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.

The Spirit of Truth: John 14:15-21

John 14:15-21

15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • The Spirit of truth abides within you.
  • As you pay attention to the Breath, feel where the Spirit abides within you.
  • When you see Christ in the world, the Christ within you stirs.  Christ does not leave you orphaned.  Christ is here in the Spirit.
  • The Spirit of truth abides within you.
  • As you pay attention to the Breath, feel where the Spirit abides within you.
  • The Spirit of truth abides within us, the world
  • As you pay attention to the Breath, feel where the Spirit abides with in us, the world.
  • How does God need you to be the hands, feet, eyes, ears, voice of Christ today?
  • He came for all to see and to believe and for all to love through Him.
  • Again, how does God need you to be the hands, feet, eyes, ears, voice of Christ 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 Sunday, May 17, 2020, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

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.

Gentleness and Reverence: 1 Peter 3:13-22

1 Peter 3:13-22

13Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you — not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit outside today or near a window where you feel part of God’s creation.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale the beauty of creation.
  • Exhale fear and intimidation.
  • Inhale the strength of creation.
  • Exhale fear and intimidation.
  • With gentleness and reverence, inhale the new life of creation as you feel the Breath of God breathe new life in you.
  • Exhale anything keeping you from being present to this new life.
  • Inhale all life that you sense around you.
  • Sit and be with the Holy One.
  • Feel what it is like to be alive in the Spirit.
  • Allow the Spirit to fill you with new life.
  • With gentleness and reverence, take a mental picture of this space filled with new life, and take it with you today.  Be reminded of being alive in the Spirit when you encounter unrighteousness so that you may be with the Spirit in righteousness.
  • 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, May 17, 2020, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

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.

Truly God Is Listening: Psalm 66:8-20

Psalm 66:8-20

8   Bless our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard,
9   who has kept us among the living,
and has not let our feet slip.
10  For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11  You brought us into the net;
you laid burdens on our backs;
12  you let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

13  I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will pay you my vows,
14  those that my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15  I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.                    Selah

16  Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for me.
17  I cried aloud to him,
and he was extolled with my tongue.
18  If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19  But truly God has listened;
he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

20  Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • What unsafe spaces have you encountered recently?
  • How did God accompany you in this unsafe space?
  • What was the shift that led you to safety?
  • How did God’s transforming love lead you to safety?
  • What unsafe spaces are you still encountering?
  • How do you need God to accompany you in this unsafe space?
  • Using your imagination what will make this space safe for you?
  • Offer this as a prayer to God.
  • Truly God has listened before and given heed to the words of your prayer.
  • God is listening today and will bring heed to the words of your prayer.
  • Speak for your God is listening.
  • 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, May 17, 2020, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

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.