Remember the Devastation- Psalm 137:1-9

By the rivers of Babylon, painting by Gebhard Fugel [de], c. 1920

Psalm 137:1-9

1By the rivers of Babylon-

there we sat down and there we wept

when we remembered Zion.

2On the willows there

we hung up our harps.

3For there our captors

asked us for songs,

and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4How could we sing the Lord’s song

in a foreign land?

5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand wither!

6Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

if I do not set Jerusalem

above my highest joy.

7Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites

the day of Jerusalem’s fall,

how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!

Down to its foundations!”

8O daughter Babylon, you devastator!

Happy shall they be who pay you back

what you have done to us!

9Happy shall they be who take your little ones

and dash them against the rock!

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in you that is experiencing devastation.
  • As you sit and weep, who is taunting you?
  • Do not seek revenge.
  • Remember Zion.
  • Embrace the Presence of the Holy.
  • How will you pray for one taunting 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, October 6, 2019, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Lamentations 1:1-6, 3:19-26
Psalm 137:1-9
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

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.

Under God’s Wings You Will Find Refuge – Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

1You who live in the shelter of the Most High,

who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

2will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress;

my God, in whom I trust.”

3For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence;

4he will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

5You will not fear the terror of the night,

or the arrow that flies by day,

6or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

14Those who love me, I will deliver;

I will protect those who know my name.

15When they call to me, I will answer them;

I will be with them in trouble,

I will rescue them and honor them.

16With long life I will satisfy them,

and show them my salvation.

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to the ways you trust your relationship with God.
  • Sit in trust with God.
  • Is there a particular situation or person that is calling for more trust in your relationship with God?
  • Invite God into dialogue about this particular situation or person calling for more trust in your relationship with God.
  • What trust do you need today?
  • Is it familiar or unfamiliar?
  • What specific answer do you need from God today?
  • How will God answer you?
  • How will you be prepared to listen for God’s answer?
  • 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, September 29, 2019, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
1 Timothy 6:6-19
Luke 16:19-31

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.

Let Your Compassion Come Speedily – Psalm 79

Psalm 79:1-9

1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;

they have defiled your holy temple;

they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2They have given the bodies of your servants

to the birds of the air for food,

the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.

3They have poured out their blood like water

all around Jerusalem,

and there was no one to bury them.

4We have become a taunt to our neighbors,

mocked and derided by those around us.

5How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever?

Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

6Pour out your anger on the nations

that do not know you,

and on the kingdoms

that do not call on your name.

7For they have devoured Jacob

and laid waste his habitation.

8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;

let your compassion come speedily to meet us,

for we are brought very low.

9Help us, O God of our salvation,

for the glory of your name;

deliver us, and forgive our sins,

for your name’s sake.

  • 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.
  • Bring your attention to the part in you that is aware of the ways the world is turned away from God.
  • Notice how we have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
  • Invite the one thing that most wants your attention, and be present with this one thing.
  • Embrace this one thing and imagine it speaking to you.
  • What do you notice, feel, sense?
  • Invite God’s abundant compassion into the conversation.
  • What words emerge from within you?
  • Is there an invitation for 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, September 22, 2019, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Psalm 79:1-9
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

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.

Fools Say There Is No God – Psalm 14

Psalm 14

1Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good.
2The LORD looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.
3They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good,
no, not one.
4Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon the LORD?
5There they shall be in great terror,
for God is with the company of the righteous.
6You would confound the plans of the poor,
but the LORD is their refuge.
7O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

  • 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 is looking down upon humankind from heaven.
  • Who will God see is wise?
  • Lift your face to the Lord.
  • Seek God’s favor.
  • What do you need to let go so that you may be more available to God?
  • What wisdom arises in you?
  • What fear do you need to let go to be with the Lord?
  • 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, September 15, 2019, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Psalm 14:1-7
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

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.