‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast’. Ephesians 2:8-9
Douglas Allan, Interim Moderator for Tiree Parish Church, invites everyone to pray with him at 12noon every Wednesday. Below is the prayer for this week:
Lord, keep us under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.
Lord, we have just been on an extraordinary Lenten journey unlike no other we have ever experienced before, and an Easter morn spent physically apart but united by the encouragement and hope of the Resurrection. More than ever we need to sustain a hope in the future despite ongoing fears and concerns for our health and wellbeing. Many of us are fortuitous in our circumstances even in these trying circumstances however not all people are so lucky. Today, as we pray together as a Presbytery, we bring to mind those on the margins of society who are in danger of being pushed further towards the margins as a result of the pandemic.
Lord today we pray for those whose limited budgets and family circumstances mean that they need to prioritise whether to stay warm or eat and who in the current situation are pushed to ever more desperate decisions especially when there are children involved. We pray too for those who through social circumstances live on their own and whose isolation has now become more acute. We think too, of those who live on the streets enduring freezing cold nights and are exposed to personal danger that a pandemic imposes on a vulnerable population. We bring to mind the prison population, both prisoners and staff, who are at greater danger of infection due to the difficulties of implementing social distancing in circumstances that impose separation from families and friends. We especially remember those who experience mental health issues particularly those who find life challenging and who in these straightened circumstances, will find the lack of normality and routine especially challenging. We remember too, those people who live in remote and rural parts of Scotland and in particular the remote islands of our Presbytery where day to day living can be a challenge with an, at times, fragile dependency on tourism, crofting and fishing along with reduced transport links. Lord, in a society that purports to be all inclusive there are so many parts of the community who live on the margins and are particularly exposed to danger at this time. We pray that you reign your blessings upon us all at this time that they feel and keep safe as possible in these circumstances and that they will experience the protection that you can offer them through your love and compassion.
We pray too for all those who work to protect and care for the marginalised at this time. We bring to mind those whom we know whose job takes them into direct contact with those most in need and for the army of volunteers who care for those who need it most. We remember today the increased workload experienced by food banks and we pray that they won’t be overwhelmed by demand and that donations will continue to be plentiful. We pray your protection on those involved in handling goods and in their delivery to doorsteps. We pray for those striving to find a safe indoor space for the homeless and the ability to keep all those at risk safe and for those whose responsibility it is to oversee the prison population, a task that presents a daily danger to staff without the need to maintain social distancing. We pray too for all those involved in caring for mentally challenged people in our community; a task that depends on direct and personal interaction with clients now becomes so much more difficult and thus places both carer and client in increased danger. In the fragile economy of remote and island communities we give grateful thanks for crews of ferries, buses, trucks and planes who strive to maintain vital and essential links and supplies to those communities; keep them all safe and well at this time.
Lord, Eastertide is a time of hope and renewal but for many it is difficult to feel this at the moment, sustain us all and those we worry about so that we can lift our eyes to the horizon and see and experience the hope that your sustaining love and care holds for us.
We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.