1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
- Allow the breath to reach every inch of you, the branch.
- What fruit is being produced in you?
- Is it the same fruit harvested time after time?
- Or does Christ need to prune the branch for more fruit to grow?
- Is there part of the branch no longer producing fruit that needs to be removed?
- What new fruit is emerging?
- What temptation creates a danger for your branch to wither?
- Turn away from this temptation and abide in Christ.
- Savor the fruit that is growing.
- 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 2, 2021, the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B)
1 John 4:7-21
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 certificate, 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.