Daily Readings – March 2021

Since the daily readings are provided for us to read daily and to encourage us in our devotional life of reading short portions of the bible and praying it is appropriate that the notes this month focus on the subject of prayer and on significant portions of scripture that are related to that. If Jesus regarded God’s word and praying as absolutely vital and of primary importance should not we?
In the daily notes which our elder and friend Sam Macdonald helped to compose we read in the notes of January 27th, ‘Remember that all that we have and all that we own is from our God and we must not be unwilling to help Him when he calls for aid of any kind, and the surest way is to pray without ceasing’
Let us therefore examine the scriptures to see what they teach us about prayer and endeavour to pray accordingly.
Iain A Macdonald.
Praise items by Ann MacDonald.

Monday 1st March
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. There are different kinds of prayers – praise, confession, adoration, cries for help, mercy and forgiveness. We need not confess to a minister. There is one mediator between man and God, Jesus Christ, but the Bible says confess our sins to each other. All have sinned and fallen short. We can pray a prayer of confession to God alone and often our private shortcomings are the business of only God but here we are encouraged to confess our shortcomings and pray for one another. We are grateful when we can unburden ourselves to a trusted confidant who will not judge us but pray for us. Are we non-judgmental and open to people who confide in us and can we also share our weaknesses and shortcomings with another?

Prayer Points
Lord, help us to support one another and be supported by them in prayer in this new week at home, school, work and society and to admit mistakes and be forgiving. Please help school teachers, parents and pupils.
As we enter a new month with Covd-19 facts still hogging the media headlines we pray that reporters, governments, leaders, and scientists would turn to You, the only source of truth. Father God, our hearts are filled with chaos and confusion. Some of us feel as if we are drowning in our circumstances and our hearts are filled with fear and confusion. We really need the strength and peace that only You can give. Right now, we choose to rest in You.

Tuesday 2nd March
Psalm 66: 18, 19
18: If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened 19: But God has surely listened and heard my prayer. To cherish is to love, protect, and care for someone or something that is important to you. Have we a pet sin that we cherish? Do we love money or possessions more than God? God says we cannot serve God and money. Obviously if we say we have no sin the truth is not in us. That is distinctly different from loving and protecting things that pollute or defile our relationship with God. Sometimes we can fall out of a good relationship with someone by a deliberate attitude which shows we care more about another thing or person than that relationship but here we read that after examination the conclusion is “surely God listened and heard my prayer”.

Prayer Points
Let us first seek God’s Kingdom, forsaking all cherishing of wrong things and relationships and so be able to, likewise, say” God has surely listened and heard my prayer”.
Help the Girls’ Brigade to seek, serve and follow You, Lord Jesus.
https://www.facebook.com/InverurieWestChurch/videos/1760134007522262/?t=14 https://fb.watch/3x20m_CHU3/
Love divine all loves excelling. This beautiful hymn (to a new tune in this recording) was written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). He came from a musical family and left us a lasting legacy of powerful praise. Charles was the youngest of 18 children and perhaps immersed himself in his music to obtain peace. The words of the final verse would suit well for our prayer today.’ Finish then Your new creation, pure and spotless may we be, let us see Your great salvation perfect in eternity. Changed from glory into glory till in heaven we take our place, there to cast our crowns before You, lost in wonder, love, and praise.’

Wednesday 3rd March
1 Colossians 4: 3-4
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should. Paul was in prison. He had been in prison frequently, flogged, exposed to death again and again, beaten, pelted with stones, shipwrecked three times, in danger in the country, in the city, and at sea, gone hungry, thirsty and without food and been cold and naked in his time. What fortitude, courage and determination to persist Paul showed. All these things were a consequence or in the course of his efforts to share the gospel and here he is asking for prayer for God to open up another door to proclaim the mystery of Christ and that he might proclaim it clearly. Vastly experienced as he was Paul acknowledged his need of prayer and his belief in it. Should we also do so? And should we pray regularly for ministers and missionaries and each other?

Prayer Points
We pray for ministers and missionaries who we know and our family and friends. We thank you for the freedom we have to share the gospel, remembering those without this freedom and pray for MAF, Feba Radio, Open Doors and Barnabas who help those who are persecuted and those who cannot easily hear the gospel. Forgive our apathy and lack of prayer and help us to pray more and help them, Lord.
Today Lord we give thanks that we have risen from sleep in a comfortable bed and pray for the millions in this world who have spent the night hours on our streets, under bridges, sleeping on a friend’s floor or in cramped bedsits. Lord enlighten our minds to the truth and inflame our hearts with love, inspire our wills with courage and enrich our hearts with service, pardon all we have been, sanctify what we now are, order what we shall be and Thine be the glory and ours the eternal salvations through Christ our Redeemer.

Thursday 4th March
2 Corinthians 1v 8 – 11
On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers. v10,11 Sometimes God enables us to be like the widow and persist and prevail in prayer and he also burdens us to pray for those in great need and danger through agencies supporting the persecuted church such as Open Doors, Barnabas and Feba Radio in the same way Paul and Timothy were supported by the prayers of the church. We read in verse 8 “we are under great pressure far beyond our ability to endure so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed we felt we had received the sentence of death, but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God. He has delivered us from such deadly peril and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” May we too, as God enables us, help by our prayers and know that God will deliver and grant us gracious favour in answer to the prayers of many.

