Lent: Is This My Desire or God’s Desire for Me? – Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

2:15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.16And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

3:1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Bring your attention to the Breath.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the Breath.
  • What is your deepest desire?
  • Is this also God’s desire for you?
  • How do you know this?
  • Listen to the fullness of your senses.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Try it on.  Just as you would put on a favorite sweater, try it on and sit with it for while.
  • Is this authentically you?
  • Is this authentically God?
  • Is this a serpent trying to get your attention?
  • Ask trusted advisors if this desire fits you.
  • Is this desire filled with the fruit of the Spirit for  you?
  • Is this desire filled with the fruit of the Spirit for the world?
  • Then maybe it is God’s desire for you.
  • How does God desire for you to respond to this desire?
  • 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.

Psalm 97:1-12 – Light Dawns for the Righteous

Psalm 97:1-12

1The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice;

let the many coastlands be glad!

2Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;

righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

3Fire goes before him,

and consumes his adversaries on every side.

4His lightnings light up the world;

the earth sees and trembles.

5The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,

before the Lord of all the earth.

6The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

and all the peoples behold his glory.

7All worshipers of images are put to shame,

those who make their boast in worthless idols;

all gods bow down before him.

8Zion hears and is glad,

and the towns of Judah rejoice,

because of your judgments, O God.

9For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;

you are exalted far above all gods.

10The LORD loves those who hate evil;

he guards the lives of his faithful;

he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

11Light dawns for the righteous,

and joy for the upright in heart.

12Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,

and give thanks to his holy name!

  • Light a candle to remember God’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention to the unrighteousness and injustice in you.
  • Invite God into these places.
  • How will you turn toward God to follow God’s foundations of righteousness and justice?
  • Being gentle with yourself, let go of any self judgment.
  • Rest in God’s loving arms.
  • Bring your attention to the unrighteousness and injustice in your neighbor.
  • Invite God into these places.
  • How will you pray for neighbors to turn toward God to follow God’s foundations of righteousness and justice?
  • Being gentle with your neighbor, let go of any judgment you desire to project on your neighbor.
  • Rest in God’s loving arms.
  • Bring your attention to the unrighteousness and injustice in the world.
  • Invite God into these places.
  • How will you pray the world will turn toward God to follow God’s foundations of righteousness and justice?
  • Being gentle with the world, let go of any judgment you desire to project on the world.
  • Rest in God’s loving arms.
  • 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, June 2, the Seventh Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 16:16-34
Psalm 97:1-12
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
John 17:20-26

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.

Psalm 67:1-7 – Let All the Ends of the Earth Revere God

Psalm 67:1-7

1May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us,

Selah

2that your way may be known upon earth,

your saving power among all nations.

3Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you judge the peoples with equity

and guide the nations upon earth.

Selah

5Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

6The earth has yielded its increase;

God, our God, has blessed us.

7May God continue to bless us;

let all the ends of the earth revere him.

  • Light a candle to remember God’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention to the grace and blessing of God.
  • Notice how God’s face is shining upon you.
  • Notice how you desire to respond to God.
  • In praise.
  • In song.
  • In joy.
  • Praise God.
  • Receive blessing.
  • Praise God.
  • Receive blessing.
  • Praise God.
  • Receive blessing.
  • 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, May 26, the Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 16:9-15
Psalm 67:1-7
Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5
John 14:23-29
John 5:1-9

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.

Psalm 148:1-14 – Praise Him Sun and Moon

Psalm 148:1-14

1Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

2Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his host!

3Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars!

4Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for he commanded and they were created.

6He established them forever and ever;

he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea monsters and all deeps,

8fire and hail, snow and frost,

stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

10Wild animals and all cattle,

creeping things and flying birds!

11Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

12Young men and women alike,

old and young together!

13Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his glory is above earth and heaven.

14He has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his faithful,

for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember God’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention again to Praise the Creating One.
  • Let praise arise in you.
  • Name the praises that arise for the Creating One.
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • What hope does resurrection bring to the world today?
  • How has God been faithful to you?
  • How has God been faithful to your neighbor?
  • How has God been faithful to the world?
  • Sit in praise.
  • 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, May 19, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 148:1-14
Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.