1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the air for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
3They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
4We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.
5How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
6Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name.
7For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.
8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
9Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
for your name’s sake.
- 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.
- Bring your attention to the part in you that is aware of the ways the world is turned away from God.
- Notice how we have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
- Invite the one thing that most wants your attention, and be present with this one thing.
- Embrace this one thing and imagine it speaking to you.
- What do you notice, feel, sense?
- Invite God’s abundant compassion into the conversation.
- What words emerge from within you?
- Is there an invitation for 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, September 22, 2019, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
1 Timothy 2:1-7
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD
Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX. Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time. Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within. It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well. So she began to share them on this site.
As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance. If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do. Keep wrestling. God is faithful to your journey. Love and hope will emerge. Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.