This month's prayers are written by Jan Sutch Pickard.
Jan is a Methodist local preacher, former vice-president of the Methodist Conference and former editor of the Methodist magazine, Connect. Jan has worked in Malawi, has been an ecumenical accompanier in IOPT, and was the warden of Iona Abbey.
6 October (Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost)
Ministers (Luke 17:5-10)
you've called each of us.
There's work to be done,
and we're proud to be called your servants:
ministers – even to put Rev as our title.
Remind us it's not about entitlement.
When there's work to be done, we need to roll up our sleeves.
Hard work, dirty work -
with smelly sheep and muddy ploughshares;
or kicking up a stink about debt
and beating the drum against weapons;
raising awareness or raising money -
there's work to be done.
And when we think that we're done, and look for thanks,
you remind us that we were just doing our jobs –
and it's time to roll up our sleeves again.
Ministers - servants - thank you, God, for calling us
to share your work in the world. Amen.
13 October (Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost)
Borderlands (Luke 17:11-19)
you meet us in the borderlands, in places neither here nor there,
at times when we are well out of our comfort zone;
even if we don't know where we're going, when we feel most lost,
you are there: Thank you, God.
You meet each of us where we are, and many of us in our need,
people marginalised by illness, not wanting to be a burden,
those who see their poverty or problems as unacceptable –
feeling rejected – with faltering self-worth.
It was in the borderlands that Jesus met a band of lepers,
whose livelihood was begging, whose status was untouchable,
and touched their lives with hope.
And it was the Samaritan, the one most of all an outsider,
who turned back to give thanks.
We thank you for all we can learn
from our sisters and brothers who live on the edge,
in poverty, in the borderlands:
about gratitude, grace and healing hope.
Thank you, God. Amen.
20 October (Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost)
Persistence (Luke 18:1-8)
God of Justice,
we know that in this hard world there are judges
that neither fear God nor respect their fellow men.
But you call us to remember
the woman who gave one a hard time,
crying out to him day and night, until he changed his mind -
her sheer stubbornness.
And we celebrate all those, women and men,
who persist in the cause of right;
who will not keep quiet;
who insist on raising the issues, again and again;
who campaign for unpopular causes,
write letters, send emails, sign petitions:
people round the world
who pick up their pens or take to the streets -
and young girls determined to go to school.
We celebrate them: steadfast, down-to-earth,
blessed with both stubbornness and courage,
to change the world. Amen.
27 October (Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost)
Honesty (Luke 18:9-14)
Listening, watchful God,
help us to be honest.
Oh but we are - not at all like those
who can't be trusted with money,
the shifty and the feckless:
we're good stewards and faithful servants.
Help us to be honest.
We are nothing like the fat-cats, the greedy few,
the 'haves' who care nothing for the 'have-nots':
we're eloquent in the language of sharing.
Help us to be honest.
Oh but we are - not like those who like to look good
and deceive even themselves -
who talk the talk, but...
Help us to be honest:
that sometimes our getting it right
gets in your way.
Help us to be honest about our failings,
how far we still have to go
Help us to pray without words, with tears instead.
And help us, honestly,
to love justice, to seek mercy,
and to walk humbly in your Way. Amen.
For more of our prayers, please use the red arrows below to see our prayers from previous months.