Prayer Points
We thank you, Lord, for the example of people in persecuted lands who have shown great faith in face of great danger. Help us to prevail and persist in prayer for them and to gather together to pray that they will be delivered from danger and persecution and upheld.We pray for the persecuted in Somalia and Nigeria.

All Praise to Him • Prayers of the Saints Live. (Sovereign Grace) We stand amazed today knowing that the God who created all things wants to hear us, is willing to listen to even the simplest words that we pray and has promised to answer us with a reply that perfectly suits what we need, even if it is not what we want. Help us to speak to You Lord in every circumstance of life. V3 ‘All praise to Him whose power imparts the love of God within our hearts the Spirit of all truth and peace, the fount of joy and holiness to Father, Son, and Spirit now our souls we lift, our wills we bow to You, the triune God, we raise with loving hearts our song of praise.’

Friday 5th March
1 Samuel: 1v 15,16.
“Not so my Lord”, Hannah replied “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman. I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief”. Sometimes we are deeply troubled and pour out our souls to the Lord, like Hannah, who could not have a child. She wept bitterly in the house of the Lord and Eli mistook her anguish for drunkenness. She explained that she was praying out of her great anguish and grief. Eli answered “go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him”. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Prayer can be the anguished cry of our grief-stricken hearts, between us and God. May God answer our anguished cries and comfort, strengthen and give us His peace.

Prayer Points
We come in anguish, Lord, or on behalf of those who are. We pray for those who are sad, dejected and lonely. We pray for the unemployed and those who are struggling in life. We thank you Lord that you hear our very cries and answer according to your perfect will. Help us to help those who struggles are so large they cannot relate to life itself and for those who mourn and are deeply affected by loss.We pray for those who can’t have children. Be with us, Lord. Hear our cries.
We give thanks to the Lord for healing, both physical and mental but we know that many who are broken hearted at their loss, their change in health, having lost employment and struggling with debt. Lord, many hearts are broken but You are near, spirits are crushed, but You are our rescuer. Your Word is our only hope. It revives us and comforts us, especially in these hard times. Our souls faint, but You are the breath of life within us. You are our help, the One who sustains us. We are weak but You are strong. You bless those who mourn, and we trust You to bless us and our families with all that is needed. You will rescue us from this dark cloud of despair because You delight in us.

Saturday 6th March
Philippians 4 : 4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. We cannot rejoice about a pandemic of itself. We are told to rejoice in the Lord though – always. Everyone is to see our gentleness. The Lord is near. Even in the midst of a pandemic he is close to the brokenhearted and all who call on him. He who commanded healing, calmed a storm, raised Lazarus from the dead, and will raise all in Christ says “do not be anxious”. There is no exception – but in every situation, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. With God all things are possible. Much prayer has been ‘asking’ God. We do well to remember ‘thanksgiving’ in all circumstances and to have a thankful heart even in the most trying of circumstances. And despite our circumstances and beyond our understanding God has promised He will indeed guard our minds and hearts in Christ Jesus and do abundantly more than we can think or ask.

Prayer Points
Help us Lord not to worry. We remember those who struggle with school, illness, mental troubles, business troubles, those who mourn and those with anxiety. Help us to take our worries and the worries of others to you and to trust in you, Lord, and to help people with worries. Thank you for this promise of peace that transcends understanding. Help us to know it. Help us also to rejoice more and to let our gentleness be evident to all. Thank you God that you are near.

I will offer up my life. Today we remember and give thanks for so many who profess Your Name is perilous circumstances. We pray for God’s protection as they find ways to share the Good News. We pray for new Christian converts who will be ousted and shunned by their families. We have been blessed to worship in freedom for many years in church and also using technology like Zoom and YouTube and we must never take our circumstances for granted. ‘Jesus, what can I give, what can I bring to so faithful a Friend, to so loving a King? Saviour, what can be said, what can be sung As a praise of Your Name for the things You have done? Oh, my words could not tell, not even in part of the debt of love that is owed by this thankful heart.’

Sunday 7th March
Psalm 40 v1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire and set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Have we waited patiently for the Lord and known Him to answer our cries? He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can know that he is our constant friend and will answer according to His perfect will, in His time.

Prayer Points
Lord, help us to wait prayerfully. We pray for all who need special strength. For local and national government decision-makers, for teachers and pupils, for families stressed at home. For our nominating committee and the advisory group on re-opening our church. Grant us faith and patience, Lord. We worship you today, thanking you for faithful pulpit supply, the elders and all who bring us your word. We pray for them.
Lord we give thanks for the many years of faithful ministry we have appreciated in the East Church and pray that the revivals of past years would return so that hearts would burn to hear of God’s love and His plan for mankind. Today we pray for those serving in difficult times on our Nominating Committee, for the tough decisions facing the Kirk Session regarding where the East Church will be in the next few years. Help us all Lord to pray diligently over these matters always holding true to the familiar words when we pray, Your will be done on earth as it is heaven.

