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, 2018, 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. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, 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, 2018, 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. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, 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, 2018, 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. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Esther 7 – What is your petition?

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22

1So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. 2On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 3Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me — that is my petition — and the lives of my people — that is my request. 4For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.” 5Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?” 6Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

9Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

9:20 Mordecai recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21enjoining them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same month, year by year, 22as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor.

  • 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.
  • What is your petition today?
  • How have you been sold into destruction and death?
  • How have your people been sold into destruction and death?
  • Invite God into the conversation.
  • How does God desire to give you life?
  • How does God desire to give your people life?
  • What do you need to let go to embrace life?
  • What message do you hear from the 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, September 30, 2018, 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. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD