1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” 4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied — 7altogether there were about twelve of them.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
- Who laid hands on you as you received the Holy Spirit when you were baptized?
- What do you remember about that time?
- What do you remember feeling?
- What did you hear, see, taste, smell?
- Do you remember any other senses: tears, chills, warmth?
- Pay close attention to the breath.
- As you breathe in, say “I believe.”
- As you let go of the breath, say the names of the fullness of God “Breath, Breathed, and Breathing” (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit or Father, Son, Holy Spirit, or Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer or the Invitation, the Invited One, the Inviting One– choose one that fits you today)
- Continue with this breath and these words allowing it yourself to be filled.
- When you have been filled, what feeling or words do you have to express to 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, January 10, 2021, the Baptism of the Lord (Year B)
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2021 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.