Psalm 132 – I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one

Psalm 132:1-12 (13-18)

1O LORD, remember in David’s favor
all the hardships he endured;
2how he swore to the LORD
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3“I will not enter my house
or get into my bed;
4I will not give sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5until I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6We heard of it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the fields of Jaar.
7“Let us go to his dwelling-place;
let us worship at his footstool.
8Rise up, O LORD, and go to your resting-place,
you and the ark of your might.
9Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your faithful shout for joy.
10For your servant David’s sake
do not turn away the face of your anointed one.
11The LORD swore to David a sure oath
from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
I will set on your throne.
12If your sons keep my covenant
and my decrees that I shall teach them,
their sons also, for evermore,
shall sit on your throne.”
13For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his habitation:
14“This is my resting-place for ever;
here I will reside, for I have desired it.
15I will abundantly bless its provisions;
I will satisfy its poor with bread.
16Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
and its faithful will shout for joy.
17There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
18His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
but on him, his crown will gleam.”

  • 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.
  • Open yourself to the dwelling place of the Lord.
  • Free yourself to worship at his footstool.
  • The Lord has prepared a lamp for you.
  • Allow the light of the lamp to brighten your face.
  • Notice how the flame dances.
  • Notice how the color moves.
  • What warmth do you feel?
  • What is gleaming within you?
  • What emanates from you?
  • 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

2 Samuel 18 – The grief of a father overshadows the victory of a king

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33

5The king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom.

6So the army went out into the field against Israel; and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. 7The men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. 8The battle spread over the face of all the country; and the forest claimed more victims that day than the sword.

9Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.

15And ten young men, Joab’s armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him, and killed him.

31Then the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, “Good tidings for my lord the king! For the LORD has vindicated you this day, delivering you from the power of all who rose up against you.” 32The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” The Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up to do you harm, be like that young man.”

33The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

  • 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 your breath, notice the places of grief and victory within you.
  • Which one needs to come to the surface first?  Grief?  or Victory?
  • Notice any tension that arises.
  • Where does the tension come from?
  • Is this your tension?  Or are you carrying tension for someone else.
  • Is the tension giving you life or taking life away from you?
  • Where is God in the tension?
  • If you are not sure, move toward that which is life-giving.
  • Consider the other, grief or victory.
  • Notice any tension that arises.
  • Where does the tension come from?
  • Is this your tension?  Or are you carrying tension for someone else.
  • Is the tension giving you life or taking life away from you?
  • Where is God in the tension?
  • If you are not sure, move toward that which is life-giving.
  • 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 12, 2018, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Psalm 130:1-8
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-51

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

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a – I have sinned against the Lord

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

26When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. 27When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.

1But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD, and the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had very many flocks and herds; 3but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meagre fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. 4Now there came a traveller to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” 5Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; 6he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

7Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; 8I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. 9Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11Thus says the LORD: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. 12For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against 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.
  • As a fallen people, we will turn our back to God.
  • As you continue to pay attention to your breath, consider how your are turned away from God today.
  • Where do you notice this distance in your body?  Is there tension?  Pain?  Labored breathing?
  • Focus on this place.  Direct your breath to this place.
  • What do you need to let go to turn toward God?
  • Be honest and humbled.
  • Christ Jesus, a descendant of David, was sent to the world to live and to die for you.
  • Christ Jesus was sent in the world to be your power in weakness.
  • Christ Jesus will heal you and hold you if you will let go of that which keeps you from God and turn toward God.
  • There is nothing you have done that can keep you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
  • Let go of the very thing that keeps you from him.
  • Feel the space that is created as you let go of this thing.
  • Allow Christ to fill this space with compassion and love.
  • Savor this time and know that you are loved.
  • 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 5, 2018, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Psalm 51:1-12
Ephesians 4:1-16
John 6:24-35

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

2 Samuel 11:1-15 – Temptation

2 Samuel 11:1-15

1In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

2It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4So David sent messengers to fetch her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

6So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house”, David said to Uriah, “You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?” 11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, 13David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”

  • 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.
  • Remember a time you gave in to temptation.
  • Recall your thoughts and feelings.
  • Did someone else know?  Did this intensify the thoughts and feelings?
  • Did you try to cover it up?  Were others hurt by your actions?
  • What should you have been doing instead?
  • Have these thoughts and feelings influenced you to make changes in your behavior?
  • What is tempting you today?
  • Do you have an advocate to help keep you away from this temptation?
  • Let Christ be your advocate through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Nothing can keep you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
  • Nothing can keep you from this gift of grace.
  • You are a beloved child of God.
  • Embrace this good news.  Face temptation with an advocate.
  • 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, July 29, 2018, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

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