Psalm 147 – Gathered and healed

PSALM 147:1-11, 20C

1   Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2   The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4   He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6   The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

7   Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
9   He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
10  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11  but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

20c  Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • How does God’s grace gather you in?
  • Where did God find you to bring you home?
  • What wounds did God bind to lead you toward wholeness?
  • How does God show God’s delight with your hope?
  • What is God’s message for you today?
  • How does God gather us in?
  • Where did God find us to bring us home?
  • What wounds did God bind to lead us toward wholeness?
  • How does God show God’s delight with our hope?
  • What is God’s message for us today?
  • Praise the Lord!  Give thanks for this time to be gathered in and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, February, 2012, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Isaiah 40:21-31 – Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength

ISAIAH 40:21-31

21  Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23  who brings princes to naught,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

24  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25  To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
26  Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.

27  Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28  Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29  He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30  Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31  but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What word or words capture your attention in the text above?
  • Sit with these words and let them wash over you.
  • Read the text again.
  • What is God’s message for you in these words?
  • Savor these words and this message and let them become part of you.
  • Where do they settle?
  • Notice any freedom that comes with this message.
  • Where is God in the freedom?
  • Notice any tension that comes with this message.
  • Where is God in the tension?
  • Read the text one more time.
  • Is there a call to action from God?
  • 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, February, 2012, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Mark 1:22-28 – Being possessed…

I have a nagging hunch that the gospel’s power in our own time is about to be manifested in a manner as repugnant to the sensibilities of the society at large, and all of us who have accommodated ourselves to it, as the early Christian message was to Roman paganism. Our society is possessed, Christians as much as anyone. We are possessed by violence, possessed by sex, possessed by money, possessed by drugs. We need to recover forms of collective exorcism as effective as was the early Christian baptism’s renunciation of “the devil and all his works.”

-Walter Wink
Engaging the Powers

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Consider what is possessing you.
  • How is this thing possessing you?
  • How is this thing keeping you from Christ?
  • As you pay attention to your breath, scan your body to locate that which is keeping you from Christ.
  • Once you have located this, examine it for a crack.
  • Once you have found the crack, allow the unconditional love of Christ into the crack.
  • Let go of control.
  • Allow Christ to widen the crack, allowing more love to flow into this place.
  • Let Christ take control.  Focus on Christ.
  • You may wish to continue this exercise, allowing Christ to heal this place in you.  One day Christ will cast out the demon if you will give up control.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have gained.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 29, 2012, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 111:1-10
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Sit and listen with new ears

MARK 1:21-28


  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • It is the sabbath, and you have come to the synagogue.
  • There is a new teacher, one you do not know.
  • This voice captures you.  The teaching is authoritative like you have never heard before.
  • Listen with new ears to the words that are said.
  • What words are being said to you today?
  • Hold on to the word or words that are said for you.
  • Linger in this place.
  • What new message does God have for you?
  • Walk around to gain a full perspective.
  • Who do you encounter in this place?
  • Who is missing from this place?
  • The teaching is over.  It is time to pray.
  • Give thanks to God for this time to hear with new ears and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 29, 2012, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 111:1-10
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD