14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
- 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 settle into your breath, open yourself to the saints who have gone before you.
- Remember the ways in which these saints touched you life, believing in you, sharing Christ with you, laying hands on you.
- Open your imagination and open your mind and spirit to the days of the apostles.
- Imagine hearing the Gospel for the very first time.
- Notice the peace that surrounds you.
- Hear someone praying for you to receive the Holy Spirit.
- Hear someone praying for the crowd to receive the Holy Spirit.
- Notice the peace that enters you.
- Embrace the Holy Spirit that moves within you, among you, watching over you, holding you.
- As you embrace the Holy Spirit, notice if there is someone you know who needs the peace of the Holy Spirit.
- 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, January 9, 2022, the Baptism of the Lord (Year C)
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2022 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.