“Do not fear, for I am with you.”   [Is 41:10]
 
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’”  [Ps 91:1-2]
 
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”   [1 Pet 5:7]
 
The measures to contain the spread of the virus, and most importantly to limit the number of deaths, are ramped up significantly.  Normal routine grinds to a halt as our streets (and supermarket shelves) are emptied.  Sporting activities of all kinds are postponed or cancelled, and now church events and services are falling victim to the need to limit social interaction, even as we approach Easter, probably the most significant celebration in the Christian calendar.
 
Fear and uncertainty abound, fuelled by rumour and ‘fake news’ and by an enemy who seeks nothing less than the destruction of God’s creation – humanity.  Yet in the midst of it all Almighty God, as He has always been and always will be, is on his throne and in total control of events, of history.
 
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”   [Jn 14:27]
 
As we play our part by following the guidance, as we demonstrate the love of God in acts of compassion and kindness to our neighbours and community, God reminds us to “….fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”  As we do so, he calls us to pray!
 
Churches Together in England, which comprises the national leaders of the major denominations, has issued a call to all Christians to pray at any time on Sunday 22 March.  Some prayer points are below.
 
At 7pm on Sunday, we are also encouraged to place a candle in one or more windows of our home, as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
 
We support this call to pray, along with Scottish leaders including the Evangelical Alliance’s Scottish Director Fred Drummond, Alistair Matheson (Apostolic Church), Martin Hodson, (Baptist Union of Scotland), the Church of Scotland and individual church ministers/pastors. 
 
Let’s circulate this call as widely as we can throughout the Christian community and let’s see thousands of ‘candles of hope’ lighting up Scotland's streets and communities on Sunday evening!  You never know what conversations that might lead to!
 
Bless you and thank you!
 
Alistair Barton
Director - Pray4Scotland
 
Prayer points:

  • Start with praise and worship - declaring the greatness, power, awesome majesty and total authority of our God.  Psalms 145 - 150 are good for this.
  • Thank God for His love, goodness, kindness, compassion, patience, grace and mercy to you, this nation and the world, despite all the sin and darkness.
  • That in His mercy, God would slow and limit the spread and impact of the virus, with fewer cases, and in particular far fewer deaths, than expected.
  • For the protection of the elderly, frail and vulnerable, especially against the wicked in society who would seek to take evil advantage of their situation..
  • For NHS and Social Care staff who are on the front line – for their safety, health, energy and protection.  That they would have all the resources they need to treat and care for those needing that care – whether in hospital, in the care home, or at home.  Pray espcially for any frontline staff you know by name.
  • For the Medical Directors and Scientists seeking to understand this new virus – that God would give them supernatural revelation and clarity, resulting in accurate forecasts and advice.
  • For the Governments in the 4 nations having to take drastic decisions affecting every citizen – that they would have the wisdom and courage to make the right decisions and ‘do what it takes’ to deal with the impact of the virus both on society and the economy.  That there would be unity both within the UK leadership and with the leaders of Scotland, Wales and N Ireland.
  • For business leaders, owners and employees rapidly facing a very uncertain future – that leaders/owners would be able to look after their staff and that businesses would rapidly recover once the virus peak has passed.
  • For our society – that we would turn from individual selfishness to being a caring, compassionate community.  That much good would come out of this crisis – good that would not be temporary but would last.
  • For Foodbanks - that the level of donations would rise again so they can continue to serve the neediest in society, and for the health of volunteers and staff.
  • That our social fabric would be maintained with no breakdown of law and order.
  • For the Church – that we would grasp this unique opportunity to be ‘salt and light’ in our communities, drawing many to Jesus, to the Cross, to salvation and eternity in the Kingdom of light, not the dominion of darkness.