Mark 9:38-50 – Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.

Mark 9:38-50

38John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

42“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 43If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, 48where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

49“For everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the breath.
  • As you settle into the breath, recall the deeds of power you do in the name of Christ.
  • Recall the deeds of power your neighbor does in the name of Christ.
  • Recall the deeds of power the church does in the name of Christ.
  • What stumbling block(s) do you encounter when giving in the name of Christ?
  • How is Christ calling you to overcome this block?
  • What peace will be revealed?
  • What stumbling block(s) does the church encounter when giving in the name of Christ?
  • How is Christ calling the church to overcome this block?
  • What peace will be revealed?
  • Do a quick scan of your body.  Where do you notice the salt in your body?
  • Hear these words again, “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
  • 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, September 30, 2012, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22
Psalm 124:1-8
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

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

James 5:13-20 – Elijah prayed fervently…

James 5:13-20

13Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

19My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

  • 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.
  • Allow the breath to lead you to prayer.
  • Pray for those who suffer.
  • “Lord, hear my prayer.”
  • Pray for those who give glory to God.
  • “Lord, hear my prayer.”
  • Pray for the sick.
  • “Lord, hear my prayer.”
  • “Lord, have mercy on me.”
  • Confess your sins to God.
  • As you breathe in, feel God’s forgiveness.
  • As you exhale, let go of anything keeping you from healing.
  • Continue this exercise until you are ready to move on.
  • Breathe in the truth.
  • Scan your mind and your body.  If anything keeps you from the truth, exhale it with force so that God may fill you with the breath of truth.
  • Come home to the one who loves you.
  • The one who is the Truth, the Way, and the Life.
  • 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, September 30, 2012, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22
Psalm 124:1-8
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

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

Psalm 124: 1-8 – The snare is broken and we have escaped

Psalm 124:1-8

1If it had not been the LORD who was on our side
— let Israel now say —
2if it had not been the LORD who was on our side,
when our enemies attacked us,
3then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us;
4then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
5then over us would have gone
the raging waters.
6Blessed be the LORD,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth.
7We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped.
8Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

  • 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.
  • Who is the enemy for you today?
  • What traps and snares have been set for you?
  • Where will you encounter these traps and snares?
  • With God’s help, you can escape these places and these traps.
  • Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
  • Call upon the name of the LORD.
  • The LORD is on your side.
  • Be aware of traps and snares in your day.  When you encounter them, turn toward the LORD and call upon the name of the LORD.
  • Who is the enemy for the world today?
  • What traps and snares have been set for the world?
  • Where will we encounter these traps and snares?
  • With God’s help, we can escape these places and these traps.
  • Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
  • Call upon the name of the LORD.
  • Notice who is calling with you.
  • The LORD is on our side.
  • Be aware of traps and snares in your day.  When you encounter them, turn toward the LORD and call upon the name of the LORD.
  • What message do you hear from the LORD?
  • 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, September 30, 2012, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22
Psalm 124:1-8
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

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 9:30-37 – Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all

“Jesus Welcomes the Children” – Jesus Mafa

Mark 9:30-37

30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

  • 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 the breath, consider one of Christ’s lessons in your life that you do not understand.  Perhaps you are even afraid to ask Christ, “Why?”
  • What argument keeps playing in your mind and heart?
  • Hear Christ say these words to you, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
  • Let these words enter the place(s) of not understanding.
  • To be “for” Christ is to hold lightly these places we do not understand until the lesson becomes clear.
  • Allow Christ to hold you like a child in Christ’s arms.  Hear these words, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
  • Who has welcomed you in the name of Christ?
  • Who have you welcomed in the name of Christ?
  • Hold the questions lightly as you are held in the arms of God.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insight you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 23, 2012, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 31:10-31
Psalm 1
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37

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