Monday 8th March
Exodus 17: 8 – 16
When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite Army with the sword. (v12,13) Moses was obedient to God and in touch with God and mightily used by God. He prayed and God heard and answered. The prayer of a righteous man avails much and when Moses prayed Joshua and the army prevailed and whenever he lowered his hands the Amalekites were winning. When Moses grew tired Aaron and Hur put a stone under him and held up his hands so his hands remained steady. Leaders in the faith can inspire us or make us feel inadequate and with little faith. But undoubtedly Moses was human and Aaron and Hur saw his need and helped and Joshua and the army gained victory. we must not allow ministers or leaders to go unhelped and expect them to go it alone. Nor should we expect a minister alone to be the answer to all our problems.

Prayer Points
We pray for ministers and leaders in the church- the moderator of the Church of Scotland, interim moderators during vacancies in the city churches and for Rev. Douglas Horne, Donald McVicar, our session clerk. Help the elders to continue to be faithful in prayer and support. We pray for ministers who are under stress. Comfort and uphold them, Lord.

Our Father which art in Heaven (Andrea Bocelli) This is a favourite recording of the Lord’s prayer, I love the depth of feeling and the tempo of the music. Andrea was born on 22nd September 1958 and is now a renowned Italian opera tenor and multi-instrumentalist. He was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma at 5 months old, and became completely blind at age 12, following a football accident. We give thanks for the faculties we have, sight and hearing and for those like Andrea who have been able to overcome disability to use the talent You have given them. We pray for those who struggle with any disability and for the many organisations who strive to alleviate stigma and allow people of all abilities to flourish.

Tuesday 9th March
Luke 18: 1-8
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
This parable tells of a persistent widow and an unjust judge who didn’t fear God or care what people thought but because the widow kept bothering him he said “ I will see that she gets justice” Jesus asks “ and will God not bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night”. Will He keep putting them off ?
George Muller received very specific answers to prayer for decades. God sent him exactly what was required yet for more than 30 years he also prayed for the conversion of a friend and his friend’s son. When Muller died these men were still unconverted. God answered those prayers, however in his own time His friend was converted while attending Muller’s funeral and the son a week later. Do we cry to God day and night? Shall God not answer us?

Prayer Points
Thank you Lord for the Wednesday prayer meeting tomorrow and for the Bible and daily encouragements that fuel our prayers. We thank you for the” Easties” prayer group and the men’s prayer group and for the vast amount of material on the internet and through these notes,” Daily Bread”, S.U., U.C.B. and others. Bless united prayer meetings, prayer chains and prayer triplets. We remember the housebound and isolated who we can pray with by phone. Thank you Lord, that you hear the cries of widows, the lonely and the lost. We pray for widows and widowers. Lord be with them.
How easy it is to feel like we should just give up! We have little to complain about in comparison with many peoples of this planet. We must stand tall even when we feel like our strength is gone and put our shoulders to the wheel of doing God’s will. Dear Lord, we thank You for grace. Please help us move beyond the hurdles that trip us up and give us the strength and wisdom to look up and see the hope that we have in You and the promise of a welcome that says, ‘Well done good and faithful servant, enter now into your rest.’

Wednesday 10th March
Colossians 4: 2
Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful.
The word devote suggests commitment and dedication of time and energy. Paul was supremely devoted to the cause of Christ, writing to the church in Colossi from prison. We in the Church of Scotland as members vowed to give a fitting proportion of time to the work of the church. Oswald Chambers said “prayer does not fit us for the greater work: prayer is the greater work.” Prayer is the greater work of the church and we are to devote ourselves to it. We are to be prayerful, vigilant and thankful. Through prayer we may know overcoming strength and the presence of our Saviour drawing close to us as we draw close to Him and a thankfulness to Him who overcame the world with all its trials, sorrows, temptations and sinfulness. Chambers also said “It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer”. Should we devote a definite time to prayer? Yes.

Prayer Points
Help us to pray more in private, together and often Lord and to be watchful and to be thankful. Thank you for the Zoom prayer meeting tonight. We pray for the Pastoral Care team and Sheila in the church office and join them in praying for and supporting the congregation. Help us all to pray for one another and for your world, Lord.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_qR4zQpBE8 Great is the Gospel our glorious God. This hymn is by Vernon Higham Vernon Higham who was born in Caernarfon, North Wales, but moved to Bolton in Lancashire, England, during the depression of the 1930’s. Following employment and training as a teacher in his early twenties, he attended theological college in Aberystwyth and came to know Christ’s saving power whilst there in 1953. We give thanks that God has put His words into so many talented writers over the years and pray that we would take time to sing and say these praises will all our hearts. ‘O let the praises of my heart be Thine, for Christ has died that I may call Him mine, that I may sing with those who dwell above, adoring, praising Jesus, King of love.’

Thursday 11th March
2 Chronicles 20: 1-22
“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you”
Judah was to be attacked by a vast army of Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites. King Jehoshaphat prayed with the people from every town of Judah to seek help from the Lord feeling powerless but with eyes on the Lord. Jahaziel a Levite said “do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours but God’s”. They were to take up positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord would give. Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground and the people fell down in worship. A choir led the army out in the morning, Jehoshaphat having encouraged, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld, have faith in His prophets and you will be successful.” So it was. Let us look to the Lord also so we in turn can be upheld and successful.

