In this moment
A prayer to hasten slowly in a world in a hurry
Lord of time,
all of a sudden everything has speeded up again.
After the slower, steadier pace of lockdown,
hurry sickness has set in once more.
I feel it in myself,
I sense it all around in society,
I know it in the way my congregation has approached the resumption of its life –
the re-emergence of that ever-present push,
to more, more, faster, faster.
Patient Lord –
creator of a world in six days,
gradually developing each aspect of life,
when you could have done it with one word;
redeemer of humanity,
who waits for the fullness of time to come,
before sending your Saviour;
builder of a kingdom that grows at the pace of nature,
from seed to sapling to tree,
from leaven to loaf;
help me to hasten slowly in these days.
Rather than rush back to what was before,
or hurry headlong into what everyone is saying is the new future,
give me the grace of waiting,
of walking, not running –
little by little,
moment by moment,
day by day,
letting you set my pace,
keeping in step with the Spirit’s leading.
Progressively reveal your will to my heart,
the wisdom of what you have taught me to my mind,
the well-crafted lifestyle you want me to adopt in my daily existence,
the ways of God for my spiritual community and spheres of service.
Train me in timeliness,
rein in my impulsiveness,
make me mature in discerning,
not premature in deciding,
that I might better sense your presence and prompting,
your leading and guiding.
In Jesus’ name.
Sunday 6 September
- Give thanks for God’s power, asking that we might praise him in our worship today for all the ways it has been made perfect in our weakness during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
- Pray that God’s power might be evident working in and through his people as they serve him, love others and point them to Jesus.
Monday 7 September
- Pray for those negotiating Brexit, asking that God would enable a settlement that preserves the best of working relationships between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and Ireland north and south.
- Pray for those who will be most impacted by Brexit, including business and farming sectors and those who live in border communities, asking God to help them plan and prepare for what is ahead.
Tuesday 8 September
- Give thanks for the creative ways ministry among young people has continued during the period of coronavirus lockdown, asking that God would continue to give leaders ways of keeping in touch and sharing God’s love while normal patterns of connection remain disrupted.
- Pray for uniformed organisations as they continue to work out new ways of programming as meeting together remains restricted by requirements of social distancing and the need to be responsible about safety and health.
Wednesday 9 September
- Give thanks for the ways in which Presbyterian Women’s groups have responded to the coronavirus crisis and lockdown to support one another and live out this year’s theme of Side by Sid
- Pray for Presbyterian Women’s groups as they navigate a course through the upset to normal programming caused by ongoing restrictions, asking for wisdom, creativity, patience and perseverance.
Thursday 10 September
Open to God: Leading out of lockdown
- Give thanks to God for PCI’s new Open to God: Leading out of lockdown resource which helps kirk sessions and other leadership teams reflect on what God has been teaching them through the period of coronavirus and lockdown.
- Pray that many congregations would use and benefit from the resource and so know their life and witness further shaped into the image of Christ by the experiences of 2020.
Friday 11 September
Faith in later life
- Give thanks to God for work on a PCI resource aimed at sharing the gospel with those in later life, asking for his help in nuancing final content.
- Pray for those in later life, asking God to bring strength, comfort, a sense of his presence, leading and love in what is often a trying season of life.
Saturday 12 September
Assembly Buildings’ staff
- Give thanks to God for Assembly Buildings’ staff who have provided support to congregations throughout the coronavirus and lockdown period despite vastly reduced numbers and many obstacles to normal ways of working.
- Pray for the team in Assembly Buildings as furloughed staff gradually return to part-time working under the government’s job retention scheme, asking that all would quickly adapt to a new working situation.