our minds’ eye we look up to the hills and mountains, we look over the rivers and ocean, we watch the clouds floating across the sky, we glimpse the sparkling stars in the night sky, we listen for the songs of birds, we hear the rain falling on our roofs, we feel the wind blowing on our faces … and these visions and sounds and feelings inspire us to praise and thank You for the wonderful gift of life in this stunning world.  When we are not as free or able to go out widely into Your world to appreciate the wonders around us, help us still to be inspired by the memories of walks by the shore, in the hills, in the forests.  Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for all we can see and hear and feel which points to Your loving and artistic Presence in the life of the world. Lift up our spirits as Your Spirit spreads Your peace into our anxious minds and troubled hearts.  Assure us of Your loving Presence supporting us and those we love and are concerned for in these uncertain times.  We entrust ourselves to Your continuing care, O God of land and sea and sky.  And we join in prayer with each other from our different homes …

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Praying for others

Merciful God, we continue to pray for our families, our community, our country and our world as life is impacted so widely and significantly by Covid 19.
Give us strength and hope in the uncertainty and challenges we face.
We pray for the many people whose continuing work helps us get through each day. 
We pray for all working in the medical profession and supporting services, for staff in every department of our nearest hospitals in Crosshouse, Irvine and Ayr, for paramedics travelling out into our neighbourhoods to care for the sick and injured, and to carry safely those who need to be admitted to hospital. 
We pray for members of the emergency services and armed services, supporting local and national and international needs for health care. 
We pray for staff in our local GP practices, social work department, in care homes, food banks, and in various school and community hubs. 
We pray for staff in our local food stores, pharmacies and petrol stations. 
We pray for staff working in warehouses and for lorry and van drivers ensuring food, medicines and cleaning supplies and petrol gets to our stores. 
We pray for bus, train and taxi drivers providing a service for those who still need to travel to work. 
We pray for plumbers and electricians and other trades on standby for emergency call-outs.
We pray for those who uplift our refuse and recycling, and deal with litter on the streets. 
We pray for those working to support the bereaved in practical, emotional and spiritual ways. 
With thanksgiving, we remember all these people in prayer, asking that in some way they would know Your blessing. 
Heavenly Father, comfort us all in our feelings of vulnerability and anxiety through the peace of Your Spirit around and within us, a peace which surpasses human understanding. 
In the Name of Jesus, we offer our prayers and entrust ourselves into Your care,
Amen.

A friend of Sarah’s visited the manse and managed to get her old instrument to produce a song which she thought you might enjoy!

Lord, you have come to the seashore

PREVIOUS PRAYERS

Friday 20th March 2020

God our heavenly Father, although we are not in our church building today, we are glad to affirm that we are part of a family of faith stretching across the homes of our town and country and across the generations. 
We praise and thank You for Your love in the beauty and abundance of nature.
We praise and thank You for Your love made real in the life and teaching and example of Jesus Christ.
We praise and thank You for Your love in the Presence of Your Spirit with us today.
Heavenly Father, You know the thoughts and anxieties filling our hearts and minds at this time.  Give hope and encouragement to our restless hearts and minds as we are assured that You are with us in the anxious times as well as in the joyful times. 
We praise and thank You, Lord, for being with us here and now.  And together we pray as a family

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

Prayer (with response)

Heavenly Father, we dedicate ourselves to be of service to those finding life most difficult at the moment.  As we care for our families, friends and neighbours, help us also to show compassion for those we don’t know – who may be dependent on food-banks in our own community or who live in parts of the world where the health services are not as good as our own.  We pray for all working in the NHS at this time, giving vital care to those who are ill, and putting their own health at risk. 

Watch over them we pray.  Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all working in care homes and supporting those who are housebound in their own homes. 

Watch over them we pray.  Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those working in agriculture and along the whole food chain, trying to ensure that we can all get the supplies we need. 

Watch over them we pray.  Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for our ourselves and our loved ones from the youngest to the oldest as we cope with different concerns and challenges. 

Watch over us all we pray.  Lord, hear our prayer. Amen