Advent: Give Deliverance to the Needy – Psalm 72:1-7,10-14

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

1   Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2   May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3   May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4   May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5   May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6   May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7   In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

18   Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
          who alone does wondrous things.
19   Blessed be his glorious name forever;
          may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you settle into your breath, let your attention shift to the children of God who need to be defended and delivered from injustice.
  • Hold these children of God in your awareness as you walk toward the light during Advent.
  • How might you bring this light to them?
  • How might you be the hands and feet of Christ to the world, shining love into their darkness?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 4, 2022, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Let Us Go to the House of the Lord – Psalm 122:1-9

Psalm 122:1-9

1   I was glad when they said to me,
          “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
2   Our feet are standing
          within your gates, O Jerusalem.

3   Jerusalem — built as a city
          that is bound firmly together.
4   To it the tribes go up,
          the tribes of the LORD,
     as was decreed for Israel,
          to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
5   For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
          the thrones of the house of David.

6   Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
          “May they prosper who love you.
7   Peace be within your walls,
          and security within your towers.”
8   For the sake of my relatives and friends
          I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9   For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
          I will seek your good.

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to the anticipation of stepping into the house of the Lord.
  • God is so faithful.
  • God is there for you.
  • Let go of expectations.
  • Embrace the peace of the house.
  • Be open to the gift God has for you.
  • What is God’s gift for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 27, 2022, the First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: They Will Not Hurt or Destroy – Isaiah 11:1-10

Isaiah 11:1-10

1   A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
          and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2   The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
          the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
          the spirit of counsel and might,
          the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3   His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

     He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
          or decide by what his ears hear;
4   but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
          and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
     he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
          and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5   Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
          and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

6   The wolf shall live with the lamb,
          the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
     the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
          and a little child shall lead them.
7   The cow and the bear shall graze,
          their young shall lie down together;
          and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8   The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
          and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9   They will not hurt or destroy
          on all my holy mountain;
     for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
          as the waters cover the sea.10On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in the world that needs to be freed from harm.
  • Embrace the need for this shift.
  • How do you desire to hold this in Advent anticipating a new creation to emerge?
  • Is there an invitation for you?
  • Bring your attention to a place in you that needs to be freed from harm.
  • Embrace the need for this shift.
  • How do you desire to hold this in Advent anticipating a new creation to emerge?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 4, 2022, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Stay Awake, Be Ready – Matthew 24:36-44

Matthew 24:36-44

36“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, or the Son, but only the Father. 37For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to something that is keeping you from being awake and alert to hear God.
  • Embrace this. Let it speak.
  • What words emerge?
  • Let them teach you about the desire beneath these words.
  • Be freed from the old and make room for the new.
  • What hidden desire is waiting to emerge into the light?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 27, 2022, the First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Put on the Armor of Light – Romans 13:11-14

Romans 13:11-14

11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Imagine putting on the armor of light.
  • What does it look like?
  • What does it feel like?
  • What do you notice in your body as you wear the armor of light?
  • Is there something unexpected?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Imagine engraving Christ’s message in the armor.
  • What do you notice as you wear the message?
  • Do you hear a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for the armor of light and this time in prayer.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 27, 2022 the First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Beat Their Swords into Plowshares – Isaiah 2:1-5

Isaiah 2:1-5

1The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2   In days to come
          the mountain of the Lord’s house
     shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
          and shall be raised above the hills;
     all the nations shall stream to it.
3        Many peoples shall come and say,
     “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
          to the house of the God of Jacob;
     that he may teach us his ways
          and that we may walk in his paths.”
     For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
          and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4   He shall judge between the nations,
          and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
     they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
          and their spears into pruning hooks;
     nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
          neither shall they learn war any more.

5   O house of Jacob,
          come, let us walk
          in the light of the LORD!

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in the world where the swords need to be beat into plowshares.
  • Embrace the need for this shift.
  • How do you desire to hold this in Advent anticipating a new creation to emerge?
  • Is there an invitation for you?
  • Bring your attention to a place in you where the swords need to be beat into plowshares.
  • Embrace the need for this shift.
  • How do you desire to hold this in Advent anticipating a new creation to emerge?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 27, 2022, the First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.