Remember the Devastation- Psalm 137:1-9

By the rivers of Babylon, painting by Gebhard Fugel [de], c. 1920

Psalm 137:1-9

1By the rivers of Babylon-

there we sat down and there we wept

when we remembered Zion.

2On the willows there

we hung up our harps.

3For there our captors

asked us for songs,

and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4How could we sing the Lord’s song

in a foreign land?

5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand wither!

6Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

if I do not set Jerusalem

above my highest joy.

7Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites

the day of Jerusalem’s fall,

how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!

Down to its foundations!”

8O daughter Babylon, you devastator!

Happy shall they be who pay you back

what you have done to us!

9Happy shall they be who take your little ones

and dash them against the rock!

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in you that is experiencing devastation.
  • As you sit and weep, who is taunting you?
  • Do not seek revenge.
  • Remember Zion.
  • Embrace the Presence of the Holy.
  • How will you pray for one taunting 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, October 6, 2019, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Lamentations 1:1-6, 3:19-26
Psalm 137:1-9
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

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.

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