In this moment

A prayer for a church apart when it is usually assembled
Sole King and Head of the church,
in this our annual week of General Assembly,
we bow before you, a church strangely apart.
This year there will be no opening night,
sharing of bread and wine in silent communion,
rousing singing at the Wednesday night rally,
catching up with familiar faces in the coffee queue.
We are experiencing a twenty first century disruption to our Presbyterian ways,
caused by threat to public health, rather than theological principle.
And yet, this year,
we find ourselves curiously more drawn together than ever,
not in one place, for one week,
but as one people, to witness as one,
the Presbyterian Church in Ireland,
in shared circumstances across the whole island.
We look again to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for in you, and for you, all things were created,
even life in lockdown and vaccines for viruses.
You reign in heaven and earth,
unpanicked in the face of pandemic.
In these uncertain times,
still shaken governments north, south, east and west,
bow envious of the power of your kingdom,
which doesn’t falter and cannot fail.
You hold all things together,
even when they feel like they might be falling apart.
And you are the head of this body, the church –
this church,
our church, as we like to call it,
even though we know it is really yours.
Yours to lead, guide, direct, correct in this moment,
because, glorious firstborn from among the dead,
in everything you have the supremacy.

The prayers of Let’s Pray this week have been provided by the incoming Moderator, Rt Rev Dr David Bruce and focus on the meeting of the Standing Commission of the General Assembly and the Councils of the General Assembly.

Sunday 31 May

Enjoying God

  • As congregations gather online for worship today, pray for the outgoing Moderator, Dr William Henry as he leads his final service for the wider church. Pray that this would be a significant moment as the church reflects on his theme, ‘Enjoying God’.
  • Pray for the Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev Trevor Gribben and the Deputy Clerk, Rev Jim Stothers as they prepare themselves for meetings of the Standing Commission of the General Assembly during this week. Pray that even though the full General Assembly cannot meet, God would guide this Commission in its work.

Monday 1 June

New Moderator

  • Pray for the Moderator-Designate, David Bruce, his wife Zoe and their family, as David is installed as Moderator this evening. Pray that the service will prove to be an uplifting moment for him and the wider church as he takes on this new role for the year.
  • Pray for Global Mission Workers, and PCI’s Global Mission Partner churches who will have hoped and planned to send delegates to the General Assembly this week. As they may be watching the opening night event online, pray for an increasing sense of fellowship and belonging across the Presbyterian family.

Tuesday 2 June

Standing Commission of the General Assembly

  • The Standing Commission of the General Assembly will meet today and tomorrow. Pray for its work in determining ways forward on some essential items of business, and for wisdom in considering how the church may manage its work through the current restrictions.
  • Pray for David Bruce as he responds to invitations to represent the church’s views on a wide variety of issues in the media this week. Pray for PCI’s Press Officer, Mark Smith as he prepares press releases, and offers advice to those asked for comment on behalf of the church.

Wednesday 3 June

Standing Commission of the General Assembly

  • The meetings of the Standing Commission of the General Assembly continue today. Pray for Conveners of PCI Councils and Committees who may be speaking to reports, that they be given clarity in presenting their work for decision, and that these decisions would honour God, and assist the church in fulfilling its calling in the world.
  • Pray for those responsible for the management of the finances of the church, both treasurers in congregations and PCI’s Financial Secretary, Clive Knox and the Committees he supports. Pray that the financial capacity of the church to continue its work would not be curtailed during the current crisis.

Thursday 4 June

PCI Care Homes

  • Pray for the vital work of the Council for Social Witness, and specifically its work in Residential Homes which may be vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Give thanks for the dedicated and skilled work of staff in PCI’s care homes, and for their dedicated Christian witness.
  • Pray for the work of the Council for Congregational Life and Witness, in seeking to support and resource the work of local churches throughout Ireland. When conferences and other meetings cannot take place, give thanks for the new and imaginative ways the Council is seeking to do its work.

Friday 5 June

Global and Irish mission

  • Pray for the work of the Council for Global Mission, and specifically in its current support for Global Mission Workers, some of whom have returned to Ireland while others remain in their overseas locations. Pray for the safety of overseas staff, far from home.
  • Pray for the work of the Council for Mission in Ireland acting in support of the Home Mission, Irish Mission, Chaplaincy and other aspects of the Church’s outward face at home. Pray that the important work of reimagining PCI’s mission in light of current events will bear fruit in coming years.

Saturday 6 June

Online worship

  • As the first of the new Moderator’s online worship services will be available tomorrow morning, pray for the team working on these services each week, including the technical people, musicians, readers and other participants. Pray that God would be honoured through these services each week.
  • Thank God that He is Lord of his Church – that nothing can change this, and that even though there has been much to disrupt what we do, he remains in control of everything. Pray that his people would be given the gift of faith to “be sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see”. (Hebrews 11:1)