Easter: Testimony of the Heart: 1 John 5:9-13

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1 John 5:9-13

9If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.11And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

  • 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 breathe, inhale that which you believe.  
  • Allow the testimony in your heart to be freed.
  • Exhale that which is blocking the testimony in your heart.
  • Inhale freedom.
  • Exhale unfreedom.
  • Hear the words again, “Whoever has the Son has life.”
  • What life do you feel in your heart?
  • Allow this life that you have created freedom around grow.  
  • Where does this life in the Son want to grow?
  • What do you feel?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you see?
  • What do you smell?
  • What do you taste?
  • Hold the space for growth.
  • What is God’s invitation for you?
  • At the end of the day, check back in with yourself.  What new growth did you experience today?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in freedom and 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, May 16, 2021, the Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1:1-6
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2021 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 certificate, 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.

Easter: Delight in the Law of the Lord: Psalm 1:1-6

Psalm 1:1-6

1Happy are those

who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

or take the path that sinners tread,

or sit in the seat of scoffers;

2but their delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law they meditate day and night.

3They are like trees

planted by streams of water,

which yield their fruit in its season,

and their leaves do not wither.

In all that they do, they prosper.

4The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

  • 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, plant your feet on the ground and settle into your sit bones.
  • Feel roots begin to grow from your feet into the ground…roots seeking water.
  • Imagine the rich, moist soil by the water for which your roots are thirsting.
  • Feel your roots meet the water.
  • Allow the water to soak into you.  Notice which parched parts of you find relief from the water.
  • Which leaves are enlivened and green up with water?
  • What fruit is waiting to grow?
  • What is God’s invitation 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, May 16, 2021, the Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1:1-6
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2021 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 certificate, 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.

Easter: Another Apostle Chosen: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus — 17for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”

21So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you sit in silence, open your heart to Christ.
  • Allow Christ to tell you that which Christ knows about your heart.  For the Lord knows everyone’s heart.
  • Christ knows every place in your heart:  joy, love, pain, anger, gentleness, peace,
  • What part of your heart do you want to be changed today?
  • Invite Christ into this place.  Let go of anything that is keeping your from Christ: pain, anger, hatred, greed, envy, mistrust, ____________.
  • Hear the words of forgiveness, “In Christ you are forgiven.  Thanks be to God!”
  • Feel the lightness that Christ has to offer you.
  • Christ knows your heart.  All belongs.  Every experience belongs.
  • Hold this new experience of healing and love today as you encounter others.
  • See how you might be a witness to God’s love.
  • You have been chosen by God.
  • 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.

evised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, May 16, 2021, the Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1:1-6
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2021 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 certificate, 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.

Easter: Go and Bear Fruit that Will Last:John 15:9-17

John 15:9-17

9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Invite Jesus to sit with you.
  • You are not a servant, but a friend.
  • Speak as friends.
  • Tell Jesus your innermost desires.
  • Tell Jesus your secrets.
  • Reveal all that you are.
  • Trust, obey, and abide in Jesus the Christ.
  • Make all things known.
  • Then sit back and listen.
  • Listen to Jesus tell you his innermost desires for you.
  • How do these desires match your desires?
  • Listen to Jesus reveal the truth to you.
  • How do you respond to this truth?
  • Listen to the ways Jesus abides in you.
  • What fruit is growing in you?
  • Listen to the ways Jesus loves you.
  • How will you love one another?
  • What is God’s invitation for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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, May 9, 2021, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98:1-9
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2021 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 certificate, 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.

Easter: Love the Parent Love the Child: 1 John 5:1-6

1 John 5:1-6

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

6This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • You are a child of God.  You are beloved.
  • Make a list of the ways God loves you.
  • Read back over the list.  What is missing?
  • How do you desire God to love you?
  • Your neighbor is a child of God. Your neighbor is beloved.
  • Make a list of the ways God loves your neighbor.
  • Read back over the list.  What is missing?
  • How do you desire God to love your neighbor?
  • The world is made of the children of God.  All the children of the world are beloved.
  • Make a list of the ways God loves the children of the world.
  • Read back over the list.  What is missing?
  • How do you desire God to love the children of the world?
  • Go back over your lists.  What do you notice?
  • Is there a message for you from God?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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, May 9, 2021, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98:1-9
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2021 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 certificate, 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.

Easter: Sing Together for Joy: Psalm 98:1-9

Psalm 98:1-9

1   O sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gained him victory.
2   The LORD has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3   He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.

4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5   Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6   With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.

7   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
8   Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
9   at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale that which is not good.
  • Inhale God’s love.
  • Exhale hatred.
  • Inhale joy.
  • Exhale fear.
  • Let go of anything keeping you from God.
  • Open yourself as much as possible to God.
  • Continue to pay attention to your breath.
  • Allow a new song to arise from within you.
  • How do you glorify God?
  • What do you hear?
  • What words come to you?
  • What love arises?
  • Look around you.  What else do you see praising God?
  • How do others praise God?
  • How does the world praise God?
  • How does the earth praise God?
  • Savor this time of praise and glory.
  • Carry it with you today.
  • As you encounter others, notice how others praise God.
  • Give thanks to God for this time to sing a new song, 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, May 9, 2021, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98:1-9
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2021 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 certificate, 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.