Make The Lord Your Trust – Psalm 40:1-22

Psalm 40:1-11

1   I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2   He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3   He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

4   Happy are those who make
the LORD their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
5   You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.

6   Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
7   Then I said, “Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8   I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

9   I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
10  I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

11  Do not, O LORD, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe forever.

7   Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up, princes,
and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.

  • 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.
  • How do you need God to pull you up from the desolate pit, the miry bog?
  • Where in your body are you bound and need to be freed?
  • God is inclined to you.  Make your desires known to God.
  • Be open to God’s path of healing.  See the rock God has provided for you.  Sing the song that arises in your heart.
  • 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 19, 2020, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

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 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.

1 Samuel 1:4-20 – What is God’s desire for you?

1 Samuel 1:4-20

4On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

9After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the LORD. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. 11She made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”

12As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” 15But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” 17Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” 18And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

19They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the LORD.”

  • 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.
  • Drop your shoulders, expand your chest, and let the breath fill you.
  • Consider how you feel like Hannah today.
  • What desire do you have that seems to escape you?
  • Open yourself to this desire.
  • What is God’s desire for you?
  • Where does your desire and God’s desire for you meet?
  • Pray to be open this place where your desire and God’s desire for you meet.
  • Carry this place of openness with you throughout your day.
  • 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, November 18, 2018, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

1 Samuel 1:4-20
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25
Mark 13:1-8

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Hebrews 9:24-28 Christ will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for him

Hebrews 9:24-28

24For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

  • 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 the breath, notice how Christ carries the burden of your sin.
  • What do you notice in your body as you consider the sacrifice of Christ?
  • What feelings or words describe this?
  • Christ will come again to save those who are waiting for him.
  • How are you eagerly waiting for Christ?
  • What do you notice in your body as you consider the saving grace of Christ?
  • What feelings or words describe this?
  • Draw a line between the two places in your body: Christ the sacrifice and Christ the savior.
  • Consider how you live between these two places.
  • 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, November 11, 2018, the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17
Psalm 127:1-5
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Job 42:1-6, 10-17 – I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted

Job 42:1-6, 10-17

1Then Job answered the LORD: 2“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ 5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

10And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. 12The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.

  • 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.
  • Call upon wisdom.  Tap into your experience.
  • Through wisdom you have heard the Lord.
  • How do you answer the Lord?
  • How is God in all things?
  • How are God’s purposes not thwarted?
  • What did you utter that you did not understand?
  • What wonderful things were done for you that you did not know?
  • What do you hear from God?
  • How do you now see God?
  • What words of repentance do you have to offer?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • What restoration do you need today?
  • Listen for God.  Look for God.  Embrace restoration.
  • 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 21, 2018, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:108 (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings, (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD