My Lord, If I Find Favor with You, Do Not Pass By Your Servant – Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7

Holy Trinity Icon, Andrei Rublev

Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7

1The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground.3He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.5Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on-since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”6And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.”7Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

9They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”10Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”13The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’14Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.”15But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”

1The LORD dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as he had promised.2Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.3Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him.4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.6Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”7And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Pray with each of the angels in the icon:
  • My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.
  • My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.
  • My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.
  • What deep desire is arising in you?  It might be seem so outlandish.  Don’t be afraid.  Let the desire come.
  • What deep desire that has been burdening you and has been buried deep within you want to be freed to arise?
  • Let the Breath of freedom reach this place deep within you.
  • What is your message from 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.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 14, 2020, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

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.

Holy Saturday: Matthew 28:1-10 – A new hope

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Matthew 28:1-10

1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Oh, this day of grief.  Can there really be joy?
  • How do you hold grief and joy together at the end of this Holy Saturday?
  • Is this a dream?  Or a vision?
  • Will I wake up tomorrow with the same good news?
  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from 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.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, April 11, 2020, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Matthew 28:1-10

 

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.

Holy Saturday: Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-12 – A new reign

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21

14:10As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the LORD. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

15Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”

19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”

26Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

15:20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

    1b  “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;
    horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
    2   The LORD is my strength and my might,
    and he has become my salvation;
    this is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father&rsquos God, and I will exalt him.
    3   The LORD is a warrior;
    the LORD is his name.

    4   “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
    his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
    5   The floods covered them;
    they went down into the depths like a stone.
    6   Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power —
    your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.
    7   In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
    you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble.
    8   At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
    the floods stood up in a heap;
    the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
    9   The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
    I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
    10  You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

    11  “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
    12  You stretched out your right hand,
    the earth swallowed them.

    13  “In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
    you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

    17  You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession,
    the place, O LORD, that you made your abode,
    the sanctuary, O LORD, that your hands have established.
    18   The LORD will reign forever and ever.”

    It is a day to remember there is always hope.

  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from 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.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, April 11, 2020, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-12
Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

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.

Holy Saturday: Genesis 22:1-18 – A new sacrifice

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Genesis 22:1-18

1After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

9When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”12He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, 18and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond withPsalm 16:1-11

    1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
    2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

    3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
    in whom is all my delight.

    4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names upon my lips.

    5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
    6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    I have a goodly heritage.

    7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
    8   I keep the LORD always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

    9Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
    my body also rests secure.
    10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
    or let your faithful one see the Pit.

    11  You show me the path of life.
    In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from 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.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, April 11, 2020, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Genesis 22:1-18
Psalm 16:1-11

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.