Pray For Scotland

CRY FOR MERCY – 40 DAYS OF PRAYER & FASTING


Cry for Mercy  –  Day 40

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord hear my voice.  Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy……….I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope……..O Scotland*, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. ”   [Ps 130:1, 5, 7 ]                                                      [* My revision]
 
Today we come to the last of our ‘Cry for Mercy’ reflections.  Over the last 40 days contributors from many church backgrounds and from all over Scotland have shared what God has laid on their hearts to ‘cry out’ for.   Hundreds have opened each Reflection and passed them to their churches and friends, and hundreds more have shared the prayers in online groups.  Many, many thanks to everyone who has contributed, and to all who have faithfully journeyed with us over these 40 days in prayer for this nation and for the Church.
 
The Bible has many ‘40’s’, some associated with significant history-changing events.  The flood rain fell for 40 days.  Israel spent 40 years in the desert, Moses 40 days on the mountain, and the 12 spies 40 days in the Promised Land.  Jesus spent 40 days in the desert.  Samuel led Israel, and David, Solomon and Joash reigned for 40 years, and these are only a few examples.
 
So, is anything different after our 40 days?  Have we ‘changed history’?  On the face of it, today is very much like yesterday.  A new month has started, the Holyrood election campaign is picking up speed and the focus for most is when, and how are we going to return to some form of normality.
 
But is it, and will it be the same?  As Christians we believe God hears and stores up every prayer until a time comes when He decrees it is time to send the answer.  Our key Scripture for these 40 days asks God to be attentive to our cry, and then we wait, putting our hope in Him – in the one who sent His beloved Son to take our place on the Cross because of his unfathomable love!
 
No, things will not, and are already not, the same.  In the ‘natural’ there has been an acceleration in changes to working practices, to shopping online and the decline of town centres, even to how ‘church’ functions, and most significantly, to our behaviour in responding to this pandemic and the resulting restrictions.  But in the unseen ‘spiritual’ world there is also an acceleration taking place, an acceleration which will impact and direct the future of this nation as God responds to our prayers, as He continues to shake us out of our comfort zones and calls us back to Him – to holiness, to obedience, to true discipleship – and as we respond to that call.  He is leading us out this ‘desert experience’ into a new land!
 
What will that look like?  I don’t know, maybe no-one knows yet.  In 2020 the word used so often was unprecedented.  In 2021, the word we will hear is unpredictable.  As He has done so often in history, our God will surprise us with what, and when, He does what He has already purposed to do, partly before the beginning of time……and partly in response to the prayers and petitions of the saints – not just over these 40 days but over years of intercession for Scotland, as we have cried out for the ‘Fire from the North’ to sweep over this land!   As we have cried out for the river of His love to soak this ‘dry and barren land’!  As we have cried out for the harvest of souls!
 
Get ready!  Expect another of God’s  suddenlies!  Be prepared – be as the five wise, not the five foolish virgins.  Expect the unexpected!   
 
Lord, we cry out to You, the one and only God, for mercy for Scotland!  Grant that we are ready to move out with You when you sound the trumpet and issue the command!

Alistair Barton
Director

Song – Cry for Mercy
We are using Psalm 130 verse 1 as our ‘Cry for Mercy’ theme verse.  We recently received this link to a YouTube clip of a song whose lyrics are the words of this Psalm.  The first part of the clip is an interview with the composer.  If you want to skip that, the song starts around 4min 40sec. 

The Lord’s Prayer at noon
 
Some years ago many of us prayed the Lord’s Prayer each day at 12 noon, or as soon as possible thereafter.  As well as praying the points given each day, why not start this practice again, declaring into the atmosphere over Scotland…….‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, in Scotland, as it is in heaven, O Lord!’.


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