They Know His Voice: John 10:1-10

They will not follow a stranger.

John 10:1-10

1“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let your energy go to your hearing senses.
  • Listen for the voice of the Shepherd.
  • How do you recognize the voice of the Shepherd?
  • Hear the Shepherd call your name.
  • How do you recognize the voice of the Shepherd calling your name?
  • Sit with the Shepherd in the field.
  • Who is the thief who wants to kill and destroy?
  • Following the Shepherd’s voice, the one you know, see the Shepherd lead you through the gate to safety.
  • Where is this gate leading you today?
  • Notice the abundant life that awaits you.
  • Open your other senses to hear, see, smell, taste and feel the abundance around you.
  • What is your message from 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, May 3, 2020, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23:1-6
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 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 training, 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.

Enduring Pain: 1 Peter 2:19-25

Enduring Pain

1 Peter 2:19-25

19For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22   “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Remember a time you were abused, suffered, were oppressed or persecuted.
  • How tempting was it to respond from the same place of hate or fear?
  • Where did you lean into God?
  • Where did you turn away from God?
  • How did you return to God?
  • Remember a time when you were abusing, inflicting pain, oppressing, or persecuting.
  • When did you recognize you were astray like a sheep?
  • How were you turned away from God?
  • Where did you lean into God?
  • How did you return to God?
  • What wounds arise for you today?
  • Why is important to remember these wounds today?
  • By his wounds you have been healed.
  • What new healing does Christ have for you?
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.
  • What is your message from 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, May 3, 2020, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23:1-6
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 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 training, 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.

He Restores My Soul – Psalm 23:1-6

He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:1-6

1   The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2        He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3        he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

4   Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff —
they comfort me.

5   You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Scan your body and notice the part of you that most needs to be stilled.
  • Read the Psalmist’s prayer to this place in you that needs to be still.
  • Sit by the still water and be restored by the Shepherd as you invite the stillness to heal you and to deepen your breath.
  • When you are ready, scan your body a second time to see if there is another part of your body that needs to be stilled.
  • If you find another part of your body that needs to be stilled, repeat the steps until you are ready to move on with your day.
  • What is your message from 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, May 3, 2020, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23:1-6
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 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 training, 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.

They Devoted Themselves – Acts 2:42-47

Acts 2:42-47

42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

43Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • How do you wish to set your intention on devotion today?
  • Look at the things you have been doing in these areas:
    • How are you devoting yourself to Christ’s teachings?
    • How are you devoting yourself to the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?
    • How are you devoting yourself in hospitality sharing the love of God?
  • How has God been revealed to you in your devotion?
  • How do you wish to share this devotion with others?
  • How will the goodwill of the people share their devotion with you?
  • What is your message from 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, May 3, 2020, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23:1-6
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 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 training, 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.