Minister’s Prayers and Messages

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