Disciples of Jesus – Praising God – Caring for Its Community

Prayer Booklet 71

Dear Friends,

Week beginning 22nd August 2021

You will notice a change in the format of this week’s prayer booklet.  I would be delighted if you would give it careful consideration and send some feedback.

I am moving to a role where I would like to keep encouraging prayer with less of an input from me.  I am trying not to pray the prayers for you, but to encourage you to pray as the Lord leads you – away beyond these suggestions. I welcome ideas that people have found helpful to share with others.

I plan to include Sunday’s prayer for as long as the Moderator of the Church of Scotland is involved in putting it out – and from time to time will include prayers from other sources such as The Guild.

I will also continue to send out any prayer requests and updates that I receive.

I hope you find the new format helpful.  Above all take time to pray.

Love in Jesus,

Christine Stewart


Sunday 22nd August, 2021

This Sunday (22 August), Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Scottish Christians have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, is taking part alongside them.

“We should always be mindful for the wisdom handed down to us from past generations; much of it learned the hard way, from mistakes made and consequences suffered,” Lord Wallace said.

“So, too, we are grateful for the richness that comes to us from living alongside people of other traditions. In our day and generation we must surely allow our minds and hearts to be open so that we can risk getting to know them and learning from them.

“In this pandemic, our responsibility is to come together and offer our prayers for all the many diverse expressions of our Christian faith that enrich life, as we have done for many months now.

“As the statistics appear to move in a hopeful direction, let us not forget that behind each death there will be grieving family and friends; behind each hospitalisation there will be a suffering patient, an anxious family and a caring and skilled medical team.” And behind each vaccination, let us recognise, with thanks, the skill of the scientists’ research and those who make distribution and vaccination possible. Let us remember, too, those in countries who still wait anxiously for vaccines to arrive. May our leaders respond imaginatively and generously to that challenge.

“A pattern has been set for us, lived out in Jesus Christ, made possible by the Spirit. May we follow in His way, and be guided by the one over-riding rule of love in all that we say and do.”

 “If Sunday at 7pm is in your diary, keep it there. Thank you. If it hadn’t been, it would be great to have you involved. It matters that we pray.”

This week’s letter:

 “To whom do we turn to find the answers to the many difficult questions that now confront us? The questions of the day are many and there are seldom easy answers to be found. In part, the challenge we face is how to live with the difficult questions whilst continuing to seek honest answers.

“In the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as having been asked difficult questions to which He then gave honest answers. The consequence of these answers is that some of those who had previously followed Him began to turn back. In turn, Jesus asks His twelve closest disciples if they also wish ‘to go away’. With characteristic boldness, Peter answers: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life?” (John 6: 68) In following Jesus, we soon discover that many of the difficult questions still remain.

“In continuing to follow Jesus, we recognise by faith that He is the One through whom God reconciles the difficult questions and continues to offer to us the gift of life.”

We pray:

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
With the questions of the day.
We come that we might find One who will listen
And who will embrace our concerns.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
To seek answers to the questions of life
And we come in the company of others.
Grant that we may hear You speak amidst the clamour of the day.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
With the hard questions
And those that defy our attempts to resolve.
Grant us grace to live with the hard questions at this time.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
Who reconciles all things through Christ,
We come to You
For You have the words of eternal life.
Grant us grace to believe
And to know that You are the Holy One of God.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Monday 23rd August, 2021

Passage for the week: Luke 19:1-10

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

(Please don’t discard this after today as I will refer to it all week…)

For today, I suggest you read the passage as if you were Zacchaeus. Ask yourself, as Zacchaeus:

  • Who am I really as a person?
  • Why do I want to see Jesus?
  • Why did I climb up that tree? Did I think I would be hidden?
  • How did I feel when Jesus stopped and looked up?
  • What made me respond as I did?

(You may well think of other things as you read prayerfully…)

Let us Pray (Notice I am not writing out the prayers – just suggesting pointers for prayer suggested by this story. Let God lead you):

  • Many search for Jesus and don’t know where to begin…
  • Many people will not express their longing publicly
  • We don’t know what people really feel inside themselves
  • Jesus was wise when he asked us not to judge others
  • Think about people you know and love, and those you have reason to dislike – pray for them in Jesus’ name

In our prayers today we might include the following:

  • If you are a church member, pray for your church, that as part of the body of Christ you will serve Him in your community without prejudice
  • Local news – take time to pray for people and situations near you as God lays them on your heart
  • World news – Continue to pray for Afghanistan, Haiti and Mediterranean fires.

Tuesday, 24th August, 2021

Re read yesterday’s story about Zacchaeus. Our focus for today is verse 7:

“ All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

Surely Jesus knows the human heart and our unworthy inclination to pass judgment on others.  If we are honest, we still look around and we decide who should be Christians and who shouldn’t.  Let us be thankful for God’s heart of love that reaches and heals all who seek for Him regardless of circumstance.

Prayers for today might include:

  • Asking God to help each of us look at others through His eyes. It is good if we struggle with someone in particular to be specific in asking God to help us with this.
  • Be thankful for gifts God has given to each of us – ask Him to show us clearly what he has given us and then be confident in exercising our gifts
  • Trust God not to ask us to do something we are ill-equipped to do
  • Thank God that he doesn’t wait till others approve of us before he calls us, saves us and blesses us. He sees the potential he created in each one of us.

Prayers for others might include:

  • Increased protection from the virus while schools are underway for a new term
  • Increased wisdom for all medical and research staff still battling to control and conquer Coronavirus
  • Wisdom for all who govern us at home in the many issues affecting us post Brexit and Pandemic
  • Wisdom about how to intervene in situations e.g. Afghanistan

Wednesday, 25th August, 2021

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.”

