Prayer Sunday February 7th

Dear Lord, we thank you that even in these testing times we can in various ways continue to come together as a church in worship of You.

We pray for our own local communities in Conon Bridge, Maryburgh and the surrounding area. We confess our own failings. We have been generous to ourselves whilst judgemental, intolerant or merely careless of others. We thank you that you forgive our failings. May we learn to forgive as you have forgiven us and we ask you to graciously give a spirit of love and generosity towards all we encounter in our day-to-day lives.

We remember those in our community and beyond who at this time are sorely pressed. We think of those who live alone, especially those who have been bereaved or on whom current circumstances have forced physical isolation. We also remember those who feel trapped in homes with others– whether in abusive relationships, dead relationships or with family members whom they dearly love, but from whom they just wish some respite, We ask that they may not be lonely in their solitude, but that they may find fulfilment in loving You and their families and neighbours, even if they cannot be with them or feel they cannot escape them. May they come to realise that You are with each of us always, whatever befall. Lord, we pray that you are able to provide solace and inspiration to those who feel detached from You as well as from human society at this moment; those who feel that You may not be present in their daily lives, or find it difficult to turn their thoughts towards You. We pray that they are able to once again experience Your ever-present and glorifying nature and realise that You had never left them, but were always there waiting.

Likewise we pray for those of our fellow citizens who, in this time of international pandemic, are sorely pressed by anxiety; about their health, their finances or their future or for the health, finances or futures of those whom they love. Lord, feed their souls and their bodies.

We thank You for the work of the Highland Foodbank and similar bodies throughout the UK who help mitigate the suffering of those who are sorely pressed by unemployment, poverty and hunger. We pray for those in our Health Service, emergency services and our service and supply industries who – both openly and unseen– work to keep us and our nation safe, healthy and functioning. Give them fortitude and perseverance and give them strength to continue from day to day.

We pray for our political leaders, nationally and locally. May You strengthen their resolve to do what is right and deter them from acting divisively or in arrogance or fear. Forgive them for the errors they have committed and the compromises they have made and encourage them to be strong in leadership, just, honest and consistent in all they do to serve all in our communities.

And as we pray and bring our requests of You in prayer, may we not simply ask You to hear us, but learn to listen to You and know what You require of us to bring about Your kingdom.

(Roderick Urquhart)