Prayer Points
We pray for the national Church, local presbytery in Inverness and for those who lead and administer and for your people. Strengthen us, Lord, and help us against the vast army that opposes your Kingdom in society, within and outwith the church. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. We pray for the army families in our parish and all in the armed and emergency services. Uphold them, Lord.
Lord today we confess that sometimes we open our mouths and later wish we had kept them shut. We pray for those who have been cut to the core by someone’s opinion or spite. Father, today we ask forgiveness for all the negative and harmful words we have spoken in error. Help us to keep a reign on our tongues. Transform our thoughts and let us understand how marvellously and differently You have made us all. Change our habits so we use our tongue to speak of hope and favour every day of our lives.

Friday 12th March
Luke 18: 9 – 14
“God have mercy on me a sinner”
Prayer can bring us joy, we can be thankful as we count our blessings, we can come in tears and mourning and also to have our fears calmed. Often we are disappointed in ourselves and our failures and various kinds of wrongdoing, and although we must never dwell overmuch on our wrong doings, nor trivialize or gloss over them or have a morbid introspection that looks in on ourselves, we inevitably can have a day when this prayer is especially one we can own. We are comforted to know that God’s mercy is new every morning and endures forever and that, whatever our wrong, He has said “ if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1John1v9.

Prayer Points
May we turn from our sin, and looking to you Lord Jesus, get strength and a new beginning.
Help us to reach out to our family and friends, neighbours and colleagues and to our parish with this good news of sins forgiven.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CltrLsjsQl0 On a hill far away (The old, rugged cross). George Bennard a Methodist evangelist wrote the first verse of The Old rugged cross in Albion, Michigan, in autumn of 1912 as a response to ridicule that he had received at a revival meeting. Amazingly he was able to turn the harsh words aimed at him into this popular song of praise. Help us Lord to bring our hurts to You knowing that no matter what we suffer, You have been there and done that! ‘So I’ll cherish the old, rugged Cross till my trophies, at last, I lay down, I will cling to the old, rugged Cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.’ What a promise!

Saturday 13th March
Colossians 4 v2-6
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; making the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Prayer Points
Help us, Lord, to be joyful in hope, and to keep up our spiritual fervour. Forgive us when we flag. Restore us, O Lord. Help us to be patient in affliction especially those of us who are in hospital, homes or in our own homes, suffering with illness, loss and other troubles. Strengthen us we pray, oh Lord. Help us to be faithful in prayer for the young – the Girls’ Brigade, the Sunday School, the Youth Fellowship, and all youth work in Scotland and throughout the world. Help us all to “read the Bible, pray every day and grow, grow, grow.”
We give thanks for all our children, whether they are still round our ankles or have flown the nest long ago. We pray that the Gospel stories told to them in their youth would sustain them through their lives. We remember those whose hearts yearn for children they never had or who were taken home before they were able to be loved by longing parents. Preserve precious memories and heal hurting hearts. Father, we release our children into Your care and protection and relinquish our will for their lives in favour of Your will. We cannot be everywhere with our children, but we know that You are so please protect them always and bring them to a real live knowledge of You.

Sunday 14th March
Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said,” My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour….
“Like Paul and Timothy, but with very different trials, we, when hard pressed, may have known a gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many. But the gracious favour granted to Mary was decreed directly by God and her prayer of praise to God is one of overflowing thankfulness for a gracious Saviour and is like no other. A thankfulness for God’s amazing grace and favour. She was appointed to give birth to Jesus. As she says,” all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty One has done great things for me”(v48,49) and” He has scattered those proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.“(v51-53) May we also be able to say “my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour and know we too are uniquely blessed by God who sent us a Saviour, through Mary, and offer our prayers of praise for our unique blessings.

Prayer Points
We rejoice that we are blessed with homes, food and live in a beautiful land.We thank you for Raigmore Hospital and for the maternity department and for life itself. We thank you for our mothers and prayer for all mothers. We thank you, Lord Jesus, that you give your life for us. Help us to be humble and generous in the light of our blessings and to share our plenty with others and our lives in your service. Help us to know that this is the day the Lord has made and to rejoice and be glad in it. Bless your Word to us today. Thank you for all who bring us worship services today.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHT46RUCQlM Lead us heavenly Father lead us. Was penned by James Edmeston, who was born in September 1791. He worked as an architect and surveyor and was an active church member who served as churchwarden, in the Church of St. Barnabas, Homerton. He is responsible for writing over 2000 items of praise. The words of the first verse serve well as today’s prayer. ‘Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us over the world’s tempestuous sea; guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us, for we have no help but Thee; yet possessing every blessing, if our God our Father be.’

Monday 15th March
Matthew 15:1 – 9
These people, says God, honour me with their words but their heart is really far away from me.
Prayer is a two-way process, sometimes without words and sometimes a communion of minds. We can know ourselves to be known by God. It’s very easy to say prayers by rote and not be really speaking to God. Only Jesus ever spoke, prayed and acted in perfect harmony with God. Jesus is quoting Isaiah here and refers to people who kept money from providing for their parents, declaring their savings or property were a gift to God and could not be used for their parents, while all the time still having the property or money at their own disposal. Jesus condemned such hypocrisy .They could say prayers but Jesus said their hearts were far from God.

