You Hem Me In: Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2   You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3   You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4   Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
5   You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

7   Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8   If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9   If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10  even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12  even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
24  See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As you inhale, allow the Breath to search you.
  • As you exhale, allow the Breath to eliminate the wicked way.
  • As you continue this practice, are there any secrets hidden in you for the Breath to unbind and free you?
  • Allow the Breath to create as much freedom in you as possible today.
  • How do you desire to be led to the way everlasting?
  • Sit and listen.  Let the Breath guide 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, July 19, 2020, the Sixeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 28:10-19a
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

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.

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