1Happy is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways.
2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4Thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
5The LORD bless you from Zion.
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
6May you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
- Do an Examen of your day yesterday.
- What gave you life?
- Notice the fruit of labor, the fruitful vine, the happiness, the prosperity, the peace.
- What took life away from you?
- Notice the failed harvest, the withering vine, the desolation, going through the motions, the anxiety.
- Hold both of these before you: those things that gave you life and those things that took life away from you.
- Invite God in these things that you hold before you.
- Seek the fruit of the Spirit in these things that you hold in your hand: love, joy, peace, patience, calmness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.
- 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 26, 2020, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
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.