This month's prayers are written by Tom Gordon.
Tom is a Church of Scotland minister, member of the Iona Community, writer, bereavement support worker and teacher. Tom was formerly a parish minister and hospice chaplain in Edinburgh.
3 November (Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost)
'Zaccheus stood up and said to the Lord: "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."' (Luke 19:8)
God of all life,
you come close to us;
you know where we are
even when we are far away;
you expose the places
where we try to hide.
Call us out to meet with you;
remind us that you still believe in us;
come, and turn us around.
Turn us from selfishness to generosity.
Turn us from keeping to giving.
Turn us from carefulness to risk-taking.
Turn us from cheating to fairness.
Turn us from hiding to openness.
Turn us from self-doubt to confidence.
Turn us from the things of time to the issues of eternity.
Turn us from holding on to letting go.
God of new beginnings,
open us to your call to Celebrate a Life -
every life well lived in your name;
every life valued in your Love;
the lives of others,
and each cherished little life
10 November (Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost)
'I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.' (Job 19:25-26)
God of consistency,
from Alpha to Omega,
from time into eternity,
grant us the assurance of Faith,
that when we are consumed by doubt and fear,
rage and anger, weakness and failure
we might know we are yet embraced
by your Grace and Love.
When we feel the fear of not-knowing,
embrace us with the Grace of an accepting God.
When we are crippled by the pain of doubt,
assure us of the continued companionship of the human Christ.
When we know the weakness of the flesh,
sustain us by the strength of the Spirit.
When we are close to being destroyed,
show us again the Redeemer who lives,
in time and eternity.
Strengthen those who work for peace
and for justice for the victims of war.
Uphold those who are cast down by the suffering of humanity
and who are fearful for their future.
Bind together those who believe in a better world,
and bind us ever more closely
to the healing Love of God.
17 November (Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost)
'In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, keep away from every person who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you, yourselves, know how you ought to follow our example.' (2 Thessalonians 3:6-7)
you call us to action.
For you are not a God of distance,
but a God who comes close to us
in the humanity of Christ;
you are not a God of inactivity,
but a God who is constantly engaged
with the needs of the world
and the sufferings of your people.
Call us from complacency to action,
as we engage with you
in the building of your Kingdom.
Help us to heed your call.
Stir us from idleness to activity,
as we work with others to create
practical expressions of newness.
Help us to be responsive to your stirrings.
Lift us from tiredness to renewed energy,
as we offer our time, talents and money
where they are most needed.
Help us to be renewed by your everlasting arms.
Raise us from hopelessness to a belief in new possibilities,
as we follow the example
of the ever-giving and self-denying Christ.
Help us to rise in Him to fullness of life.
24 November (Twenty-seventh Sunday after Pentecost)
'Then [the thief] said: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him: "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."' (Luke 23:42-43)
God of all life, help us ...
to find new beginnings
even when things have ended;
to be sustained by the hope of eternity
even when our time runs out;
to see the glory of your Kingdom
even when we are broken by failure and sin;
to know the promise of redemption
even when we doubt our own worth;
to hold on to hopefulness and purpose
even in the hardest of times.
And as this the pilgrimage of another Christian Year draws to its close:
God of all new beginnings,
thank you for the promise of the journey.
God of familiar landmarks,
thank you for helpful signposts on the way.
God of real companionship,
thank you for stories of reassurance and love.
God of all the travellers,
help me be patient with those who still make mistakes.
God of saintly wisdom,
help me learn from those who are patient with me.
God of the journey's twists and turns,
help me to trust your strength when I am scared.
God of my weariness,
give me what I need to keep on going.
God of my anticipation,
give me the excitement of reaching the journey's end.
God of all my endings,
give me the hope I need at the end of the beginning.
God of all new beginnings,
thank you for your promise of our beginning again.
Tom Gordon, from A Blessing to Follow, Wild Goose Publications, 2009
For more of our prayers, please use the red arrows below to see our prayers from previous months.