Prayer Points
Help us Lord to be doers of your word and not hearers only. Help us to help our own families as well as serving others and the church.
We pray for Cameron House, Whinnieknowe and all old folks’ homes in the city. Bless carers, relatives and residents alike. Pray for all the work and staff at Crossreach.
We give praise today for peace, for the peace and beauty of our land as we walk through the beginnings of new life in the trees and fields around us. We give thanks for help enduring lockdown, frost, and snow. We pray for Gaza, for Yemen, and many other lands where conflict has been going on for years and where people risk their lives trying to escape to safe lands far from family and friends. Lord Jesus we, I have to thank You for looking beyond our faults and for loving us unconditionally. Forgive us when we judge and fail to love others in the same way. Give us eyes to see the needs and difficulties of refugees, and show us how to meet their needs in a way that pleases You.

Tuesday 16th March
Matthew 6:6 -12
But when you pray go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you .
A friend recently reminded me of this very simple piece of advice Jesus gave…. to get a quiet secret place where you can pray and pray. Sometimes the simplest advice is the best. In a busy world of the Internet, phones, speed and multiple tasking, carving out that time and a place with God requires effort but when all is said and done… Jesus said ……and if He asked, He would also help us to do it….. and we don’t need long speeches or complicated words in our quiet place.

Prayer Points
We pray for busy parents, those stressed and challenged financially and otherwise and those in extreme circumstances due to Covid19. Help them to overcome and find time to pray for strength and comfort in quiet. Help us Lord to develop a time and place for regular prayer. Thank you for comfort from prayer, Lord.

By Faith we see the Hand of God. (Gettys) How do we know God exists and that the Bible is His true Word? By Faith. I found this acronym in my father’s Bible after he passes away last October F.A.I.T.H. Forgetting All I Trust Him. Faith is all we have, but what more could we ask for? We pray for those whose faith is being tested, that they would remain strong. Please take time to read the song words and help them encourage us to keep on going on. ‘By faith we see the hand of God in the light of creation’s grand design. In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness who walk by faith and not by sight. By faith, our fathers roamed the earth, with the power of His promise in their hearts, of a holy city built by God’s own hand a place where peace and justice reign. We will stand as children of the promise we will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward till the race is finished and the work is done we’ll walk by faith and not by sight.’

Wednesday 17th March
John 4: 12 – 14
“Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
In the words of Horatius Bonar “I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold I freely give The living water: thirsty one, stoop down and drink, and live” I came to Jesus, and I drank of that life-giving stream; my thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him. The woman at the well had a life-changing encounter with Jesus .She had a deep longing that Jesus recognised and a need that He met. Was her prayer a longing deep in her soul? Are we like that? Do we know his life-giving spring reviving our soul?

Prayer Points
Lord, help us to recognise the needy and the searching in our society during Covid 19, and help them.We pray for the Ness Bank church as it seeks to help the needy with food, for Madras Street, New Start, Blythswood, Cale House and Beechwood.
How many times have we been lost, failed by our sat nav, unable to read the map or chart, unable to find the number of an address in the dark, or standing at a crossroads not sure which way to take. Life is often like this too, faced with a problem we don’t know which way to go, but we have a Saviour on hand to guide us through is all. Lord, help us not to lean on my own understanding but in everything acknowledge You so that You can direct our words, thoughts, and paths.

Thursday 18th March
Luke 23: 33, 34
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The profound significance and implications of the prayer of Jesus are beyond words to tell. Here is grace. A prayer for forgiveness from one who needed none himself. Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. ‘It was our sins that held him there’ we sing. Was this only a prayer for the authorities or the Centurions or those who hurled insults or those who stood by and did nothing like Herod and Pilate. Who is this prayer for?

Prayer Points
Lord, we ask for forgiveness for what we know we have done wrong and what we don’t realise we have done wrong. Where we have done wrong help us to put it right or seek forgiveness, at home and in society. Help us to be forgiving. Help Prison Chaplains, the justice system and lawyers who fight for the wronged. We pray for family mediation services. We pray for Amnesty International. Lord, help all efforts to reach out with the wonderful message of your grace and forgiveness. We pray for Old MacDonald’s Farm, EMMS, and for Missionary Aviation Fellowship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAYRJoH40oE Kyrie Eleison have mercy. These words form the basis of many ancient prayers. Kyrie Eleison asks for God’s mercy which we find over and over in the Psalms. Today Lord we need Your mercy in our lives, in the lives of those who rule over us, in governments and in the church, We ask for Your forgiveness for the way in which your Word and Your person have been rejected in these days, and pray that You would come soon. We pray using the lyrics. ‘As we come before You with the needs of our world, we confess our failures and our sin, for our words are many yet our deeds have been few; fan the fire of compassion once again.’

