I thought I would share with you the prayer we had at our Session meeting this month. It isn’t a particularly arty prayer, but it is a prayer that needs to be prayed by Christians all over – yes it is focussed on the Church of Scotland, but we are not the only Church needing to remember who is our God. You can substitute or add your denomination if you want. Perhaps it will help you pray for the Church as well as yourself. The prayer starts by looking at the individual, encouraging you to remember your own Christian path and the influences you have had and have given, before moving on to the bigger picture.
We thank you for your constant presence in our lives and in our church. We take a moment to remember where we have been in our lives, the influence that other Christians have had on our lives and the influence we have had on the lives of others.
God you promise each of us that you have a plan for us. We choose whether to follow it, and for a moment we take time to reflect on the plan where we have been, where we are now and where we might go in the future. We take time to say sorry for the times we have gone our way, praise you for the way you have lead us back again and again and seek your wisdom for the path yet untraveled.
God of our lives, more than anything we thank you that you although you entrust us with great responsibility, you do not abandon us when the path becomes too hard to travel or we have behaved less than impeccably. We lay before you the burdens of our Church at all levels.
We pray for the General Assembly Councils and Committees fighting the financial deficit and trying to bring reform quickly but with great difficulty as the law books continually trip us up. We pray they would communicate fully, and be a worthy leader to presbyteries and congregations in turmoil.
We pray for presbyteries carrying a burden of ministerial reduction with the pain, the work, the stress and the hurt it naturally brings. We pray for presbyteries facing times of great change as presbyteries join up and identities are lost and remade.
We pray for Kirk Sessions, their committees and office bearers in congregations across Scotland as they contribute to the debate on the Church of Scotland. We pray for those facing closure or loss of identity. We pray for those who fear the future because they have lost sight of you and your calling to be your children first, your church second.
We pray for congregations many living in total ignorance of the changes coming, whilst others are paralysed by fear and lack of pastoral support. We pray that all congregations would pull together and remember their common identity as Gods children. We pray for ministers that they would trust in their calling and release their tenure, talents and teaching to the benefit of the church as a whole. We pray for all who work for you Lord, in whatever capacity, that we would trust that you are working all these things through. Help us be free in your love as we share again the responsibilities we have undertaken in this church, this community and with this Kirk Session.
We closed with the Lord’s Prayer.