In this moment

A prayer for discernment as life returns to a new normality
Lord of this season of stepping into the future,
I’m beginning to think there might not be much new,
in what is becoming normal again.
It’s so easy to slip back thoughtlessly into old ways,
as the speed of having to get up and going again picks up pace.
I’m in danger of missing what it is that you want to teach me through all I’ve experienced –
the kind of change that you want to bring to my life.
And what if what does become new has novelty value for now,
but turns out to be shallow and worthless?
It’s so easy to have my head turned by the voices of the world,
summoning me to a lifestyle that does not reflect the heart changing ways of your kingdom.
I’m in danger of minimising those core things that you want to bring back into focus –
calling me to prioritise them once again.
It all feels like a bit of a muddle just now,
my head and heart spinning in the messy middle of the road out of lockdown.
So, please grant me a discerning heart,
shaped by attentiveness to your Word,
soaked in prayerfulness,
watchful for what you are doing in and around me,
not so taken up with all the nuts and bolts of what has to be done and how,
that I miss the wood for the trees.
I know life has to return to a new normality,
but may it be one that is further fashioned by the norms of your ways for me.
Help me to trust in you Lord with all my heart,
not to lean on my own understanding,
or be distracted by the ever-changing sound bites of the world.
Enable me to see and acknowledge you in all my ways –
personal, home, family, social, working, church and community life.
Straighten my steps on your path ahead for my life,
as I edge into your new normal.
For the glory of Jesus.
Amen

Sunday 13 September

Arrangements for worship

  • Give thanks for those who are working hard to create and sustain a safe environment for worship in our buildings and provision for digital ministry to those who cannot return to services.
  • Pray that would continue to make our church premises Covid safe places in which we can encounter the life changing power and presence of God.

Monday 14 September

Workplaces

  • Pray for those returning to workplaces for the first time, asking that God would help them overcome fears and uncertainties about their journey and working day as well as navigate the many changes in buildings and arrangements.
  • Give thanks for those working hard to enable return to work through putting necessary health and safety measures in place, ensuring cleanliness and providing public transport.

Tuesday 15 September

Leadership in congregations

  • Give thanks for elders, ministers and other leaders in congregations who have added responsibilities at this time in enabling churches to wisely and creatively respond to present circumstances for ministry.
  • Pray for kirk sessions as they meet either digitally or with social distancing, asking that God’s presence, leading and guiding would remain a very present reality in the strange circumstances in which they gather and discuss together.

Wednesday 16 September

Beirut

  • Pray for the city of Beirut and its population suffering from the many devastating effects of the recent explosion, asking that God would help them as they respond and begin to try to recover some sort of normality.
  • Give thanks for the many ways in which help is being provided to the people of Beirut, asking God to bless and use the efforts of all those organisations and individuals involved.

Thursday 17 September

Schools

  • Give thanks to God for a return to school despite the many obstacles and uncertainties that has involved.
  • Pray for all those involved in delivering education in our schools, asking God that he would give patience, creativity, resilience and safety as they continue to grapple with necessary restrictions and unusual patterns of teaching and supporting pupils.

Friday 18 September

The food and hospitality industry

  • Give thanks to God for the possibilities now open to society to enjoy a simple cup of coffee, a meal or a weekend away as the food and hospitality industry finds ways of returning to business.
  • Pray for the safety of those working in the food and hospitality industries, as they often serve in constricted spaces and encounter many people in their working day.

Saturday 19 September

Prayer life

  • Give thanks to God for answered prayer in recent months, appreciating how he responds to our faltering requests in ways beyond what we can imagine, ask or think.
  • Pray that God would keep us increasingly reliant on him, devoted to prayer, watchful and thankful for his answers.