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.

Easter: Protect Them: John 17:6-19

John 17:6-19

6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in 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.
  • Christ is in prayer for you every day.
  • Christ walked in this world to show you a better world.
  • From what in this world do you need protection today?
  • What is your “evil one”?
  • What truth do you know about this “evil one”?
  • What truth do you know in Christ?
  •  Set these truths beside one another.
  • Which truth offers you hope and promise?
  • Choose this truth.
  • Invite Christ more deeply in this truth.
  • Listen for Christ’s response.
  • What is the 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: Testimony of the Heart: 1 John 5:9-13

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.