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.

Ash Wednesday Love

Genesis 3:19 You are dust, and to dust you shall return. (NRSV)

 

I am dust.

I am fragile.

I can be blown places I do not want to go.

Sometimes I leave marks I don’t want to leave.

 

I am dust.

I am temporary.

But, I matter.

And, my voice matters.

Some try to silence the truth.

The truth lives in the dust.

Let the Breath of Life reveal the truth.

 

I am dust.

 

I will return.

I will return to the One who created me.

The One who will give me strength.

The One who goes before me and with me and behind me.

The One who forgives me and forgets.

 

I am dust.

I will return.

(c) 2019 Rev. Dr. Lil Smith

Ash Wednesday: Now Is the Acceptable Time – 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

5:20bwe entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6:1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see — we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes, bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Remember a time of grace in your life, a time when you know you encountered the Holy One.
  • In the season of Lent, we are invited to bring our hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labor, sleepless nights and hunger.  We are invited to take them into the wilderness and examine them.
  • What is it in me that needs to respond to these hardships?
  • How are my deepest desires threatened in these hardships?
  • Seek God in these hardships.  knowing God is not causing these hardships, how is God present for you?
  • How does God desire for you to respond?
  • Where do you find the purity of God:  in knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, and truthful speech.  How does the fruit of the Spirit lead you to respond?
  • 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 Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Ash Wednesday Year A

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Isaiah 58:1-12
Psalm 51:1-17
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:20
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

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.