Job 23:1-9, 16-17
1Then Job answered: 2“Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling! 4I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. 5I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me. 6Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; but he would give heed to me. 7There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.
8“If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; 9on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.
16God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; 17If only I could vanish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face!
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
- As you open yourself to the Breath, notice where God is distant from you.
- What taste corresponds to this distance from God?
- What smell corresponds to this distance from God?
- What feeling corresponds to this distance from God?
- Look ahead of you. What do you see?
- Look to the left of you. What do you see?
- Look to the right of you. What do you see?
- Look behind you. What do you see?
- Come back to the Breath.
- Inhale the Breath of God. Know that God is present. You may not be able to see, hear, taste, smell, or touch God at this moment. Find comfort in knowing you breathe the Breath of God. May this sustain you until the distance is lifted.
- What is God’s message for you?
- 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, October 10, 2021, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
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 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.