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 –
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.
Sunday 7 June
- Pray for those who are preparing and delivering messages, prayers and other material for week by week digital ministry, asking that God would continue to give a word in season, clarity and creativity in communication and energy for the task of recording.
- Pray for those who edit and upload weekly digital ministry for congregations, asking that God would continue to use their gifts to bring blessing to others and smooth the processes of delivery.
Monday 8 June
Towards easing of the lockdown
- Give thanks to God for the steady decrease in cases of coronavirus and pray that as lockdown measures are gradually eased there will not be an upsurge in the rate of infection.
- Pray that a wise balance between continuing care in the area of public health and actions needed to restore other aspects of life and society impacted by the lockdown might be found and followed.
Tuesday 9 June
The bereaved and suffering
- Pray for those who have been bereaved during the lockdown, asking that God would draw especially near to bring comfort and strength in this season when the normal support of family and friends remains limited due to ongoing social distancing.
- Pray for those who suffer with serious and ongoing health conditions, asking that God would give extra strength, peace and perseverance in this period in which the usual care and treatment is restricted by lockdown and health service capacity.
Wednesday 10 June
Search for a vaccine
- Pray for scientific researchers as they continue to work towards developing a vaccine for Covid-19, asking that God would enable the use of their gifts and experience to provide a solution that will save many lives.
- Pray that increased knowledge and learning from the treatment of those who have had Covid-19 would enable a better understanding of the issues involved in combatting the virus.
Thursday 11 June
- Give thanks for opportunities for families to keep in touch through technology and to begin to see each other face-to-face again as restrictions are relaxed. Ask God to give us a new appreciation for one another.
- Pray for parents, children and young people all continuing to experience family life in a different way than usual, asking God for patience with one another and pleasure in closer relationships forged in lockdown.
Friday 12 June
Maintaining social distancing
- Pray that as lockdown restrictions are gradually relaxed that the general public will continue to exercise necessary restraint in social distancing and behave with common sense and a genuine concern for others.
- Pray for those who are working to develop social distancing in workplaces, shops, schools and other everyday settings, asking that God would help them to find viable ways of enabling a safe return to greater normality in coming days.
Saturday 13 June
The PCI family
- Give thanks to God for the denominational family of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, praying that he would help us to find encouragement in one another’s stories of faith, hope and love.
- Pray for those who continue to provide support to congregations and their members through the various councils of the General Assembly, asking that God would give them the wisdom, strength and vision needed to work around present circumstances and find new ways of exercising their ministries.