Friday 19th March
Ephesians 6: 18
And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Prayer is spoken of as essential as a soldier’s battle armour. We need the armour if we are to stand our ground. May we put on this whole armour spoken of here, having put on the helmet of salvation and armed with the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. May we be ‘alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people’. And may we pray ‘in the Spirit’ as God enables, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Prayer Points
We pray for our East Church, for other City churches, for unity, co-operation and outreach. We pray for Paul Haringman, Dot Getliffe and united church efforts. Lord, guide all decisions on the future of our church building. We pray for wisdom for our Fabric and Finance Committees, Elders and Deacons’ Court conducting business by Zoom.
We give thanks that really, we do not have much to worry about, and yet it is easy for your minds to be overcome with troubles. We fret about health, our families, the state of the world, pandemics, and fail to pray and leave our concerns at the foot of your cross. Father, we are tempted to worry about so many things. Our world is a mess! Forgive us for focusing on anything or anyone but You. Thank You for the Your Word that equips and empowers us to live each day. Right now, we declare that You are our only Hope. Please help us remember that You really are in control.

Saturday 20th March
Matthew 6: 9 – 10
This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.
These words are amongst the most familiar verses in the Bible. We could do worse than saying these verses and thinking of them daily, meaningfully. Do we wish God’s Kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven? We also read words of Jesus in Gethsemane when he also prayed for his Father’s will to be done. God’s will was costly to the utmost for Jesus as he went to die for us. May He give us strength to follow Him and help God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Prayer Points
Lord, we pray that you would help the nominating committee and those considering the church opening to do your will. Help the Christian Institute working for your will to be done in courts, nation and church when we have not done your will. Thank you Lord for every good thing; NHS, vaccines, acts of sacrifice, service and kindness during Covid and always.

From the squalor of a borrowed stable. This amazing praise by Stuart Townend helps us to focus on the facts of Christ coming from the splendour of heaven to be born of a woman in the place in Bethlehem where the cattle were housed. Our simple minds cannot take it in. Our prayer today must be of thanks, that He was obedient to God’s plan to allow us to overcome the fall and have a way back into His presence. ‘King of heaven now the Friend of sinners, humble servant in the Father’s hands, Filled with power and the Holy Spirit, filled with mercy for the broken man. Yes, He walked my road, and He felt my pain, joys and sorrows that I know so well; yet His righteous steps give me hope again – I will follow my Immanuel.’

Sunday 21st March
Matthew 6 : 11
‘Give us today our daily bread’.
God is concerned about our bodies and our souls. As we seek first His Kingdom he adds all the things we need. God may grant us the resources and the stewarding skills to manage our plenty and to have some for others. We do well to be conscious of who our daily bread comes from, to give thanks for it and to share our plenty when we have it. Sometimes the more we have the less appreciative and more wasteful we become. This short prayer connects us with the Creator and Sustainer of life.

Prayer Points
Thank you Lord, for food every day. Thank you for the supermarket delivery drivers and workers in the shops who serve in lockdown. Thank you for farmers and fishermen, factories and food producers. Help us to be ever thankful for our food and generous to those who have none. Bless agencies of relief- Christian Aid and Blythswood Care International and all food banks. May we in our plenty support them.
Did you wake today with hope or hopelessness as your first thought? When life is going well it all seems so simple but that is not the case when you open your eyes to worry. God promised in His word to never leave us alone in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. Today let us remember those who are in prison, that they would be touched by a Saviour who is the only One who can change lives around. Lord, thank You for Your greatness. Thank You that when we are weak, You are strong. Lord, the Devil is scheming, and we know he desires to keep us from spending time with You. Give us a measure of your strength so that we might not give into discouragement, deception, and doubt. Help us to honour You in all our ways.

Monday 22nd March
Psalm 139: 1-18
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Many of us have favourite Psalms which we can own as our own prayers and say Amen to. We may read them, sing them or listen to them and be encouraged. The Lord indeed, as this psalm states, knows us better than we know ourselves and there is nowhere we can go where He will not know us. May God grant us, in the psalms, words which we can own for times of joy and sorrow and every circumstance of our lives.

Prayer Points
Thank you Lord, that when we have no words of our own, you give us words of prayer from your own Word which we can own. Speak words of prayer and comfort through your Word to those of us who mourn, are dejected, downcast or depressed. Bless Gideons International and the Bible Society. Thank you for music which helps us to pray. Thank you for our organists and music group and the gift of music.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QGNUDsQ6fI Your only Son no sin to hide. (Lamb of God). As we concentrate on Christ’s sacrifice which we focus on more at Easter we stand amazed at the old old story of Jesus and His love. Could we even imagine what God must have felt as His precious Son was beaten almost to death and then hung on a Roman cross of torture. ‘Your only Son no sin to hide but You have sent Him from Your side to walk upon this guilty sod and to become the Lamb of God. Your gift of love they crucified they laughed and scorned Him as he died the humble King, they named a fraud and sacrificed the Lamb of God.’ Lord we are so grateful for this mysterious sacrifice which gives us the promise of our future in an eternal home because of Jesus’s obedience and God’s plan.

Tuesday 23rd March
Romans 8: 26, 27
In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
We may find that God’s word says or prays what is in our heart better than we can ever say it. Sometimes we cannot articulate prayer. In the same way that an advocate can represent us in court and speak on our behalf, God’s Holy Spirit also speaks for us when we cannot speak for ourselves.’ But His Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonising longings which never find words’. v 26 (Philips Touchstone)

Prayer Points
Thank you Lord that you represent us when we cannot represent ourselves. Help us to represent the weak, the marginalized and those without power. Help us to help those who suffer injustice, cruelty and persecution. We pray for the Police serving our nation that they will always be a force for justice, kindness and order. Protect them Lord.
We give thinks today for those who have come through procedures and operations over that last few month and ask that You would be with those who are waiting for hospital dates and may be anxious about health matters. Father, we are so sorry for the way we complain about our circumstances. We want to see Your hand in every part of everyday, good days and bad days. Help us learn how to face every storm with confidence, knowing that You really are in control even though we cannot hear Your voice or see Your hand at work.

Wednesday 24th March
Matthew 11: 28- 30
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. If prayer can be coming to God for help and to get rest and to be unburdened of the heavy weight of our cares and sorrows, these words of Jesus are not just an invitation to say words and prayers but to have a transaction and have His help to carry a load, sometimes a seemingly impossible load of sorrow, care and worry. Jesus was called ‘a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ .The one who carried the weight of our sins on the cross is able and willing to bear our burdens and invites us to come with them.

Prayer Points
Thank you Lord for carrying the weight of our sin at Calvary. We pray for those among us who carry the burden of grief and sorrow, for those with long-term illness, for those who struggle in homes and for their families, for those with anxiety, for the terminally ill, for those stressed by Covid and for those carrying heavy private burdens. We bring before you patients and staff at Raigmore Hospital, New Craigs, the Hospice and the all N.H.S. staff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6EDHZWCnGE Lift High the Name of Jesus of Jesus our King. We give praise that we have the freedom to praise the Name of Jesus and bring before God today those who either do not have that freedom, or who no longer want to praise their Maker. ‘Lift high the Name of Jesus, of Jesus our King. Make known the power of His grace, the beauty of His peace. Remember how His mercy reached and we cried out to Him. He lifted us to solid ground, to freedom from our sin. Oh sing my soul, and tell all He’s done, till the earth and heavens are filled with His glory!’

Thursday 25th March
John 17: 8, 9, 20, 21
8. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 20. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21. that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. It is wonderful that Christ prayed for those who believed that He was sent from the Father and also for those who would believe in Him through their message. Is that us? May we be encouraged like the woman at the well with the living water springing up in us and also know that you intercede for us, Lord Jesus.

Prayer Points
We thank you, Lord, that you prayed for us and intercede now at God’s right hand. Help us to pass on the message so that others believe. We pray for our Sunday school, youth and Girls Brigade and the young in ours and all churches, for CYC and Scripture Union.
We give thanks today for all the material provision we possess which makes lives so straight forward. Dear Father, Thank You for Your unfailing love towards us, Your blessings, and goodness. Thank You for Your faithfulness to guide us and see us through times of uncertainty, for lifting us up, and setting us on high. Thank You for Scripture that comforts and reminds us of Your promises, plan, and provision. Thank you for taking away our fears and worries, the ‘what-ifs,’ and reminding us that our help comes from You.

Friday 26th March
Luke 22: 31 – 32
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.We cannot follow Jesus in our own strength but He promises never to leave us or forsake us even in the saddest or most difficult, near impossible, times. Simon Peter thought he could go with Jesus to prison and death. Jesus knew he would deny Him, telling him that he had prayed for him that his faith wouldn’t fail and, when he turned back, to strengthen his brothers. This prayer is precious to many who have failed and are now used by God to strengthen their brothers and sisters.

Prayer Points
Lord, without you our faith fails. Help us to know that you have prayed for us too that our faith doesn’t fail. Strengthen us in our weakness. Help the low in spirit and downcast. Help the staff in New Craigs and outreach workers to help discouraged people.
Help the Queen, and the governments and give them new strength when they are discouraged and weary in these difficult days and may they turn to you Lord for your strength and guidance in the days and weeks to come.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqybaIesbuA You’re a good, good Father. This Chris Tomlin piece allows us to sing our praises to a good Father. Many people have a good earthly father, or happy memories of a caring dad, however, that is not the case for all, and many have suffered greatly at the hands of their father. So, we can all rejoice in a great heavenly Father who is always there for us, is never too tired to listen to us, and who is always able to give us wise council. ‘Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think You’re like, but I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night and You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone, You’re a good, good Father.’

Saturday 27th March
Psalm 51: 1, 2
Have Mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love: according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin. Often we are not ready to seek forgiveness from God straight away. In time David here came to accept the awfulness of what he had done in arranging for his faithful soldier Uriah to die so he could have his wife Bathsheba who he committed adultery with. Our prayers must be true and David was eventually truly contrite and he received mercy. Our forgiveness depends on God’s grace and Christ’s death for us. It is free to us but cost Christ His life. He was made sin for us.

Prayer Points
Thank you, Lord, that your forgiveness is full and free. Help us to be contrite and repentant.. Thank you, that you forgive us for things we are ashamed of. We pray for social workers, prison staff and chaplains at Porterfield and throughout our justice system in Scotland and ask Lord, that you give them your grace.
We give our thanks to God today for all who teach in schools, universities and Sunday school and Bible classes. There has been so much anxiety over this last long time about the safety of having children in school and students attending lectures and we give thanks that You have enabled education to continue through online methods. We pray for children who are struggling as they do not have easy access to the required technology and for those who miss seeing friends at school and at clubs and other after school activities. We especially pray for leaders in Girls’ and Boys’ brigade.

