Pentecost: We Wait for Adoption: Romans 8:22-27

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Romans 8:22-27

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

  • 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.
  • Consider how creation groans with labor pains today.
  • What do you see around you?
  • What hope is there in what is not seen?
  • How might the Holy Spirit intercede for the world?
  • Do you hear a message for you?
  • Is there a call to action for you?
  • Consider how you groan with labor pains today.
  • What do you see around you?
  • What hope is there in what is not seen?
  • How might the Holy Spirt intercede for you today?
  • Do you hear a message for you?
  • Is there a call to action 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 23, 2021, the Day of Pentecost, Year B

Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:24-34,35b
Romans 8:22-27
John 7:37-39

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 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.

Pentecost: Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Face of the Earth -Psalm 104

PSALM 104:24-34, 35B

24  O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25  Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.
26  There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27  These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28  when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29  When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30  When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.

31  May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works —
32  who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33  I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34  May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.
35b Bless the LORD, O my soul.

Praise 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 you pay attention to your breath, allow God to hold you as God holds the world.
  • Feel the lightness as you allow God to shoulder all of the weight, all of the burden.
  • Rest in the goodness of God’s hands.
  • What praise arises in you?
  • What metaphor comes to mind as you encounter God’s goodness?
  • Allow this metaphor to grow into a full image.
  • Where are you in the image?
  • Look around you.
  • Be filled with the goodness of God.
  • Let go of any tension that is keeping you from freedom in God.
  • Be free in the goodness of God.
  • Remember this freedom and goodness as you go about your day.  Call upon it as you encounter adversity.  Share it as you encounter an opportunity to share the Good News.
  • 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 23, 2021, the Day of Pentecost, Year B

Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:24-34,35b
Romans 8:22-27
John 7:37-39

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 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.

Christmas Eve: Jesus Is Born for You, for Us, for the World – Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

Gospel Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14  “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
          and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silence five to fifteen minutes inviting the light of the candle to guide you.
  • Treasure these words:
  • Do not be afraid.
  • I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.
  • To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
  • This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.
  • Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!
  • Like Mary, ponder these words in your heart.
  • Jesus is born this day for you.
  • What is God’s invitation for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time of new life and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Thursday, December 24, 2020,  Christmas Eve Year B 

Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96:1-13
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

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.

Photo credit: Mary and Joseph kneel at the crib of the infant Christ in this detail of an icon from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Dec. 25 Christmas feast commemorates the birth of Christ. The Christmas season begins with the Dec. 24 evening vigil and ends on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 13 in 2008. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill) (Nov. 27, 2007)

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Christmas Eve – A Great Light – Isaiah 9:2-7

ISAIAH 9:2-7

2   The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness —
on them light has shined.
3   You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
4   For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5   For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6   For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7   His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silence five to fifteen minutes embracing the great light that shines before you.
  • What darkness in you desires to be overcome by the light?
  • Allow the light of Christ to warm this desire within you.
  • Embrace the light.
  • Linger with the light.
  • Savor any peace that comes.
  • How will you follow the light?
  • What is God’s invitation for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time of new life and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Thursday, December 24, 2020, Christmas Eve (Year B)
Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96:1-13
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

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 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.

Pentecost: Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Face of the Earth -Psalm 104

PSALM 104:24-34, 35B

24  O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25  Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.
26  There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27  These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28  when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29  When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30  When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.

31  May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works —
32  who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33  I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34  May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.
35b Bless the LORD, O my soul.

Praise 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 you pay attention to your breath, allow God to hold you as God holds the world.
  • Feel the lightness as you allow God to shoulder all of the weight, all of the burden.
  • Rest in the goodness of God’s hands.
  • What praise arises in you?
  • What metaphor comes to mind as you encounter God’s goodness?
  • Allow this metaphor to grow into a full image.
  • Where are you in the image?
  • Look around you.
  • Be filled with the goodness of God.
  • Let go of any tension that is keeping you from freedom in God.
  • Be free in the goodness of God.
  • Remember this freedom and goodness as you go about your day.  Call upon it as you encounter adversity.  Share it as you encounter an opportunity to share the Good News.
  • 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 31, 2020, the Day of Pentecost, Year A

Acts 2:1-21
Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34,35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
John 7:37-39

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.

Lent: Break the Silence – Psalm 32

Psalm 32

1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,

whose sin is covered.

2Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,

and in whose spirit there is no deceit.


3While I kept silence, my body wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;

my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah


5Then I acknowledged my sin to you,

and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”

and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah


6Therefore let all who are faithful

offer prayer to you;

at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters

shall not reach them.

7You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah


8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,

whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,

else it will not stay near you.


10Many are the torments of the wicked,

but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.

11Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,

and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

  • 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 attention to the transgression in you that desires to be named out loud today.
  • Break the silence.  Describe the transgression.  Be released of the guilt.
  • Invite God dialogue to lead you and guide you to a new place.
  • Embrace the forgiveness God has for you.
  • Be open to the new ways God will lead you closer to God.
  • Resist torments of the wicked.
  • Be focused on the Compassionate One who loves you always.
  • Rejoice in God and notice how God rejoices in 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, March 1, 2020, the First Sunday in Lent (Year A)

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11

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.