This is the very beginning of this story.  I found myself wondering why we are told what we are told about Zacchaeus.  He lived in Jericho, he had an important job – serving the occupying power – and he had been selected to be a boss.  He would be paid for his work and he would be hated by the people because he had become very wealthy by setting their taxes higher than the authorities set them and he would keep the surplus for himself.  But God knew, and God sent His Son to rescue him from his own greed, and from the hatred of others.

Our prayers:

  • We can take time to thank God for his rescue plan in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus – and for reaching us.

Prayers for others:

  • Look around and pray specifically for people in high-powered jobs known to you personally or by hearsay. Ask God to bless them and use them to fulfil his purposes.
  • Pray again for those who govern us – regardless of their politics and yours. The Bible instructs us so to pray:
  • “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4
  • Pray that wealth and self-fulfilment will not keep people from seeing their need of Jesus.

Thursday 26th August, 2021

8.But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

This part of the story of Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus, surely tells us so much about the transforming power of the Lord when he touches and heals our lives.  We may not all need to repent of fraud – but we surely do need to repent of other attitudes and behaviours and receive His grace.

Our prayers:

  • Thank Jesus that he sees our potential as changed people – let us constantly ask Him to direct our lives in worship and service.
  • Who do you know that you feel challenged to pray for – and to keep praying for until God’s purposes are fulfilled in their lives? Ask God to reveal to you who you should be praying for.

Prayers for others:

  • Ask God to transform our nation by transforming the lives of those with power, authority and wealth to seek to be like Jesus in delivering justice, harmony and aid where it is most needed.
  • To send aid and comfort to those hungry and homeless. May our country turn around and provide aid where it is most needed. Pray for the health service and care organisations.
  • Pray that we will find aid to share in countries of dreadful poverty. Especially for homelessness and hunger. (See prayer for Afghanistan and Haiti at the end)

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

Friday 27th August, 2021

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

As we have seen, those following Jesus and walking with him were astonished that he sought out Zacchaeus, not only to talk to him but actually to sit with him and eat with him.  They had still to learn of the healing and transforming power of Jesus.  Jesus promises several times that when we pray for those who need to be saved, he will hear and answer our prayers.  The verse from John 14 quoted yesterday is one such verse. Be encouraged.

Our Prayers:

  • Thank Jesus for calling you to share in mission through prayer. Ask him to show you what else you might do to serve him in worship and thanksgiving.
  • Pray faithfully for those you know and love who seem to ignore God. Ask God to open their hearts and minds to receive his healing and his blessing.
  • Thank Jesus that he knows our history through every generation and still reaches out to touch our lives today

Prayers for others:

  • Pray today for all who love the Lord but who are forced to be part of an ‘underground’ church because there is no freedom to worship God in Christ Jesus. Imagine yourself in that situation to help you to pray…
  • Pray for our churches here in Scotland that we will not lose the privilege of freedom to worship and that we will engage in mission faithfully to draw others to the Lord.
  • Pray for insight to reach others in Jesus’ name – to see those longing for His peace.

Saturday, 28th August, 2021


Rev Dr Marjory MacLean, convener of the Committee on Chaplains to Her Majesty’s Forces, has written us a prayer for Afghanistan as we remember the sufferings of the people of that land and the sacrifices of our military personnel.

Let us pray

All-loving God, Your hands have fashioned every lovely corner of this treasured planet, and the beautiful land of Afghanistan is as precious as every other place Your children call ‘home’. By its rivers and mountains, its fields and gardens, its busy towns and ancient villages, it is the heart’s desire of its people and the place where their lives and loves are nurtured.

We grieve today with those who grieve over Afghanistan, the people who call it home indeed, the people exiled or suddenly having to leave, and the men and women from other countries who have made sacrifices in recent years in the cause of that country’s future.

We remember with renewed sadness the loss of lives of military personnel during the years of this country’s involvement in Afghanistan, conscious of the questions that must today be troubling the minds of those in our community who were bereaved, those who were wounded on operations, and those who were forever changed by experiences suffered there.

We pray for peace, dignity, freedom and confidence for the men, women and children of Afghanistan; for courage, vision and generosity within the international community responding to such need; and for tranquillity of mind amongst our own Service community and its wider family.  In the name of Jesus Christ, the peace-giver, we pray, AMEN.


Christian Aid, along with many other organisations have begun huge fund-raising campaigns following a devastating earthquake in Haiti.  This has claimed the lives of almost 2,000 people and has caused injuries to more than 10,000.

Our gracious and merciful God, we are puzzled and confused by the devastation caused by natural disasters.  We come to you for peace and comfort for all affected by terrible trauma and loss, thanking you for your interest in humankind and your willingness to draw near.

Draw near to all who mourn and all who suffer.  Draw near to give wisdom and inspiration to those who are trying to co-ordinate difficult rescue plans and to those trying to manage aid to the needy.  Father God, we ask you to thwart the plans of those who are greedy and selfish and who would seek to make gain from these tragedies.

May those who can, be generous in sending aid to help rebuild homes and to provide food and shelter and urgent medical relief.

Inspire people of compassion to offer themselves in service to support exhausted teams dealing with great emergency situations. Grant these teams supernatural strength to continue to work and do all they can.

Open the eyes and hearts of each one of us to appreciate all that we have.  May we take nothing for granted.

Hear our prayers, in Jesus’ name. Amen