Sunday 28th March
Jeremiah 29: 11 – 13
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. Despite their rebellion and captivity in Babylon God promised that as they prayed to him with all their heart He would listen to the captive Israelites. God had good plans for them. In time they would return to Jerusalem. Meanwhile they were to do as God wished in Babylon which involved seeking the prosperity of Babylon. He said,” Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city where I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”v7

Prayer Points
We pray for the prosperity of Inverness, for the Longman Industrial Estate, the bus and railway stations, the Eastgate centre, the businesses nearby the church, the Taxis, the Victoria Market and the City Administration, Planning Services, Councillors, Businesses Leaders. Help us be truly a ‘church in the heart of the city with the city in our hearts’.

My worth is in what I own (Gettys). We are so blessed in the wealth of praise items at our fingertips and even if singing is not our strongest talent, simply reading the words aloud is often, for me, more powerful than any prayer weak lips can utter. The world would like us to focus on its standards of wealth and achievement, but God does not use these values. ‘My worth is not in what I own not in the strength of flesh and bone but in the costly wounds of love at the cross. My worth is not in skill or name in win or lose, in pride or shame but in the blood of Christ that flowed at the cross. I rejoice in my Redeemer, greatest treasure wellspring of my soul, and I will trust in Him, no other my soul is satisfied in Him alone.’

Monday 29th March
Jeremiah 24: 7
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
God is not bound by time or pandemic. The future is known to Him. We must not listen to false prophets as in Jeremiah’s day or have false hopes for the future. God knows when we stray and when we will return to Him. He who has begun a work in us will finish it .We need to come to Him with all our hearts too.

Prayer Points
Lord, like the children of Israel we have strayed. Help us return with all our hearts. We thank you for your mercy. Bless the children, learning in challenging times and bless the teachers, the students and those beginning work and those looking for work. We pray that Christians in the workplace will be honouring and faithful and a good witness to you, Lord.
Do we dwell on the failures in our lives, failed relationships, failing to obtain good qualifications, failing to give good advice to a friend or perhaps not having our priorities right? God wants us to let go of the past and plough on with Him. Lord, help us let go of our fear of failure. We know Satan wants to use our fears to hold us back from living boldly for You. Forgive us for not living in faith and help us from this moment on to live with bold confidence in You. Lord, help us not compare ourselves to others around us but pray instead that we can keep our eye on You and live a life that proclaims Your brilliance.

Tuesday 30th March
Ephesians 5:18-20
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus.
We have tolerated and encouraged bad behaviour in our own lives and in society. Like these Ephesians we’re encouraged to turn away from drunkenness and be filled with the Spirit, to sing to the Lord, encourage one another in songs and to be thankful to the Lord.

Prayer Points
We come to praise you, thanking you for psalms and songs that help us to say what is in our hearts whether in times of joy and laughter, perplexity, confession or mourning. You have made us for yourself. Bless those you inspire to make new songs. Thank you for our praise band, Acclaim, the Male Voice Choir and all worship. Thank you for music and prayers on the Easties and for collaborative praise on the internet in lockdown. Lord may many more be drawn to you through these praises. Help us to praise you in our songs and prayers and with our lives.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5d_gm9zrnY Water you turned into wine (Our God). Chris Tomlin. Today we give thanks for a Saviour who came to earth for us, died for our sins, and is coming back to judge the earth and take His loved ones to be with Him FOREVER. Can we even imagine? We pray that each one of us will take every opportunity to share this message with all we come into contact with. ‘Water You turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind, there’s no one like You. Into the darkness You shine out of the ashes we rise there’s No one like You. Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God You are higher than any other, our God is Healer, awesome in power, that’s our God.’

Wednesday 31st March
Psalm 100:1-5
Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is good. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations .
God is good and worthy of all our praise. He is good in and of Himself and has bestowed on us many blessings, the greatest of all His Son Jesus. Let us praise His Holy name and come with thanksgiving.

Prayer Points
We come Lord with thankful hearts for the measure of comfort, health and goodness you have blessed us with, for our church, our family, our friends, our land, our city, your world. We thank you for medicines and healthcare, vaccines and inventions, for industry, commerce and recreation, for our government and for agencies of civil order compassion, relief and justice. In our plenty help us to be thankful to you . Above all we thank you Lord Jesus for dying for us and ask you would help us to share your love in action and word with the many who don’t yet know you.
We pause at the end of this month and give thanks, each of us can add our own subject matter here. Possibly we are thanks for news that Covid-19 is becoming less of a news topic, we can be thankful for those who have survived the virus and for the knowledge given to those who developed vaccines. We are thankful for families and friends and longed for hugs and kisses from those we love. For new lives blessed to us in recent times and for faith and resilience which is sustaining us day by day. God, sometimes life gets us down and we find it hard to see things to be thankful for. Open our eyes to see the gifts you’ve given us in my life. Most of all thank You for loving us enough to come to earth and die so we can live together forever. Amen.