2I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3And I know that such a person — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows — 4was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
- 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 pay attention to your breath, what weakness comes to you?
- Focus on this weakness. Let other thoughts fall away.
- How is God’s grace sufficient for you?
- What power do you know in this weakness?
- How does the power of Christ shine through this weakness?
- How can you be more content with weaknesses? insults? hardships? persecutions? calamities?
- Where do you notice Christ’s strength in you?
- Is there a specific place in your body you hold this strength?
- Make note of this place so that you might draw upon it again when you are weak.
- 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, July 8, 2012, the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
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.