He Will Set Me High on a Rock – Psalm 27:1, 4-9

Psalm 27:1, 4-9

1   The LORD is my light and my salvation;
          whom shall I fear?
     The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
          of whom shall I be afraid?

4   One thing I asked of the LORD,
          that will I seek after:
     to live in the house of the LORD
          all the days of my life,
     to behold the beauty of the LORD,
          and to inquire in his temple.

5   For he will hide me in his shelter
          in the day of trouble;
     he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
          he will set me high on a rock.

6   Now my head is lifted up
          above my enemies all around me,
     and I will offer in his tent
          sacrifices with shouts of joy;
     I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7   Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
          be gracious to me and answer me!
8   “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
          Your face, LORD, do I seek.
9        Do not hide your face from me.

     Do not turn your servant away in anger,
          you who have been my help.
     Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
          O God of my salvation!

  • 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.
  • Imagine God setting you high on a rock.  Imagine in this place you are in the fullness of God’s light.
  • Look down at the path you have traveled.  From the high rock you can see the path that God cleared for you.
  • Let your eyes see, let your heart beat with joy, let your love flow, be with God in this place, high upon a rock.
  • Savor this face-to-face time with God.
  • 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 26, 2020, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm 27:4-9
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Matthew 4:12-23

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 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.

Thanksgiving: I Am the Bread of Life – John 6:25-35

John 6:24-35

25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” 32Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

  • 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 pay attention to the breath, name the bread Jesus has given you to eat.
  • How does this satisfy your hunger?
  • Who delivered this  bread for you?
  • Does Jesus have bread for you to deliver to someone else?
  • Keep open to the bread crumbs Jesus leaves out for you.
  • Have you missed some bread crumbs that need to be collected?
  • How does the bread give you life?
  • Give thanks to God for the bread, for the Bread of Life, and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Thursday, November 28, 2019, Thanksgiving Day (Year C)

Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 100:1-5
Philippians 4:4-9
John 6:25-35

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 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.

John 6:56-69 – We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God

John 6:56-69

56“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

  • 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.
  • Many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with Jesus.
  • Remember a time you turned away from Jesus.
  • What was it that made you repent and return to him?
  • How did the Bread of Life capture your attention and nourish you?
  • How are you turned today?
  • How will the Holy One of God give you life?
  • Is there something you need to let go to be fully turned toward Christ?
  • 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, August 26, 2018, the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

1 Kings 8:(1,6,10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Psalm 84:1-12
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6: 56-69

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

John 6:51-58 – The Bread that came down from heaven

John 6:51-58

51“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

  • 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.
  • The bread of life came down from heaven for you.
  • What bread have you received recently?
  • How does this bread give you life?
  • How does this bread give life to the world?
  • What bread do you need today?
  • What bread does the world need today?
  • Give thanks to God for God’s abiding love and for any  new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 19, 2018, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14
Psalm 111:1-10
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:35, 51-58

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