Advent: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 – May God strengthen your hearts in holiness

heart-cross1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

  • 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 the breath opens your chest and your heart, consider those mentors who have loved you and supported you.
  • Consider those who would cross the miles to sit by your side, to pray for you, to accept that phone call in the middle of the night.
  • They are giving thanks for you always.
  • What strengthening of holiness in your heart do you need today?
  • Be held by these mentors and by God, knowing that your heart is safe and will be filled with love and caring.  For this is the promise of Advent as we await the coming of The Holy One once again.
  • Be held and loved.  Be humble and powerless.
  • Be open to the love of God showering you.
  • 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 2, 2012, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

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 25:1-10 – Lead me in your truth and teach me

Psalm 25:1-10

1To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
5Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!
8Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

  • 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.
  • Push back your shoulders, opening your chest.  Lift your chest as high as you can when you inhale.  Feel yourself lifting your soul to God.
  • Continue this exercise opening yourself, lifting your soul to God, and trusting God with your full being.
  • Offer your sins and transgression to God whom you trust with your full being.
  • Feel the forgiveness and love showered upon you.
  • God leads and teaches the humble.
  • For those who are truly sorry, in the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
  • On what path is God leading you today?
  • Are there temptations on the path?
  • How will God steer you away from temptation?
  • What instruction do you hear?
  • What do you need to let go to follow?
  • 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 2, 2012, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

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

Jeremiah 33:14-16 – I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel

Jeremiah 33:14-16

14The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

  • 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 open you as you consider the promises of the Lord.
  • How is God faithfully executing justice and righteousness in the land?
  • How is God faithfully executing justice and righteousness in your neighbor?
  • How is God faithfully executing justice and righteousness in you?
  • How are you faithfully executing right relationship with God?
  • How is your neighbor executing right relationship with God?
  • How is the world executing right relationship with God?
  • How is God calling you to be more fully turned toward God?
  • 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 2, 2012, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

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

John 18:33-37 – “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

John 18:33-37

33Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

  • 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.
  • Push back your shoulders as you breathe deeply, allowing your chest to expand fully and free you from any tension.
  • Continue to be opened by the breath.
  • Jesus came into this world to be Lord of those who belong to the truth.
  • How do you follow the truth?
  • What voice of Jesus do you hear?
  • What words are written on your heart?
  • What words rise to your lips?
  • How does Jesus want you to respond to the truth?
  • 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 25, 2012, Christ the King (Reign of Christ) Sunday, Year B

2 Samuel 23:1-7
Psalm 132:1-12 (13-18)
Revelation 1:4b-8
John 18:33-37

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